Research Analyst, Policy

at Data & Society Research Institute

New York, NY, Remote


Research Analyst, Policy 

Over the past six years, Data & Society research has illuminated how data-centric technologies and automation affect the world around us, identifying harms to vulnerable communities and working toward more just designs. Having expanded the organization’s work to include policy engagement, D&S are working to increase the visibility and reach of Data & Society’s research within technology and policy communities, including civil society partners, government, and the tech industry.

To help grow and sustain this work, Data & Society is currently seeking a Policy Research Analyst. The ideal candidate is a scholar or practitioner with a background in law, policy or a related field, with the ability to analyze policy developments, effectively communicate complex issues, and support the development of policy positions in relation to Data & Society research. This is a one-year full-time position with the possibility of renewal. 

The Policy RA will work alongside the Policy Director to build and utilize new infrastructure and processes to track and monitor US and international tech governance activity across a range of issues, and support the translation of that activity into research analysis and strategic planning. This will involve coordinating and collaborating with colleagues across reporting structures and within project teams to achieve organizational goals, convening internal and external policy discussion spaces to support the development of policy positions, and exploring new tactics to elevate D&S research in policy environments. 



The Policy RA will be expected to: 

  • Develop processes to track, monitor and analyze the progress of policy developments related to Data & Society research themes
  • Conduct background research to support the exploration and development of evidence-based policy positions 
  • Coordinate and convene cross-functional discussions on policy issues; design a process for similar external convenings drawing on the D&S network of affiliates and fellows
  • Analyze technical concepts and summarize them in an accessible way for nontechnical audiences



  • A bachelor’s degree or three years of professional work experience within government, civil society or tech industry on policy issues. 
    • Graduate level policy or legal work is a plus, but not required. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and collaboratively 
  • Keen attention to detail
  • Strong writing and communication abilities 
  • Excellent organizational, meeting facilitation, and presentation skills 
  • Strong time-management skills, the ability to assess the amount of time that a project will take, and meet deadlines
  • Familiarity with historical and current scholarship on privacy, surveillance, and the social and political implications of algorithmic decision-making systems, especially as it affects minoritized communities
  • Knowledge of some of the debates around key policy issues and statutes in the United States and Europe relating to data governance, such as net neutrality, algorithmic accountability, use of facial recognition by government, Section 230, the GDPR, the EU AI regulation proposal, and emerging national/global AI policies.


Practical Considerations 

  • This is a one-year full-time position with the possibility of renewal. The start date is ASAP.
  • As we are currently a remote office due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this position is remote.
  • Annual salary is $60-65k, commensurate with experience, and you will be offered a generous benefits package and paid time off.
  • You must be eligible to work in the United States. We are unable to sponsor visas.


Application process

To apply, please submit the following items. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis through June 1:

  • A cover letter explaining your interest in this role and why you would be a good fit for this position
  • Your resume/CV
  • One writing sample 
  • The names, affiliations, and contact information for two professional references


About Data & Society

Data & Society focuses on the social and cultural issues arising from data-centric technological development. We seek to inform and develop frames for discussion of these complex issues both through our own research and through supporting the expansion of a nascent field of actors concerned about these topics. We want to be a resource, a catalyst, and a convener as new sectors recognize the complexity of the issues and the need for trade­-offs when they increase their reliance on data as a tool for management and decision-making.

We see the field as comprised of researchers, journalists, policymakers, technologists, industry leaders and workers, funders, advocates, and civil society actors. We are committed to helping this field engage substantively, and with an evidence base, in debates over implications arising from the increasing reliance on data at scale to automated decision-making across a range of sectors.

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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