Career Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in career opportunities with the University of Chicago Urban Labs! Urban Labs has a strong commitment to using science in service of cities to improve the quality of urban life. We regularly seek out passionate, data-oriented, public service minded individuals to join our team.

For more information on Urban Labs' career opportunities, culture and recruiting process, please see the frequently asked question section below.

Current Opportunities

Urban Labs

  • Job Title: Chicago Public Schools Data Liaison
  • Desired Start Date: TBC
  • Requisition Number: JR06821

The Chicago Public Schools Data Liaison provides strategic administrative support to the CPS Research Office and its key Research Partners. The role serves two main functions: managing the provision of CPS data for external research, and providing guidance and support to the Research Partners in their use of CPS data across their research project portfolios.

The Data Liaison is primarily embedded with the CPS Research Office, but also works directly with research and administrative staff at Urban Labs, the University of Chicago Consortium on School Research, Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, American Institutes for Research, and Northwestern University. In addition to providing guidance and support to these Research Partners during the development of new research projects with CPS, the Data Liaison maintains comprehensive documentation on CPS data used for research.

Crime & Education Labs

  • Job Title: Research Director (Machine Learning)
  • Desired Start Date: TBC
  • Requisition Number: JR06174

The University of Chicago Crime Lab is seeking a full-time Research Director to contribute scientific and intellectual leadership to the organization and our work. The primary role of the Research Director is to direct a portfolio of applied machine learning projects in association with faculty members and research teams. These projects will focus on reducing crime and violence and improving educational performance, attainment, and other life outcomes for disadvantaged youth in addition to facilitating technical assistance work for government and strategic partners. In this role, the Research Director will provide scientific direction on all projects, ensure the rigor and quality of all work, manage and mentor research and project staff, and help to set and contribute to organizational priorities as part of the management team. The Research Director is a leadership-level position and will work collaboratively with senior faculty members at the University of Chicago and elsewhere, other research directors, and with partner agencies. The Research Director will contribute to the scientific content of research proposals and will assist the ED and other faculty affiliates in supporting fundraising, dissemination and policymaker outreach activities. The Research Director will also contribute to strategic conversations about which new projects and initiatives the Crime and Education Lab should take on as well as management of staff and leadership on organizational initiatives.

This position is based in Chicago, IL.

  • Job Title: Embedded Analyst
  • Desired Start Date: TBC
  • Requisition Number: JR006355

The UChicago Crime Lab is seeking an Analyst with strong technical and communication skills for a unique role working in close partnership with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) to enhance the Bureau of Detectives (BoD)’s capability to increase clearance rates for homicides and non-fatal shootings. The Analyst will split time embedded in three CPD Area Technology Centers (ATC) and the UChicago Crime Lab office in downtown Chicago. While in the ATCs the analyst will work alongside CPD officers and detectives to support technology improvements, data analysis, and best practices in investigations. Working as part of a larger Crime Lab team, the Analyst will analyze BoD data to identify historical trends, determine the effectiveness of new and existing initiatives, and enable the BoD to meet the needs of local  communities – all in an effort to improve clearance rates for homicides and non-fatal shootings in Chicago.

The successful candidate will have experience in supporting law enforcement efforts in the field, or the capacity and interest to do so. The candidate should also be able to apply a variety of statistical modeling and data analysis techniques to datasets in real-world settings. The position offers the opportunity to work directly with leading social policy researchers at the University of Chicago and NYC-area universities, local city agency staff, as well as a team of administrative staff, other analysts, research managers, and student research assistants.

The Analyst will work in the Urban Labs Loop office approximately 40% of the week and will be embedded in CPD stations the remaining 60% of the week. We expect to adjust these relative percentages over time.

Health Lab

  • Job Title: Executive Director
  • Desired Start Date: 10.25.2019
  • Requisition Number: JR06882

The Role:

The UChicago Urban Labs is seeking a full-time Executive Director to lead the Health Lab. Reporting to Faculty Director David Meltzer and supporting Health Lab co-Director Harold Pollack and other Health Lab faculty, the Executive Director is the operational leader of the Health Lab. The Executive Director manages relationships with city and state agencies, funders, and key contacts within the University of Chicago. Currently, the Executive Director leads a team of 10 staff members and manages an annual budget approaching $1,500,000. The role requires leadership and management within the organization and with external partners. The Executive Director is the principal spokesperson and lead advocate for the Health Lab’s work.

This position requires a person who can work as a part of a small research team running multiple projects concurrently. The position offers the opportunity to work directly with leading social policy researchers at the University of Chicago, as well as a team of administrative staff, project managers, research analysts, and student research assistants.


• Coordinate major activities of the Health Lab, a research center conducting rigorous scientific inquiry to address fundamental urban health challenges, particularly for the most vulnerable members of society.

• Cultivate and manage key stakeholder relationships to advance the Health Lab’s mission including with health policymakers, community-based nonprofits, scholars, public agencies, hospital leaders, and philanthropists.

• Develop and implement a robust fundraising initiative to diversify sources of revenue and raise funds from federal, local, and private sources.

• Act as principal spokesperson for the Health Lab, including outreach and communications.

• Manage Health Lab budget and supervise Health Lab staff.

Competencies: The ideal candidate will be an effective and energetic leader, who has passion and expertise in social determinants of health, healthcare delivery, and criminal justice, as well as a knowledge of rigorous research methods. The ideal candidate will also show a commitment to working with community partners and government agencies. 


