BIDS is hiring: Postdoctoral Scholar - Criminal Justice

November 17, 2021

The Berkeley Institute of Data Science (BIDS) is seeking a postdoctoral scholar for an independent research fellowship focusing on criminal justice and police misconduct. Full details and instructions to apply are available here: BIDS Postdoctoral Scholar - Criminal Justice (#JPF03173).  Apply by December 1, 2021, to ensure full consideration by the hiring committee. Applications received after December 17, 2021, will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Criminal justice, as well as human welfare and social justice, has become a defining challenge in the United States. One area of focus is police misconduct. In 2020, a federal legislative proposal emerged to form national databases containing police misconduct information and a “decertification” registry that tracks the movement of officers with a pattern of misconduct. But the success of these national databases, and the overall effort to hold law enforcement accountable, ultimately turns on pulling together many disparate data repositories to make police misconduct information accessible and transparent.

Working with multiple collaborators, the Berkeley Institute for Data Science (BIDS) proposed a platform to increase accountability in the criminal justice systems. The envisioned platform will leverage machine learning and other approaches from data science to dramatically improve access to and analysis of police misconduct records and related data. It will serve as a fundamental national resource for criminal justice reform and the acceleration of anti-racist and social justice initiatives. The system builds upon seminal work on a database and app for public defenders at the Legal Aid Society in New York and now at the National Association for Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL).

BIDS is now seeking a creative and driven postdoctoral research fellow to conduct independent, self-directed research using the latest data science methods and tools to answer questions related to equity in criminal justice and law enforcement accountability. The scholar will have the opportunity to utilize the data and infrastructure developed via the new platform, and to collaborate with leading journalists, data scientists, researchers, and defense lawyers who form the Community Law Enforcement Accountability Network (CLEAN). Successful candidates will bring a strong background in social sciences, law, and/or criminal justice and in performing data intensive research. Program management experience will also be helpful.

In defining and carrying out the independent, self-directed research project, the scholar will work under the guidance of an advisory team made up of BIDS Faculty Affiliates and research staff including David Harding, Sarah Chasins, Rebecca Wexler, and Stéfan van der Walt. The team will mentor the scholar in defining and executing the research project and will provide support, such as accessing relevant datasets and colleagues.

Evaluation of success in this position will be judged on the creation/contribution of a mixture of research products in scope of the independent, self-directed research project. The research products expected include but are not limited to communicating the research project results in academic publications; contributing to open source scientific software, curated datasets / databases, and blogs; and developing whitepapers about data science and criminal justice. Ideally the work will have the potential to affect public policy.

The position will also benefit from collaboration with Accenture Applied Intelligence. Accenture supports BIDS’ research and educational objectives in data science with current focus on environment and energy, ethical AI, and social justice. The researcher will be able to leverage this relationship to fully harness the data landscape and expertise available.

In addition, as part of the BIDS research community, the scholar will have the opportunity to learn from individuals engaged in research software development, computational reproducibility, and data intensive research from a diversity of domains.

Apply Now BIDS Postdoctoral Scholar - Criminal Justice (#JPF03173) – Apply by December 1, 2021, to ensure full consideration by the hiring committee. Applications received after December 17, 2021, will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.



Featured Fellows

David J. Harding

Sociology, D-Lab, UC Berkeley
Faculty Affiliate

Sarah E. Chasins

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
Faculty Affiliate

Rebecca Wexler

Berkeley School of Law
Faculty Affiliate

Stéfan van der Walt

Senior Research Data Scientist