Senior Research Scientist

orang thorn logo
  • Individual Contributor
  • Remote US
  • Experience level: 5+ years

Website Thorn

This content was reproduced from the employer’s website on November 15, 2021. Please visit their website below for the most up-to-date information about this position.

Thorn is a non-profit focused on building technology to defend children from sexual abuse. Working at Thorn allows you to apply your skills, expertise, and passions to directly impact the lives of vulnerable and abused children. Our staff solves dynamic, quickly evolving problems with our network of partners from tech companies, NGOs, and law enforcement agencies. If you can bring clarity to complexity and lightness to heavy issues, you could be an excellent fit for our team.

In 2019, we took the stage at TED and shared our audacious goal of eliminating child sexual abuse material from the internet.

About the Role:

As a Senior Research Scientist, you will independently, and in partnership with the Research & Insights team, advance Thorn’s organizational knowledge of online child sexual exploitation and emerging trends. The work you do will be a combination of finding quick wins and developing longer-term research. You will be responsible for acquiring data, crafting and performing analytical experiments in a disciplined manner, evaluating and iterating on results, and discussing results with both technical and non-technical audiences. You’ll work closely with the Head of Research & Insights to grow the Research team’s impact, both internally and externally, by delivering nimble, innovative, and rigorous research.

What You’ll Do:

  • Serve as a source of issue expertise in online child sexual exploitation and emerging trends. Mastering a variety of concepts and related data points to help Thorn make strategic decisions off the best information available.
  • Lead a diverse portfolio of research projects leveraging a variety of large, unstructured data sources to drive understanding of trends in online child sexual exploitation
  • Implement new statistical or machine learning methodologies as needed for specific models or analyses
  • Draft briefs and reports that clearly and accurately distill nuanced subjects to a range of technical and non-technical audiences
  • Create visualizations to facilitate strategic decision making
  • Keep up to date with the newest developments in statistical analysis and related data science technologies
  • Mentor teammates fostering critical thinking and excellence in our research
  • Actively pursue diversity and inclusion in Thorn research to ensure all kids are represented in our understanding of this issue
  • Intentionally and proactively practice, defend and improve data ethics and statistical integrity, both in own work and cross-functionally across teams

Skills We’re Seeking

  • At least five years experience in statistical analysis and/or data science using either Python or R with at least moderate knowledge of Python.
  • At least two years mentoring and coaching colleagues via pairing, research design, and code review
  • Strong written, verbal, and visual communication skills, and the ability to tailor messaging to a range of audiences
  • Some travel will be required in the future
  • Prior knowledge of child exploitation/abuse issues is a plus
  • Desire to serve Thorn’s mission

Technologies We Use

  • Python, Jupyter notebooks
  • Python packages for statistical analysis and ML, like scikit-learn, statsmodels, etc.
  • NLP tools like NLP tools like Spacy, Gensim, or Hugging Face transformers.
  • ElasticSearch, SQL
  • Network analysis tools like NetworkX, neo4j graph algorithms
  • Github for code version control
  • DVC for version control of non-code data analysis artifacts

You should have at least four years of professional experience with these:

  • Python or R for data analysis
  • Statistical inference, hypothesis testing, regression analysis
  • Time series analysis
  • Data quality analysis
  • Unsupervised learning / clustering techniques

In addition, you should have non-trivial experience with:

  • Network analysis / social networks analysis

Expertise in any of the following is a major plus:

  • NLP
  • Raw data collection and processing, like web scraping, working with APIs to collect data, working with open source data, and querying databases
  • Bias assessment
  • In-depth knowledge of digital photo image metadata, photo editing techniques, webcams
  • Linguistics, especially computational linguistics
  • Experience in Anthropology, Psychology/Sociology, Epidemiology, Criminology, Forensic Science, Fraud detection
  • Emerging trends detection
  • Data visualization

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