Research Software Engineer

New Jersey, United States
10 Dec 2020
End of advertisement period
10 Feb 2021
Contract Type
Full Time

Department   Research Computing
Category   Information Technology
Full-Time / Part-Time   Full-Time


Do you have a background in computational research and love to write code? Do you want to help enable and advance groundbreaking computational social science research?  If so, Princeton University's Research Computing department is recruiting a Research Software Engineer to join the fast growing Research Software Engineering (RSE) Group.

In the RSE Group, we collectively provide computational research expertise to multiple divisions within the University. As a central team of software experts, we are focused on improving the quality, performance, and sustainability of Princeton’s computational research software. Our group is committed to building collaborative environments in which the best software engineering practices are valued, and to sharing and applying cross-disciplinary computational techniques in new and emerging areas. 

In this position, you will be an integral member of multiple research teams focused on cutting-edge social science research and machine learning. You will join teams of researchers associated with the Data Driven Social Science Initiative (DDSSI) and the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics (CSDP) to develop efficient and scalable research code by providing computational expertise in software development, algorithm selection, and optimization.

If you have a strong background in scientific programming or high performance computing, academic research, and an interest in contributing to computational social science you have the right skill set to make an immediate impact on multiple high-profile research projects.  You will be poised to grow and expand your programming and data analytics expertise into a dynamic new set of research problems.

This position will require you to work closely with colleagues in the Office of Information Technology (OIT) as well as with faculty, student/postdoctoral researchers, and technical staff to enable and accelerate their research computing efforts.


  • Provide technical expertise and guidance for improving the performance and quality of new and existing code bases. 
  • Lead and co-lead the design and construction of increasingly complex research software systems. 
  • Develop software tools that allow researchers to interact with large data sets.
  • Parallelize, debug, port, and tune existing research code.
  • Understand and address software engineering questions that arise in research planning.
  • Maintain knowledge of current and future software development tools and techniques, programming languages, and high-performance computing hardware.


  • Strong programming skills, particularly in the languages used in social science high-performance computing applications (e.g. C/C++, Python, R).
  • Demonstrated successes contributing to a collaborative research team 
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Ability to learn new systems beyond area of core knowledge.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with a diverse user base having varied levels of technical proficiencies.
  • Experience working in an academic research environment.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience tuning and optimizing research software and algorithms.
  • Experience working with very large data sets.
  • Experience developing research software outside of core domain knowledge.
  • Background in quantitative social science helpful, but not required.


  • Bachelor’s degree. A graduate degree or equivalent experience in a research setting is preferred.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. EEO IS THE LAW

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