Research Analyst (Social Network Analysis Specialty)

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2023


UL Urban Crime Lab

About the Department

Who We Are: In cities across the country, people face high rates of gun violence, under-resourced schools, and social harms associated with the criminal justice system ― all of which disproportionately impact people of color. These inequalities have profound consequences for public safety and opportunity. As a society we have failed to address these challenges, in part, because of our lack of understanding of the most effective and cost-effective solutions that can have a real impact on people’s lives. We believe that rigorous research can help. The University of Chicago Crime Lab and Education Lab partner with cities and communities to use data and rigorous research to design, test, and scale programs and policies that enhance public safety, improve educational outcomes, and advance justice. Our mission is to combine world-class data science and research, in partnership with government agencies, to substantially improve the effectiveness of the public sector and achieve impact at scale. To learn more about the Crime Lab and Education Lab, visit The Role:The UChicago Crime Lab and Education Lab are seeking Research Analysts with strong social network analysis and causal inference skills to work on large-scale social policy research projects designed to reduce crime and improve educational outcomes. The successful candidate will have experience in working with large administrative datasets, network analysis including applying network causal inference tools, and applying a variety of statistical modeling and data analysis techniques to datasets in real-world settings. From project inception to delivery, the Research Analyst will contribute to all facets of data collection and cleaning, model development, and implementation. This position requires an individual who is able to work as a part of a small research team running many distinct analyses concurrently. It offers the opportunity to work directly with leading social policy researchers at the University of Chicago and University of Michigan, local city agency staff, as well as a team of administrative staff, other analysts, research managers, and student research assistants.

Job Summary

The job performs a range of activities to support the statistical design and implementation of research analysis. Uses knowledge of statistics to communicate analyses for research proposals and draft reports detailing their results. Follows objectives and procedures for sampling, randomization, data collection, analysis, and quality control.


  • Conducts social network analysis on large administrative datasets.

  • Works with partners and members of the research team to propose and implement analytical approaches to solving specific research questions.

  • Cleans, transforms, merges, and matches between large, messy, and complex research and administrative datasets.

  • Build and visualize large networks using administrative datasets and geographical information.

  • Build statistical models using large networks and implement causal inference tools specific to these settings.

  • Build and estimate economic models of behavior transmission across social networks.

  • Prepare results for memos, presentations, and academic papers targeting both policymakers and researchers.

  • Assist with literature reviews and drafting papers.

  • Helps develop and implements new innovative procedures in the areas of data collection, quality control, presentation of results, and statistical analysis.

  • Writes statistical computer programs and reviews computer output for consistency and quality.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 2-5 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor's degree in economics, public policy, statistics, computer science, or a closely related field.

  • Master’s degree strongly preferred.


  • Relevant research experience. Experience gained in school counts towards requirement.

  • Working with network data/conducting network analysis.

  • Working with large, complex, and/or administrative datasets.

  • Working with field experiments or randomized controlled trials.

  • Program evaluation methods (e.g., difference-in-differences, propensity score matching, regression discontinuity).

  • Creating data visualizations.

  • Conducting power analysis.

  • Experience with network econometrics or causal inference under interference.

  • Experience with cleaning, geo-coding, and analyzing address information.

  • Other pre-doc or research assistant positions in economics or related fields.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Experience working with statistical programming languages.

  • R is strongly preferred (e.g., ‘igraph’, ‘network’ or similar packages).

  • Other languages such as Python and Stata are also valued, especially if this includes experience with social network analysis.

Preferred Competencies

  • Strong interest in data analysis strongly preferred.

  • Strong interest in social policy, especially crime and education policy, strongly preferred.

  • Strong quantitative skills strongly preferred.

  • Ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet tight deadlines strongly preferred.

  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail strongly preferred.

  • Ability to work both independently and as a team member strongly preferred.

  • Ability to work carefully with sensitive and confidential data strongly preferred.

  • Knowledge and understanding of crime, violence and/or education policy and research literature strongly preferred.

  • Strong communication and writing skills including clear communication of quantitative methods strongly preferred.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)

  • Cover Letters (required)

  • References (3) (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family


Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.