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The George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics (IDDP) is seeking an exceptional candidate for a full-time, academic research position at the rank of post-doctoral research scientist. IDDP is a multidisciplinary research initiative intended to strengthen democratic dialog and institutions through research and engagement with policymakers, journalists, and the public. The position is for a one-year term.

The postdoctoral associate will work closely with Professor Catie Bailard, who leads the Meaningful Open Source Indicators (MOSI) cluster. MOSI combines the subject-area and technical expertise of researchers working across a wide range of disciplines—including engineers, data scientists, computer scientists, computational social scientists, and traditional social scientists—to investigate the use of digital technologies to disseminate, promote, and orchestrate deleterious online content and behavior. The candidates will work on topics related to digital harms and the threat they pose to democratic societies. Candidates would be technically capable researchers who are also interested in asking bold, new questions with data. This position is located at GW’s Foggy Bottom campus in Washington, DC, and will report to Dr. Rebekah Tromble.

This position is primarily a temporary/training position in which the candidate would play a substantive role in planning and conducting research by using quantitative and qualitative methods to collect, analyze and report on data from digital and online sources. In collaboration with the Principal Investigators, this role will participate in the planning of independent research, will analyze and interpret data, will publish results, will represent the university at conferences and meetings, and may develop new theories and methodologies. Extensive professional experience using R, Python or similar tools are a key requirement for the position, and successful candidates should show potential to excel in tasks related to data collection, network analysis, text-as-data, and natural language processing at very large scale. This position may also help the Principal Investigators to lead and direct the work of research assistants and other staff. This role performs work under the supervision of experienced researchers.

Job Description


  • Collaborate with affiliated researchers and faculty pursuing more narrowly specified projects in addition to the pursuit of individual project interests.
  • Pursue projects that utilize or directly collect large-volume data from digital platforms to understand the dynamics of information spread in the online public sphere,
  • Perform data analysis using R and/or Python or similar software tools, as well as assisting with large scale collection, cleaning, and organization of data assets.
  • Classify online activity and social media accounts of interest using both quantitative and qualitative methods, as well as assisting affiliated researchers and research staff in this task.
  • Engage with the scholars and policymakers in the area in relation to the ongoing project.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned. The omission of specific duties does not preclude the supervisor from assigning duties that are logically related to the position.

A Postdoctoral Associate:

  • holds a PhD or equivalent degree;
  • develops skills by participating in scholarly projects that are actively mentored by a member of the university faculty;
  • receives financial support in the form of a salary that is typically funded by grants, contracts or departmental funds secured by a faculty mentor; and
  • has a limited term of up to five years at GW.

Special Instructions to the Applicant:

Appointments are limited-term and are designed for those who have recently received a doctorate. Appointments are made to academic departments with the approval of the department head and may require senior officer approval. Appointments are usually for not less than one term and are normally not renewed beyond a total of five years. This appointment is not intended for long-term, indefinite, or career appointments.


Qualified candidates will hold a Doctoral degree or comparable doctoral degree in a related discipline. Degree must be conferred by the start date of the position.

Apply today