We are recruiting for a Principal Data Scientist!
We are Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency for social good. We design, test and scale solutions to society’s biggest problems. Our three missions are to give every child a fair start, help people live healthy lives, and create a sustainable future where the economy works for both people and the planet.
For over 20 years, we have worked to support, encourage and inspire innovation. We work in three roles: as an innovation partner working with frontline organisations to design and test new solutions, as a venture builder supporting new and early stage businesses, and as a system shaper creating the conditions for innovation.
Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to change millions of lives for the better. Find out more at nesta.org.uk
The post holder will primarily work within our Data Analytics Practice, guiding projects that will benefit Nesta’s Missions as well as advance our Data Science capabilities. They will set the direction for the project and guide teams, producing work that uses new data sources, data science and machine learning methods and ways of presenting information to answer research questions and develop interventions that will benefit society.
This could include for example, identifying pertinent research questions that help to address user needs, establishing and articulating which data science methods are best suited to answer the research questions, developing the work plan to undertake the analysis and delivering data science tasks both individually and through supporting, guiding and mentoring team members.
Projects will involve various parts of the data pipeline from data collection to processing and machine learning systems to data visualisation design and development for transforming complex analytical outputs into actionable insight. You will have access to the skills and capabilities of the whole Data Analytics Practice which span all of these disciplines to support you in the delivery of your projects.
Nesta’s Data Analytics Practice uses data science and complex systems thinking to address societal challenges. We are a methodologically broad team that uses techniques including statistics, machine learning, natural language processing and network science. Through their work the post holder will use such methods and their own expertise to help understand and address issues across a range of domains such as climate change, education, health, labour markets and innovation policy.
Design and deliver data oriented research and applied projects that meet the needs of users and address societal challenges and injustices.
Lead projects and manage team members, as well as coaching and mentoring them to solve issues and blockers.
Analyse relevant data (including web-based, open and/or official data) using data science methods such as supervised and unsupervised machine learning, natural language processing or network science.
Produce technical and analytical work in multiple projects as well as engage in materials about relevant non-technical domains.
Develop novel data science methodologies that can be applied across different workstreams.
Coordinate closely with the Data Engineering and Data Visualisation teams.
Ensure that the team stays at the cutting edge of the field by:
Identifying relevant project opportunities
Staying abreast of the latest data science techniques and developments
Communicate findings through a range of formats
Work with specialists in the Practice to understand and implement ethical data science practice
Participate in the development of new proposals for funders
Be actively involved in cross-team, multi-disciplinary collaborations within Nesta
Contribute to developing our ways of working and infrastructure
This kind of work is innovative in nature and will suit somebody who is proactive and combines academic rigour with a willingness to ‘get their hands dirty’ with real-world data to answer difficult but important questions.
Strong experience in a relevant quantitative discipline (This could be from projects, work or a formal qualification such as a Masters or PhD. We consider all types of experience).
Strong quantitative data processing and analysis skills, including expertise in web-based data collection and machine learning techniques, and expertise in data science-relevant programming languages, specifically Python (a sufficiently strong data science background in other programming languages may also be considered, however our data pipelines are written in Python, so a willingness to learn the language is a must).
Strong communication skills, including a proven ability to present research findings in ways that are clear, compelling and credible, and to draft high-quality written outputs from research.
A track record of guiding teams and mentoring others to deliver research projects or data science products.
Committed to fostering an inclusive working environment.
An excellent team player, with the ability to work flexibly and sensitively with a range of other actors including policymakers, businesses and other researchers.
Adaptable – flexible in approach and able to manage competing and changing priorities.
Able to learn quickly and a strong desire to develop expertise in new research areas and methodologies.
Intellectually curious – will look at things critically and ask new and important questions.
Pragmatic and able to produce high-quality, accurate outputs to deadlines.
What we offer
Salary: £47k-£57k plus array of benefits, including health cash plans, dental insurance, the ability to buy and sell annual leave, eyecare vouchers and more
Location: This role is based in Central London, Blackfriars, but we offer flexibility for our people to work remotely
Hours: This is a full-time role but we offer a range of flexible working arrangements and encourage our people to take advantage of them. Many do.
Reports to: Head of Data Science
Making an application
To apply for this role, please submit your application before 8:00am on the 26th of July 2021.
At Nesta, we believe that a diverse workforce leads to an organisation that is more innovative, more creative and gets better results.
We want our workforce to represent the diversity of the people and communities we serve. We also want our workplace to be one where different experiences, expertise and perspectives are valued, and where everyone is encouraged to grow and develop.
This means that when we are recruiting, we actively seek to reach a diverse pool of candidates. It also means that we are happy to consider any reasonable adjustments that potential employees may need to in order to be successful.
We recognise the importance of a good balance between work and home life, so we do everything we can to accommodate flexible working, including working from home, compressed or part-time hours, job shares and other arrangements.
Please just let us know in your application or at any stage throughout the process (and beyond) if these are options you’d like to explo