Data Scientist, Online Harms Observatory

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The Alan Turing Institute

London, United Kingdom

Application Deadline

The Alan Turing Institute

The Alan Turing Institute is the UK’s national institute for data science and artificial intelligence whose mission is to make great leaps in data science and artificial intelligence research in order to change the world for the better.


The Data Science Engineer will collaborate with technical & research focused colleagues in the Online Safety Team to further the development of the Online Harms Observatory, a platform intended to bridge the gap between research on AI & online harms, and the practical application of AI for monitoring online harms.

The Data Science Engineer will primarily work on optimising the existing cloud infrastructure behind the Online Harms Observatory, setting up new data collection & processing pipelines, and extending the functionality of the Observatory dashboard, alongside collaborating with researchers to deliver the data needed to train cutting-edge state-of-the-art machine learning models, and to deploy these models in the Online Harms Observatory.

The successful candidate will report to Dr. Jonathan Bright, Head of Online Safety. They will have opportunities to engage with stakeholders in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Ofcom and others.


  • Collect, store and wrangle data from social media platforms, eg. through APIs.
  • Develop and manage databases & data pipelines in Azure, ensuring systems are well designed and efficient.
  • Work closely with colleagues to write, document & maintain production-quality code for the Online Harms Observatory.
  • Conduct ad-hoc quantitative analysis for colleagues & stakeholders, and act as an authority on the quantities & types of data collected/processed.
  • Communicate data collection concepts & methodology clearly to colleagues & stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with researchers to curate datasets on online harms and deploy models for inference.
  • Liaise with colleagues & stakeholders to drive use of the Observatory dashboard, giving live demonstrations and integrating end user feedback.
  • Contribute to the life of the Institute and support its community, e.g. participating in equality & diversity and skill-sharing programmes.


  • Masters-level degree or higher in computer science, engineering, data science, statistics or a related-discipline.
  • Experience writing high-quality Python code, using libraries such as Pandas and Numpy.
  • Experience working in Linux CLI
  • Understanding of good software practices, including version control (eg. Git) and package management
  • Experience with cloud computing & storage platforms
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including the ability to present complex or technical information.
  • Ability to use own judgement to analyse and solve problems.
  • Independently makes decisions which are low risk and that mainly affect themselves or a small number of people and are guided by regulation and practice.
  • Ability to organise working time, take the initiative, and carry out research independently, under the guidance of the PI.

Please see our portal for a full breakdown of the Job Description.

This full-time post is offered on a fixed term basis for 18 months. The annual salary is £37,000 - £45,000 plus excellent benefits, including flexible working and family friendly policies,

The Alan Turing Institute is based at the British Library, in the heart of London’s Knowledge Quarter.

From 01 March 2022 we will trial a Hybrid Working Model for an initial six-month trial period. During this period, staff will be expected to work at our British Library office for a number of days per month, dependent on the requirements of the role. As a guide, we anticipate this will be between 2-4 days per month, but the hiring manager will be able to confirm this during the interview.

Application procedure

Please see our jobs portal for full details on how to apply and the interview process.

Equality Diversity and Inclusion

The Alan Turing Institute is committed to creating an environment where diversity is valued and everyone is treated fairly. In accordance with the Equality Act, we welcome applications from anyone who meets the specific criteria of the post regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. Reasonable adjustments to the interview process can also be made for any candidates with a disability.

CLOSING DATE FOR APPLICATIONS: Tuesday 16th August 2022, 23:59.


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