Senior Researcher, AIMLab Project Director

March 2023



Data & Society is an independent nonprofit research organization, studying the social implications of data-centric technologies and automation. We recognize that the same innovative technologies that may benefit society can also be abused to invade privacy, provide new tools of discrimination, foreclose opportunity, and harm individuals and communities. Through original research and inclusive engagement, we work to ensure that empirical evidence and respect for human dignity guide how technology is developed and governed.


About the Senior Researcher, AIMLab Project Director role

The AI on the Ground Initiative (AIGI) team at Data & Society seeks a Senior Researcher, AIMLab Project Director to coordinate a collaborative and interdisciplinary lab developing new models for algorithmic impact assessment. This role will be part of an interdisciplinary project with qualitative social scientists, technical researchers, and policy experts studying the consequences of algorithmic systems. Our shared goal is to develop a library of viable assessment and accountability mechanisms that foreground the experiences and needs of impacted communities.

AIGI’s research on algorithmic impact assessments has shaped conversations among scholars, regulators, and industry practitioners around questions of how to foreground the public interest in algorithmic assessments. Increasingly, a consensus is emerging among proposed regulations and legislation to adopt impact assessments (or similar documentation) as a core mechanism of algorithmic governance. However, given the broad and varied consequences of these systems, much remains unknown and undecided about what features or outcomes constitute an adequate impact assessment of any system.  Our research has moved toward the next question: how can we evaluate algorithmic systems in a manner that foregrounds the needs and interests of the most heavily impacted and vulnerable communities, such that it becomes possible to contest and ameliorate algorithmic harms? 

This Senior Researcher, AIMLab Project Director role will be responsible for overseeing the strategy and coordination of this high-impact, experimental research agenda, in addition to pursuing their own projects that contribute to the overall effort. For this role, we are considering a very broad set of desirable skills, and applicants are not limited to those with academic careers, and include those who might not otherwise consider themselves a “senior researcher.” They will work closely with several qualitative and quantitative Researchers and Research Analysts and will help shape their projects into coherent outputs that can speak to academic, advocacy, regulatory, and corporate audiences. This role will also coordinate relationships with external partners, including other research organizations, technology companies, and community/advocacy organizations. They will have primary responsibility for collective publications that develop from the multiple research streams, providing a coherent public face for the shared effort. 


The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will be passionate about addressing the harmful impacts of technologies by foregrounding and facilitating the needs and interests of impacted communities. They will enjoy working in a team environment with other researchers and pursuing knowledge collaboratively. The ideal candidate may come from a wide range of career trajectories: academia, non-profit research organizations, the technology industry, regulators/government, or assessment/auditing/standards organizations. 




  • Conceiving, planning, and carrying out a research agenda on the themes of algorithmic accountability, assessment, and the public interest, and producing D&S reports, academic publications, lectures, and public writing on those topics. 
  • Leadership in the ideation, planning, and implementation of an algorithmic assessments lab (AIMLab), in collaboration with team members and org directors.  
  • Providing leadership on collaborative research projects with team members and researchers on other organization teams, including mentoring early-career team members. 
  • Contribution to broader research communities, through participation in scholarly conferences and events, and services such as peer review and conference leadership roles.

Network Management

  • In coordination with other team personnel and the organization's network and partnerships teams, manage partner relationships, including designing and cultivating a partnership cohort. 


  • Identify and pursue opportunities for external support from funders, in coordination with the Development team.
  • Maintain regular reporting relationships with funders. 
  • Give feedback on draft grant proposals, as needed by the organization.

  Organizational Development

  • Attending and substantively contributing to D&S organizational meetings and strategic planning as requested by the Executive Director and Managing Director, including membership on the Strategy Team. Participate, where able and appropriate, in building the culture of D&S by participating in working groups and committees.
  • Providing subject-matter expertise on algorithmic accountability and assessment to the organization’s leadership and other research and policy teams.
  • Contribute to the intellectual life of the organization as an active participant in internal programming: attending talks, participating in seminars or reading groups, and contributing to the development of research management practices
  • Take initiative in internal programs: arranging talks, proposing and leading seminars or reading groups, championing DEIA-minded research management practices, and mentoring early career scholars.
  • Depending on the candidate’s interests, experience, and career trajectory this role may involve people-management duties.
  • Actively participate in programs and professional development opportunities that work toward our commitment to being an anti-racist and anti-discrimination organization.
  • To attend, where able and appropriate to the public health situation, whole-organization activities such as staff meetings, retreats, town halls, listening sessions, workshops, training, and social events.



  • PhD or equivalent research experience.
  • 10+ years of research work experience (inclusive of postgraduate study).
  • Research team management and mentoring experience (e.g., lab lead, primary investigator, program director, etc.). 
  • Public profile and ability to connect with academic and non-academic audiences via writing and speaking.
  • Expertise in the social and cultural implications of data-centric and automated technologies.
  • Experience in/familiarity with tech industry development practices.  
  • Experience in research design and application in policy or other environments.
  • Experience with developing and implementing strategic programs or initiatives.
  • Strong track record of seeing research through to publication.
  • Strong track record of collaborating on successful research funding proposals.


Core Competencies

  • Inclusiveness and commitment to organizational transparency and accountability;
  • Building coalitions;
  • Communication across all organizational levels and teams;
  • Cultural humility;
  • Conflict resolution;
  • Managing complexity;
  • Interfacing with diverse stakeholders.


Reporting Relationships 

The Senior Researcher, AIMLab Project Director will report to the Program Director of AIGI.


Practical Considerations 

  1. This is a remote position. Data & Society is based out of New York City and will operate as a remote-first organization for the foreseeable future. 
  2. Most team meetings occur during the shared workday hours between the North American Eastern and Pacific time zones, so ideally any candidate should be able to join meetings during those hours regardless of their residency.
  3. Data & Society has committed to safety requirements to protect our staff from the COVID-19 pandemic. We require that prospective employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before joining our organization. Please note that any reasonable accommodation request is not guaranteed to be approved, and we will comply with ADA-related requirements to evaluate the accommodation against business needs.
  4. This is currently a Full Time, Remote position in the Research department with an expected start date in spring/early summer 2023 (exact date negotiable). We are seeking a 2-year commitment, with longer timelines possible depending on funding. Data & Society is based in New York City and will operate as a Remote-First organization for the foreseeable future. While this role will remain largely virtual, it will involve onsite components in the future, including fieldwork and in-person team meetings, pending public health conditions. 
  5. The salary range for this role is $95-105k. This salary offer will include a generous benefits package including health, dental, and vision insurance and access to a range of opt-in products and services including additional insurance and 401k management as well as paid time off, and paid federal holidays.
  6. You must be eligible to work in the United States; we are unable to sponsor visas. 


To apply, please submit the following items: 

  1. A cover letter explaining your interest in this role, and why you would be a good fit for this position. Please detail your experience with collaborative research projects and research team management. 
  2. Your resume/CV is required.
  3. Two references with contact details (no reference letters required at time of application). 
  4. A writing sample demonstrating collaborative research competence; academic publications or white papers are both acceptable.


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 BiPOC, women, the LGBTQIA community, and persons with disabilities. 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, beginning March 27. Please feel free to contact us at should you have any questions about the position. Questions about the opportunity or process will not reflect negatively on your application.

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