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Computational Social Science Researcher (B.S./M.S./Ph.D.) (Minneapolis, MN; Boston, MA)

Computational Social Science Researcher

Location: Minneapolis/Boston

Note: Due to the nature of our contract work, positions at SIFT are restricted to US citizens and permanent residents. Also, this position requires that you be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, unless you require a reasonable accommodation for religion or a health-related need.

Since the company's inception, SIFT has explored the combination of social science and computer science to improve understanding of complex social phenomena. Some of SIFT's previous social science research projects include:
  • SCORE: A program that parses text from social science and behavioral science papers to automatically extract claims, statistical approaches, and compute a replicate and reproduce (R&R) confidence score (a measurement of how challenging it is for 3rd parties to replicate results).
  • NAPP (demo here): A 3-D role playing game designed teach people better sleep hygiene behaviors using techniques from the Transtheoretical Model of Change.
  • TYBALT: A tool to detect harmful or aggressive behavior in online content prior to aggressors executing hostile or threatening actions.
  • MEDULLA: A program to develop a VR tool and associated metrics to gauge cohesion in small teams using real-world experiments conducted at the HI-SEAS Mars and lunar exploration research station in Hawaii.
  • MARGARET: A research project to use machine learning algorithms to quantify gender biases within cultural groups.

Position responsibilities
As a Computational Social Scientist at SIFT, you'll have the opportunity to:
  • Use NLP tools, network analysis, and advanced statistical analysis to identify key insights into populations and behaviors.
  • Conduct social network analysis.
  • Design and analyze surveys in support of human subjects, using tools such as Qualtrics or similar systems.
  • Sample design
  • Experimental methods (lab or natural)
  • Web analytics and analysis
  • Measurement design

Desired skills
  • Strong background in computational social science, digital humanities, behavioral science or data science.
  • Fluency at writing code to analyze, and visualize complex social data, as well as implementing algorithms in code.
  • Experience in quickly cleaning, analyzing and understanding large, complex data sets.
  • Experience designing and executing research plans, integrating both qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Experience with designing surveys and experiments.
  • Excellence in transforming research insights into understandable outcomes.

What are some of the benefits of working at SIFT?
  • Liberal Flex Time Policy: you can work in a way that makes sense for your work/life balance.
  • Salary is open to negotiation and will be competitive.
  • Health, Dental, Life, and Disability Insurance (SIFT pays 80% of health insurance premium and 100% of life insurance premium).
  • 20 paid vacation days per year, plus unlimited sick days.
  • 401K matching funds (5% of salary, vested immediately; options of traditional 401k, Roth 401k, or combination, with access to 50+ mutual funds).
  • Bonus program for technical merit/contribution.
  • Computer of choice (Mac, Windows, or Linux) provided by SIFT.
  • Home Office - $2,000 allowance/year.
  • Full internet and cell phone reimbursement.
  • Profit sharing (as 401k distributions or additional vacation days).
  • Tuition reimbursement for continuing education (50% of tuition paid, up to $10,000 per year).
  • Parking and bus card reimbursement.

Working at SIFT
SIFT is a unique company that values innovation and employee empowerment. As a small, but stable, business SIFT provides an efficient and thin organizational structure that helps employees focus upon doing interesting technical work without significant red-tape.
SIFT's cooperative-style work environment provides employees a platform to set and pursue their professional interests, including opportunities to focus upon engineering, basic research, project management, business development, IT, and commercialization.

You can apply through this Handshake post, or simply email your resume to!