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Data Modernization Specialist Impact Fellow

Federation of American Scientists

Job detailsSalary$2,000 a monthJob TypeFull-timeFull Job Description
Application closes on March 6th, 2023 at 12:00pm ET.
Washington D.C. Full-Time – Remote with occasional travel to Washington, D.C.

The FAS Day One Talent Hub is seeking a fellow for a 1 year term (with potential opportunity to extend) to join the Administrative Data Division team within the National Center for Education Statistics at the Department of Education. The Fellow will assess current data and data structures within the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). IPEDS is a system of interrelated surveys conducted annually by the U.S. Department of Educations National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). IPEDS gathers information from every college, university, and technical and vocational institution that participates in the federal student financial aid programs across America. IPEDS provides basic data needed to describe and analyze trends in postsecondary education in the United States. Congress, federal agencies, state governments, education providers, professional associations, private businesses, media, students and parents, and others rely on IPEDS data for this basic information on postsecondary institutions. These data are also made available to students and parents through the College Navigator site and to researchers and the IPEDS Data Center.
Current federal employees are not eligible for this position.
IPEDS Assessment and Analysis
The key function of this role will be to aid NCES staff in identifying items that are key indicators for postsecondary education today, but are not currently collected through IPEDS. These activities may include:

Assessing the current data and data structures for our postsecondary data within the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) collection, to collectively establish a high-priority set of indicators for consideration.
Conducting research and analysis, including limited engagement with stakeholders to ensure appropriate feedback is considered, to support NCES in developing recommendations for how IPEDS data and data structures could incorporate new indicators.
Assessing the viability of different models to incorporate proposed new indicators including: the possibility of adding new indicators to the existing mandatory IPEDS collection, collection of new indicators through a separate but integrated, optional data collection system, or possibly incorporating new indicators through other, novel data sources other than direct collection, such as web scraping or social media analysis
Suggesting alternatives to NCES for organizing additional data on the current state of postsecondary education and/or modernizing the structure, storage and presentation of currently collected data

Data Collection Improvement and Policy Analysis
The fellow will also be key in making recommendations for programmatic improvements to the existing IPEDS data collection and tools These activities may include:

Developing and proposing models that would result in data that NCES could use to develop national postsecondary statistics outside of what is collected in the NCES institutional-level data collections through surrogate proxy analysis
Proposing solutions that are implementable beyond the timeframe of this fellowship, to ensure data quality is preserved across any new collection models.
Supporting the IPEDS Director in the development of a roadmap for modernization, including appropriate checkpoints and benchmarks to ensure appropriate opportunities for adjustment
Working with the NCES Associate Commissioner for Administrative Data and the IPEDS Program Director to establish the criteria for successful work that can productively be used by the IPEDS team


A proven data science background with successful experience analyzing existing data; synthesizing information through web scraping, geospatial analysis or machine learning; and expertise in modern, scalable, and open data practices
Proven understanding of SQL and Microsoft stack programming tools to utilize SQL databases will be necessary in order to study the current state of IPEDS
Knowledge of postsecondary education and specifically of information managed by postsecondary institutions is critical
Required knowledge can come from experience including, but not limited to, time working in a postsecondary institutions administration or research office, reporting to or working with data from the National Student Clearinghouse, and/or operations related to the federal student aid process

Proven knowledge of 21st century data skills, such as:

Translating older data structures into newer, more flexible formats
Creating information from existing data resources, such as scraping web pages and creating an information set from the results
Assessing the quality of data in real-time through automated procedures
Information exchange through APIs and other coding interfaces


Unfortunately, FAS is unable to consider current federal employees for the FAS Impact Fellowship.
Applicants must be U.S. Citizens in order to be eligible for this position.
This fellowship will provide a salary for the entirety of the fellowship duration at an annual rate of $180,000 per year. The Impact Fellow will receive additional compensation $2,000 per month to account for health and living expenses. Additional information about the Fellowship can be found in our FAQ.
To apply, please submit your interest here. We strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply. Early submission will ensure your application receives full consideration.
The FAS Impact Fellowship is a selective fellowship program that supports the development and placement of emerging scientific and technical talent within high-impact roles across the federal government. From education to clean energy, immigration, wildfire resilience, national security, and fair housing, Impact Fellows are serving across a variety of federal agencies in roles that augment existing government teams as they confront some of the greatest scientific and social challenges of our time.
Hiring InsightsJob activityPosted 17 days ago

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