Data Scientist, Online Harms Observatory

Alan Turing Institute London United Kingdom Research Programmes

Company Description

Named in honour of Alan Turing, the Institute is a place for inspiring, exciting work and we need passionate, sharp, and innovative people who want to use their skills to contribute to our mission to make great leaps in data science and AI research to change the world for the better. Please find more information about us here.

Position

THE PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAMME

The Public Policy research programme works alongside policy makers to explore how data-driven public service provision and policy innovation might help to solve long running societal problems. Our work is interdisciplinary, with machine learning engineers, NLP experts, data scientists and social scientists collaborating across different projects.

The Online Safety Team is a new part of The Turing’s Public Policy Programme. It provides objective, evidence-driven insight into the technical, social, empirical and ethical aspects of online safety, supporting the work of public servants (particularly policymakers and regulators), informing civic discourse and extending academic knowledge. High-priority topics include online hate, personal attacks, extremism, misinformation and disinformation. We have three main workstreams:

  1. Data-centric Artificial Intelligence for online safety
  2. Building an Online Harms Observatory
  3. Policymaking for online safety

ROLE PURPOSE

The Data Scientist will collaborate with technical & research focused colleagues in the Online Safety Team to further the development of the Online Harms Observatory, a platform intended to bridge the gap between research on AI & online harms, and the practical application of AI for monitoring online harms.

The Data Scientist will primarily work on optimising the existing cloud infrastructure behind the Online Harms Observatory, setting up new data collection & processing pipelines, and extending the functionality of the Observatory dashboard, alongside collaborating with researchers to deliver the data needed to train cutting-edge state-of-the-art machine learning models, and to deploy these models in the Online Harms Observatory.

The successful candidate will report to Dr. Jonathan Bright, Head of Online Safety. They will have opportunities to engage with stakeholders in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Ofcom and others.

DUTIES AND AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY

  • Collect, store and wrangle data from social media platforms, eg. through APIs.
  • Develop and manage databases & data pipelines in Azure, ensuring systems are well designed and efficient.
  • Work closely with colleagues to write, document & maintain production-quality code for the Online Harms Observatory.
  • Conduct ad-hoc quantitative analysis for colleagues & stakeholders, and act as an authority on the quantities & types of data collected/processed.
  • Communicate data collection concepts & methodology clearly to colleagues & stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with researchers to curate datasets on online harms and deploy models for inference.
  • Liaise with colleagues & stakeholders to drive use of the Observatory dashboard, giving live demonstrations and integrating end user feedback.
  • Contribute to the life of the Institute and support its community, e.g. participating in equality & diversity and skill-sharing programmes.

Requirements

  • Masters-level degree or higher in computer science, engineering, data science, statistics or a related-discipline.
  • Experience writing high-quality Python code, using libraries such as Pandas and Numpy.
  • Experience working in Linux CLI
  • Understanding of good software practices, including version control (eg. Git) and package management
  • Experience with cloud computing & storage platforms
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including the ability to present complex or technical information.
  • Ability to use own judgement to analyse and solve problems.
  • Independently makes decisions which are low risk and that mainly affect themselves or a small number of people and are guided by regulation and practice.

Please see the job description for a full breakdown of the duties, responsibilities and person specification

Other information

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

This full-time post is offered on a fixed term basis for 18 months. The annual salary is £37,000 - £45,000 plus excellent benefits, including flexible working and family friendly policies, https://www.turing.ac.uk/work-turing/why-work-turing/employee-benefits

The Alan Turing Institute is based at the British Library, in the heart of London’s Knowledge Quarter.

From 01 March 2022 we will trial a Hybrid Working Model for an initial six-month trial period. During this period, staff will be expected to work at our British Library office for a number of days per month, dependent on the requirements of the role. As a guide, we anticipate this will be between 2-4 days per month, but the hiring manager will be able to confirm this during the interview.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

If you are interested in this opportunity, please click the apply button below. You will need to register on the applicant portal and complete the application form including your CV and covering letter. If you have questions about the role or would like to apply using a different format, please contact us on 020 3970 2148 or 0203 862 3340, or email recruitment@turing.ac.uk.

If you are applying for more than one role at the Turing, please note that only one Cover Letter can be visible on your profile at one time. If you wish to apply for multiple roles and do not want to overwrite your existing Cover Letter, please apply for the role using the button below and forward your additional cover letter directly to recruitment@turing.ac.uk quoting the job title.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: Tuesday 16th August 2022, 23:59.

We reserve the right to close this vacancy early or to interview suitable candidates before the closing date if enough applications are received.

EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION

The Alan Turing Institute is committed to creating an environment where diversity is valued and everyone is treated fairly. In accordance with the Equality Act, we welcome applications from anyone who meets the specific criteria of the post regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Reasonable adjustments to the interview process will be made for any candidates with a disability.

Please note all offers of employment are subject to obtaining and retaining the right to work in the UK and satisfactory pre-employment security screening which includes a DBS Check.

Full details on the pre-employment screening process can be requested from HR@turing.ac.uk.

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The Alan Turing Institute is committed to a policy of equal opportunities for its students, staff and applicants. In order to monitor the operation of this policy it is necessary to collect certain special categories of information from job applicants. The data collected here forms a confidential statistical record that we use for the purpose of monitoring the effectiveness of this policy. The information that you provide in this form is collected, maintained and stored securely in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation and will only be shared with individuals who need to see it as part of their role and/or to the extent required by law. For example, in some cases, we may be required by law to carry out certain background checks, including right to work checks, in which case we may share some of your personal information with the appropriate background check providers in accordance with our legal obligations. Data used for statistical monitoring will be anonymised before being published outside of the HR Team.  For information on how we use your special category data and how long we retain it for please refer to our recruitment privacy notice here. All personal information will be treated in accordance with the principles of the UK General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act (2018).

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