Researcher/Data Scientist – The Cooperation Game

About this job

Location Cambridge, MA – Hybrid
Posted 9/11/2023
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Position Description

Animosity between Republicans and Democrats has reached new heights, threatening American democracy. The Cooperation Game initiative is developing a scalable, evidence-based strategy for reducing partisan animosity using cooperative online quiz games. This project is a collaboration between Harvard University and the Global Development Incubator. It is supported with seed funding from Schmidt Futures, Open Philanthropy, Beyond Conflict, and the Global Development Incubator. This translational project builds on the Greene Lab’s recent experimental research in which Republicans and Democrats cooperate as game partners in real-time. We aim to deploy our quiz games in organizational contexts (e.g., businesses, schools) and eventually through a publicly accessible online platform. Our current focus is on the partisan divide in the US, but there may be opportunities to expand this work to other nations.

The Cooperation Game Initiative seeks a full-time Researcher/Data Scientist to manage the technical aspects of this project. This individual will manage the testing of a custom-built quiz game app involving real-time interaction between users. Key responsibilities will be:

  • Coordinating testing sessions with organizational partners and the Cooperation Initiative team
  • Maintaining, analyzing, and visualizing data collected with app.
  • Working with software developers to refine app
  • Helping with preparation of scientific papers, research reports, and funding applications
  • Working with a digital marketing firm to recruit users online
  • Developing methods for incentivizing/compensating online users
  • Working with the founding leadership team to create an independent non-profit for large-scale deployment of the app
  • Documenting all processes and research.

Basic Qualifications

  • Minimum of five years’ post-secondary education or relevant work experience

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • 5 years of postsecondary education or work experience in computer science, statistics, applied math, economics, psychology, or related field.
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, statistics, applied math, economics, psychology, or related field is required.
  • Extensive background in data mining and statistical analysis.
  • At least 2-6 years of experience with SQL and statistical software packages (Python, R, SAS) required.
  • Experience using business intelligence tools and data frameworks.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Able to multitask, prioritize, and manage time effectively.
  • A track record of creative problem-solving.

Working Conditions

  • Cambridge, MA (Hybrid arrangements may be possible for this position.)
  • Occasionally required to work outside of normal business hours, and may be contacted during off hours

Additional Information

This position reports to Prof. Joshua Greene, Harvard University, Department of Psychology and the Cooperation Game Initiative leadership.

The salary range for this position is $70,000–$90,000.

This is a one-year term position with renewal dependent upon continuation of funding.

All formal offers will be made by FAS HR.


We invite you to visit Harvard’s Total Rewards website to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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