Full Stack Engineer

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Software Engineering
Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Saturday, September 30, 2023


PSD Data Science Staff

About the Department

The University of Chicago Data Science Institute (DSI) is a collaboration of scholars, researchers, educators, and practitioners pursuing the methodological, societal, and domain-oriented challenges of our increasingly data-centric world. The DSI is a research center setting the intellectual agenda for the field and an innovator and provider of data education at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. Integral to DSI’s success includes engagement through meaningful partnerships with industry, government, the community and other academic institutions.

Job Summary

The Full Stack Engineer will work as a technical research staff member at the DSI with the primary responsibility focused on the DSI’s efforts at the intersection of public policy and data science. This position will primarily focus on two program areas. First, this position will conduct work related to the development of the Districtr application, an award winning application which puts the tools of political redistricting in the hands of the public. Working in conjunction with the research team at UChicago, the full stack engineer will help plan and implement the next generation of this powerful application. This position will also contribute to the Open Spatial Lab, a program of the DSI and the Center for Spatial Data Science (CSDS), which builds tools and conducts analyses to make geospatial data science and communication more accessible. These projects primarily use low-cost infrastructures for small-scale projects, primarily serverless node.js based backends, React, and/or Web Component frontends, and cloud-native standards, such as the GeoParquet file format, PMTiles, and other emerging standards.


  • Lead the development of the Districtr app, an open source tool to promote public and collaborative participation in political districting efforts. This includes updating and modernizing the application using a modern fullstack Javascript web framework, implementing Typescript, developing highly interactive geospatial and data visualization oriented interfaces/components, and centralizing and streamlining cloud infrastructure.
  • Contribute to Open Spatial Lab and core facility projects in a variety of topic domains focused on geospatial data science and interactive cartography, including public health and demography, food insecurity, urban ecology, and climate justice.
  • Participate as a member of the core facility, a group of engineers and data scientists working with diverse projects across the university in a range of topic areas and domains.
  • Develop, deploy and manage full stack applications with a range of backend database, middleware/API, and frontend needs utilizing industry standard tools for highly usable and legible codebases.
  • Contribute to faculty projects from a range of topic domains with diverse technical needs.
  • Consult on engagements to clarify goals, identify collaboration opportunities and support data collection, modeling and publishing results. Review and evaluate potential projects for technical merit and feasibility.
  • Support the ongoing education, training and consulting programs at UChicago’s Data Institute.
  • Develop workshops and training programs to advance research and practice of data science.
  • Engage with other research initiatives at the UChicago Data Science Institute including establishing external collaborations.
  • Conduct an independent research program as well as disseminate and publish these results.
  • Grant writing activities to support ongoing initiatives in data science.
  • Contribute to the life of the UChicago Data Science Institute environment through service and participation in UChicago Data Science Institute activities, including public lectures, blog posts, contributing to open source technologies, etc.
  • Develop materials communicating significant results, best practices and case studies with specific technologies, and documentation for significant software.
  • Engage in data science efforts and educational programs when relevant. Mentor and support graduate and undergraduate students in the UChicago Data Science Institute clinic.
  • Leads in the development of new systems, features, and tools. Solves complex problems and identifies opportunities for technical improvement and performance optimization. Reviews and tests code to ensure appropriate standards are met.
  • Acts as a technical consultant and resource for faculty research, teaching, and/or administrative projects.
  • 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 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in computer science, data science, statistics, mathematics, engineering or related computational field.


  • Excellent full stack development skills, strong frontend user interface and user interaction sensibilities, experience integrating data workflows across client, serverless, database, and CMS environments.
  • Frameworks: Experience with at least one modern javascript framework/library (eg. React, Vue, Svelte), Experience with at least one full stack framework (eg. Next, Nuxt, Sveltekit, Remix, SolidStart).
  • Cloud Services: Experience with user management such as Auth0 and general authentication workflows (OAuth), at least one headless content management system (CMS) such as Strapi, Sanity, Contentful, or headless wordpress.
  • DevOps: Experience with virtualization, containerization and automation tools including Docker, Docker Compose, version control systems such as git, CI/CD Systems and IAC (Pulumi, Terraform).
  • Stats and domain area: Experience in basic descriptive statistics.
  • Maintainability: Solid track record of clear documentation and well-tested code.

Technical Skills and Knowledge:

  • Languages: Typescript, SQL, CSS, HTML, Javascript, Node.js, Python.
  • Frameworks: Familiarity with Python web frameworks (Django, Flask), Vanilla JS and class syntax.
  • Libraries: Mapping Library such as Mapbox, Deck.gl, Leaflet, or OpenLayers, UI Kits (Material UI, Chakra UI, Bootstrap etc.)
  • Databases: SQLite and familiarity with KV Stores (eg. Redis).
  • Libraries: Data Visualization libraries such as D3, Vega, Visx, or ObesrvablePlot, State management library such as Redux, Mobx, ORM such as Mongoose, Prisma.
  • Databases: MongoDB, Postgresql (and common extensions, like PostGIS).
  • Cloud architectures: Fullstack development, serverless applications.
  • Code architectures: Reusable component-based development, generally common software design patterns and paradigms.

Preferred Competencies

  • Cloud architectures: Familiarity with API design and development. Significant experience with at least one of the major cloud providers (AWS, GCP or Azure), JAM-Stack style application hosting services (Netlify, Vercel, etc.), Object storage (S3), and Serverless function configuration (Lambda).
  • Code architectures: familiarity with plugin systems and extensible code.
  • Stats and domain area: Demography, Socoieconomic data wrangling, spatial data management and formats, data science experience.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)
  • Cover Letter (preferred)
  • References (preferred)

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

Job Family

Information Technology

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 and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or 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.

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