• Master's degree or PhD in public health, economics, sociology, public policy or other relevant social/mathematical science field required.


• A minimum of five year’s progressively responsible work experience and management in the public or non-profit sector.

• Experience working on field experiments preferred.

• Familiarity with randomized controlled trials preferred

Required Documents:

• Resume

• Cover Letter

• Writing Sample

• Reference Contact Information

  • Job Title: Research Director
  • Desired Start Date: TBC
  • Requisition Number: JR06923

The Role:

The University of Chicago Health Lab is seeking a full-time Research Director to contribute to the scientific and intellectual leadership for the Health Lab. The Research Director will partner with Health Lab faculty directors and affiliated faculty within and outside the University of Chicago to provide scientific direction for a portfolio of applied research projects and to ensure the rigor and quality of the Lab's work.


• Work with Health Lab faculty to direct a portfolio of applied research projects focused on urban health, including at the interactions of health and criminal justice involvement, and health and homelessness, as well as incorporating tools from predictive analytics and machine learning across the areas in which the Health Lab is doing work

• Manage and mentor research and project staff, providing scientific direction and ensuring the rigor and quality of all work

• Contribute to strategic conversations about which new projects and initiatives should be taken on by the Health Lab

• Work collaboratively with practitioners and policy makers to develop and implement applied research projects

• Contribute to, and be able to lead, development of scientific content and research proposals

• Disseminate research findings to both research and practitioner/policy maker audiences

• Serve as a member of the Health Lab’s senior leadership team, with primary reporting to the Health Lab Faculty Director and reporting to the Faculty Co-Director and Executive Director


• Expertise in all aspects of the research design, methods, and evaluation of research projects in the area of health policy or expertise in machine learning/predictive analytics required. Expertise in both preferred

• Interest in finding and testing innovative solutions to urban problems

• Content expertise in workforce development, healthcare delivery, or financial stability preferred


• Ph.D. in public policy, economics, statistics, computer science, or other relevant field by fall 2019 required

Poverty Lab

  • Job Title: Qualitative Research Assistant (Academic Year)
  • Desired Start Date: 09.17.2019
  • Requisition Number: JR06490

The University of Chicago Poverty Lab is seeking a Qualitative Research Assistant with experience collecting qualitative data to support policy research. This is a great opportunity to learn about social policy research and evaluation while further developing qualitative research skills in interviewing and participant observation. This position will be on a project related to criminal justice and involves interviewing people from various backgrounds, including individuals who have been charged with felonies. The position will average 12 hours per month, but hours may vary. Please note that our office is located in downtown Chicago, but most work hours will occur onsite at our partner organization in North Lawndale.

  • Job Title: Research Manager, Workforce Development
  • Desired Start Date: 10.11.2019
  • Requisition Number: JR06657

The UChicago Poverty Lab is seeking a Research Manager to work on large-scale social policy experiments designed to test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of poverty interventions. This individual will work on a portfolio of projects focused on workforce development. Their responsibilities will include building strong partnerships with nonprofits and government agencies working in this area, such as the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and Department of Employment Security. The position offers the opportunity to work directly with leading social policy researchers at the University of Chicago, as well as a team of administrative staff, other project managers, research analysts, and student research assistants. The Research Manager will also collaborate closely with the UChicago Poverty Labs' partners in the public and nonprofit sectors.


For our three most common research roles--Project Associate, Research Manager, and Research Analyst--please refer to the responsibilities outlined below:

  • Project Associates support large-scale social policy research projects designed to test the effectiveness of promising interventions by supporting a Research Manager or Research Analyst.
  • Research Managers work directly with leading social science researchers, local policymakers, frontline practitioners, and a dedicated team of research analysts, data scientists, and administrative staff to implement ambitious field experiments.
  • Research Analysts apply a variety of statistical modeling and data techniques to datasets in real-world settings, and contribute to all facets of data collection & cleaning, model development, analysis, and interpretation of results.

Urban Labs also hires for other positions in research, IT, and operations. We encourage you to view opportunities below.

You may be asked to submit multiple documents, including a Cover Letter, Writing Sample, and Unofficial Transcripts from the highest degree program received. Please see the job description for the exact documents required for that job. All materials should be submitted to the Workday system. Refer to the job requisition number on the job description to apply to the correct position.

All of our positions require a cover letter. In the cover letter, we encourage you to elaborate on your relevant achievements and describe your interest in the position.

We appreciate your interest in Urban Labs and look forward to reviewing your application. Due to the high-volume of applications that we receive, although we try, we may not be able to respond to all individual inquires.

Urban Labs employees are committed to creating a collaborative, high energy office that is open and welcoming to individuals of all backgrounds and life experiences, and prioritize developing a workforce that is as diverse as the city in which we work.

While we are affiliated with the University of Chicago, we are not located in Hyde Park. We have an office in downtown Chicago, which allows us to work more closely with our public sector partners.

In addition, Urban Labs also has an office in New York City that focuses on Crime and Education work. The New York Office works in close collaboration with the Crime and Education Labs in Chicago.

Urban Labs is a set of highly collaborative Labs and as such, we all work together towards a common mission of science in service of cities.

If you have questions about the Workday Application System, click here.

If you have specific questions that were not answered in our above frequently asked questions section, please contact us at Thanks!

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