About the California Policy Lab
The California Policy Lab creates data-driven insights for the public good. Our mission is to
partner with California’s state and local governments to generate scientific evidence that
solves California’s most urgent problems, including homelessness, poverty, crime, and
education inequality. We facilitate close working partnerships between policymakers and
researchers at UCLA and UC Berkeley to help evaluate and improve public programs through
empirical research and technical assistance.
The California Policy Lab is seeking an experienced Data Scientist to contribute to our
organization’s proven track record of bridging the gap between academic researchers and
government policymakers. The Data Scientist will have the opportunity to work on a
portfolio of projects applying statistical and machine learning to public policy research in
homelessness, criminal justice, poverty, education, and labor.
The successful candidate will be well versed in data manipulation, wrangling, and cleaning,
with experience developing and evaluating predictive models. He or she will be passionate
about using data science to find innovative solutions to the problems facing California
policymakers and citizens. This position requires an individual who is able to work as a part
of small research teams running multiple projects concurrently. We seek highly organized
individuals with superior written and verbal communications skills and excellent time
management ability. The Data Scientist also will be required to follow coding guidelines
established by CPL and to contribute to the organization’s efforts to build richly detailed
documentation of the data we use.
This position will report to CPL’s senior Data Scientist and will work collaboratively with
CPL’s Directors, staff and partner agencies. This position is based in Los Angeles,
Education and experience required
Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, statistics, mathematics, or
other relevant field; master’s degree preferred. Applicants must also have at least one year
of relevant research experience; experience gained in school counts toward requirement.
Two to three years of professional post-baccalaureate experience preferred.
• Contribute to design and implementation of efficient and reproducible data pipelines.
• Perform exploratory analysis on new datasets and identify potential research
questions or projects the data could support.
• Build and evaluate predictive models and summarize the results in clearly written
• Provide in-person progress reports to CPL Directors and research team members.
• Prepare results in creative and visually appealing ways for memos and presentations
targeting both policymakers and academic researchers.
• Create or add to existing data documentation that supports CPL’s research projects.
• Write replicable code adhering to internally established coding guidelines.
• Substantive knowledge of quantitative research methods including machine learning,
data mining, pattern recognition, natural language processing, and statistical
• Mastery of data management and analysis using R or Python, preferably both.
• Attention to detail and ability to organize and document workflow.
• Strong initiative and a resourceful approach to problem-solving.
• Superior verbal and written communication skills.
• Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
• Ability to multi-task with demanding timeframes.
• Ability to work discreetly with sensitive and confidential data.
• Experience working in an academic or think-tank environment.
• Substantive knowledge or experience in at least one of our five core research areas –
homelessness, criminal justice, poverty, education, or labor.
• Project management experience.
• Understanding of relational database concepts and experience with SQL, especially
writing and optimizing complex queries, views and stored procedures on large
• Experience with business intelligence tools such as Tableau or PowerBI.
All applicants must apply online at UCLA Career Opportunities using requisition number
32258. Candidates who pass an initial resume review will be contacted for additional preinterview screening.
Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see: http://policy.ucop.edu/doc/4000376/NondiscrimAffirmAct.
Los Angeles, CA