job: Researcher, Health and Data

at Data & Society Research Institute (View all jobs) New York, NY

Researcher, Health and Data 
January 2021

Data & Society Research Institute is seeking an engaging and collaborative Researcher, Health and Data to fill this open-level position in their Research department. Please use this link to apply or apply via Greenhouse.

About the Health and Data Initiative

Health and Data projects examine the extent to which new technologies can address historical disparities in data collection and access to healthcare–and, in turn, introduce new forms of inequity. Through empirical investigation, the Health and Data team seeks to understand the evolving and complex interdependence of our health and technology practices, including algorithmic decision-making in clinical care, bias in genome databases, ethical collection of data, healthy interactions with tech platforms and mobile devices, and the spread of health misinformation online.

About the position

Your primary responsibility as a Researcher for the Health and Data Initiative will be to work in close collaboration with the Program Director on an empirical research project that studies worker’s perspectives and experiences of infection-related health monitoring, surveillance and data collection in frontline and high-risk workplaces. This qualitative research project also seeks to understand how personal health data captured in the workplace flows to third parties and how much employees are aware of how their data is used. Those who have prior experience conducting research with historically underrepresented communities are of particular interest for this role.

The Researcher is a subject-matter expert who is primarily responsible for carrying out field work and producing written outputs, including the final report, as well as findings memos, literature reviews, and public-facing outputs. In addition, you will serve as a lead contributor on Data & Society communications and written outputs, such as brief research papers, blog posts, event promotion materials and other public-facing writing. The Researcher also proposes and contributes to the development of new research project proposals and participates in the process of designing and funding those projects. 

Depending on skill level and interest, there will be additional opportunities for doing primary research work. The full-time Researcher will join the Health and Data team, and report to the Initiative Lead. This is a 16-month position with the possibility of extension. We seek candidates who are currently available or can be available to start in the early spring of 2021. 

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate may be trained in any number of disciplines but should have a strong empirical foundation; be interested in questions related to technology, health, and society; and be excited to work in a highly interdisciplinary environment that includes social scientists, lawyers, computer scientists, artists and practitioners. Candidates may have a PhD or equivalent experience in any number of disciplines, but should have a strong background conducting qualitative social science fieldwork.

Candidates should enjoy working on collaborative teams, contributing to peer intellectual production, and engaging broad public audiences with research. Strong candidates have lots of research ideas and are excited to grow and develop this area of inquiry at Data & Society.

Ideal candidates are also committed to social change and oriented to practical applications of research and its implications for practice, design and governance of new technologies, and a strong desire to understand how technology and power shape our socio-technical society. Candidates should have a well-established research track record as demonstrated by research publications and public writing and speaking.

Candidates should be able to write for multiple audiences and be part of a public-facing research institute.

This position reports to the Program Director.


  • Excellent research and written communication skills
  • Master’s degree or relevant research experience
  • Ability to coordinate and conduct in-depth research interviews
  • Ability to work independently with minimal oversight
  • Ability to write for a non-academic audience and translate research findings for journalists and policymakers
  • Ability to assess the amount of time that a project will take and meet deadlines
  • Ability to participate in and assist with project-related events and post-COVID travel
  • Ability to coordinate with other team members and the D&S community
  • Experience researching the impact of new technologies on health and well-being
  • The successful candidate will be intellectually flexible, with a strong ability to move from task to task and to pivot quickly. 


  • Conceptualize, develop, and conduct a research project
  • Publish op-eds and blog posts related to ongoing research for academic and non-academic audiences
  • Participate in conferences and workshops in your field
  • Participate in outreach and collaboration activities including meetings, presentations, webinars, hearings, and conferences
  • Collaborate with other researchers internally and externally
  • Collaborate with colleagues to develop and execute new research projects
  • Coordinate and attend regular team meetings, as well as collaborate with the broader Data & Society community

 Practical Considerations

  • You will be expected to contribute to the life of Data & Society through active engagement in and hosting of events, seminars, reading groups, and other cross-topical activities.
  • The annual salary will depend on the position, seniority, and level of responsibility. You will also receive a laptop. Additional research budget will depend on the project.
  • You will be offered a generous benefits package including health insurance, paid time off, and paid holidays.
  • You must be eligible to work in the United States; we are unable to sponsor visas. 



To apply, please submit the following by January 31, 2021 using this link (applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis):

  • Your resume or CV.
  • Cover letter describing your current research projects or work, as well as your ideal research and professional trajectory. Please also indicate your desired start date and highlight any experiences that may contribute to your success in this position.
  • Two writing samples that illustrate your ability to communicate complex research findings to a broad audience. This should include at least one publication where you are either a lead or contributing author writing about original empirical research.
  • The names, affiliations, and email addresses of three references.

Feel free to contact with any questions about the position. Questions about the opportunity or process will not reflect negatively on your application.

About Data & Society
Founded in 2013, Data & Society is a NYC-based independent research institute. We operate as a dynamic intellectual nonprofit with strong recognition in the technology, academic, and policy sectors. Our work advances public understanding of the social and cultural implications of data-centric technologies and automation. Through interdisciplinary research and engagement, we work to ensure that knowledge guides development and governance of technology.

The issues that Data & Society seeks to address are complex. The same innovative technologies and sociotechnical practices that are reconfiguring society – enabling novel modes of interaction, new opportunities for knowledge, and disruptive business patterns– can be abused to invade people’s privacy, provide new tools of discrimination, and harm individuals and communities.

To provide frameworks that can help society address emergent tensions, Data & Society is committed to identifying thorny issues at the intersection of technology and society, providing and encouraging research that can ground informed, evidence-based public debates, and building a network of researchers and practitioners who can anticipate issues and offer insight and direction. 

Data & Society’s programs bring together different perspectives, research methods, and practices. We weave together researchers, entrepreneurs, activists, policy creators, journalists, geeks, and public intellectuals. We see tremendous reciprocal benefits for network building and research when they are combined.

The work and well-being of Data & Society is strengthened by the diversity of our network and our differences in background, culture, experience, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and much more. We welcome applications from people of color, women, the LGBTQIA community, and persons with disabilities. 

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