Principal Senior Data Scientist

Rockville , MD
Aug 02, 2022
Aug 13, 2022
Research, Science
Full Time
Westat is an employee-owned corporation providing research services to agencies of the U.S. Government, as well as businesses, foundations, and state and local governments. Westat's research, technical, and administrative staff of more than 2,000 is located at our headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, near Washington, DC.

Westat is committed to building a diverse workforce and a culture of inclusivity, belonging and equity for all. We believe that our greatest strength draws on the different backgrounds, cultures, perspectives and experiences of our employees.

In support of the expanding data science efforts at Westat, the Statistics and Data Science group is
seeking a principal senior data scientist to serve as a technical leader in advanced computation methods
and analytics. This role will also serve to facilitate communication and collaboration across Westat's
various areas where data science skills exist, including all practice areas, IT areas, and statistics. Key
components of the role are to help build and strength Westat's data science capabilities; bring
additional visibility internally and externally to these capabilities; and drive strategic planning, hiring,
and coordination across Westat to meet the evolving needs in this area. The position sits within the
Statistics and Data Science area and serve as a resource across Westat.

Job Responsibilities:
  • Engage in strategic planning, innovation and capacity building in data science to develop a
  • vision and foster collaboration with practices, IT and statistics.
  • Serve as a thought leader both internally and externally. Stay abreast of new knowledge and
  • share broadly within Westat. Develop a research agenda, as needed.
  • Serve as co-lead to build a community of practice around data science capabilities. Coordinate
  • across practices, IT and statistics, facilitating cross-practice collaboration and knowledge
  • sharing. Advocate and support development of data science resources across Westat.
  • Serve as senior technical lead on projects providing domain expertise and creative integration
  • of advanced hardware and software to deliver computational solutions that address complex
  • data and analytic challenges.
  • Support business development opportunities by bringing best practices and creative data
  • science solutions (similar to how statisticians support these activities), including participating in
  • capture activities. Lead business development opportunities, as needed.
  • Support hiring efforts for data science staff. Serve as a mentor and identify appropriate
  • professional development activities.

Basic Qualifications:
  • Doctoral degree and 8+ years of experience leading data science projects including technical
  • development, planning, coordination, integration, and execution
  • Publication record of peer-reviewed journal articles, technical reports, other thought pieces in
  • the public domain in data science
  • Presentation record at national conferences

Preferred Qualifications
  • Successful experience working with teams and independently
  • Experience collaborating with technical and non-technical experts
  • Technical knowledge of a variety of data science skills (natural language processing, machine
  • learning techniques, AI, network analyses, collaboration tools, programming skills (R & Python in
  • particular), systems engineering & systems architecture, database management), and bring in
  • user design experience

Westat offers a well-rounded and comprehensive benefits program focused on wellness and work/life balance. Eligible employees may participate in:
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Vacation Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Holiday Leave
  • Professional Development
  • Health Advocate
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Short Term Disability Insurance
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Life and AD&D Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Supplemental Life Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Health Savings Account


Protecting the health and safety of our employees and survey participants is a top priority for Westat. As a federal government contractor, Westat will require Westat staff, regardless of work location, to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon hire and to follow all safety protocols, subject to approved accommodations under applicable law.

Westat is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status under applicable law.

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