IDinsight is hiring full-time senior data scientists (4 to 10 years of experience) to grow our machine learning and broader data science capabilities. In this role the data scientist will work with project teams and clients to use advanced analytics to drive social impact. You may build models that help locate out of school children, optimize routing of community health workers, identify infants with high mortality risk, or make credit scoring possible for the unbanked for the first time.
We are a social-impact oriented organization, so can guarantee incredibly meaningful work tackling some of the world’s most complex international development challenges around the world.
Grow as a data scientist while doing meaningful work
We are working to build IDinsight into a global leader in the use of machine learning to solve some of the world’s most urgent problems.
You’ll be joining a growing data science team and working on highly impactful and innovative projects with our partners. You’ll be joining an entrepreneurial team where you have a strong voice in how the team functions and grows. You’ll get to work on the full spectrum of the data science solution - from design to deployment. To be effective, data science products need to be contextually relevant and build on subject-matter expertise. You will get to work closely with our partners, our team of economists, social-sector experts, and public health specialists to build and test solutions.
Learning is a key part of being a data scientist. 10% of your time would be dedicated to learning new skills and side projects of your choice. You’ll have strong mentorship to guide your data science career and you’ll make interesting and valuable connections.
IDinsight helps leaders combat poverty worldwide by designing, deploying and promoting evidence- generating tools. We tailor the best methodologies to partner needs and constraints to fuse evidence with action. We serve governments, NGOs, foundations and social businesses across Africa and Asia in all major program areas including health, education, agriculture, livelihoods, finance, energy and governance.
Our approach rests on four pillars:
- Rigorous: We develop and use a wide-range of cutting edge data and evidence tools, including experimental evaluations, monitoring systems, data analytics and visualization, process evaluations, machine learning and more.
- Cost-effective: Every dollar spent is justified by expected impact. If funds could be better used in another way, we say so.
- Timely: Actionable information is delivered in time for client decision-making deadlines.
- Demand-driven: We deploy solutions tailored to partner contexts and needs with no competing agendas.
Our diverse, growing team of over 150 outstanding colleagues operate in nearly two dozen countries around the world. Learn more at www.IDinsight.org.
About the Role
We are seeking candidates with a strong background in Python and core data science skills and a passion for building solutions to difficult social problems. Most importantly, successful candidates should possess the ability to work independently to solve complex challenges related, both human and technological.
As a senior data scientist, you’ll also be across multiple projects and bring technical expertise to the team. In addition to the tasks above, you’ll be:
- Working with clients to understand their needs: Understanding their current processes and pain points and identifying which of these can be framed as a tractable data science problem.
- Wrangling/cleaning government or client data: from extracting data from SQL databases and making API calls to scraping websites and cleaning survey data.
- Designing, testing, improving various algorithms: From OOTB scikit-learn algorithms to bespoke ones.
- Synthesising, visualizing, and communicating results: Dashboards, plots, interactive viz, presentations and reports
- Working with other team members to test and deploy these solutions.
- Ensuring business problems are framed correctly: Not everything is a data science problem and a senior data scientist would have the expertise to make this judgement.
- Ensuring appropriate methods are being used to tackle the problem: Having a broad knowledge of methods would allow a senior data scientist to pick the one best suited for the task.
- Establishing standards and best practices: The senior data scientist will bring experience writing quality code and project management best practices.
- Doing code reviews: Every piece of code we write should be reviewed. Senior data scientists would often be a reviewer and also establish best practices for reviews.
- Provide mentorship to junior data scientists
- Provide expertise in one or more of the following:
- Deep-learning: image classification/segmentation, sequence models
- Optimization under constraints: linear programming, evolutionary algorithms
- NLP: sentiment analysis, text summarization
- Other: performance tracking, on-line learning, contextual bandits, survival analysis
Required Technical Qualifications
- Intermediate to advanced python skills. Please do not apply if you are not an expert in standard data science packages in Python (numpy, pandas, scikit learn, etc.).
- Expertise in understanding and coding standard supervised and unsupervised machine learning algorithms and components of the data science pipeline - data cleaning, feature selection, cross-validation, parameter tuning, etc.
- Degree in Applied Math, Data Science, Computer Science, Physics, or Similar Technical Field.
- Strong foundations in statistics and probability.
- Broad knowledge of advanced data science methods
- Minimum 2 years experience working as a data scientist in python or R.
- Intermediate to advanced python skills - experience working on complex codebases.
- Experience with version control and code management in git.
- Knowledge of good software engineering principles.
Other required qualifications:
- Proven ability to work alone and with teams in a dynamic, multicultural environment.
- Passion for improving lives through evidence-informed policy.
- Strong oral and written communication skills in English. Fluency in languages spoken in countries where IDinsight works is a plus.
- Strong values aligned with IDinsight’s stated values.
- Ability and interest in sharing knowledge, mentoring others, presenting work and reviewing the work of others.
- Deeply passionate about global development and improving lives in disadvantaged populations
- Open-minded self-starter who will thrive while tackling new, unusual and unpredictable challenges
The most competitive applicants will also have experience in one or more of the following:
- Advanced degree (Masters or Phd) in a technical field.
- Experience living and working in developing country settings.
- Experience working on optimization and unsupervised learning problems.
- Experience working on natural language processing problems.
- Experience working with SQL, custom APIs and AWS products like RDS, EC2, and Lambda.
- Experience with other programming languages especially R or Java.
- Experience working with GIS software such as QGIS.
- Experience working with satellite imagery / remote sensing data.
This position is located in one of IDinsight’s existing offices, with possibility of extensive travel dependent on project needs. The most likely offices for this position are New Delhi, India; Dakar, Senegal; Nairobi, Kenya; or Lusaka, Zambia. Preference will be given to those with pre-existing work authorization in these countries; however, IDinsight will seek work permits where possible for exceptional candidates.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis, we are currently “working from home” globally. As such, successful candidates would be expected to work from home until it is possible to safely and responsibly work from an IDinsight office.
Compensation is commensurate with relevant experience and background, and competitive within the social sector. Please note, as a non-profit, we are unable to provide compensation similar to leading technology firms.
Professional development for our technical roles is essential for IDinsight’s long-term impact. With support from IDinsight leadership, the employee will maintain self-directed professional development plans and will be given "stretch" opportunities designed to strengthen their professional skills. Real-time feedback and structured reviews are regularly provided to maximize each data scientist’s expertise. IDinsight’s entrepreneurial culture allows roles and career progression to be tailored to individual strengths, interests, and goals. Employees have the opportunity to increase responsibilities, and high performers will have the opportunity to move up in the organization along technical, managerial, or client-facing paths.
The start date of this position is flexible, although there is the potential to start almost immediately. We expect a minimum two-year commitment, with regular professional development conversations and potential for a long-term career at IDinsight.
Applications should include three references, including email, phone, and title. Briefly state in what capacity you worked with each reference.
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. You will be asked to fill in information (including research topics, relevant coursework, and geographic preferences and submit relevant documents (resume, brief cover letter, and writing sample). More information can be found online at IDinsight Careers. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted. IDinsight is an equal opportunity employer.
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