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Data Engineer, Northeastern University Library (Boston)

Do you love learning the shapes of datasets, and molding them into something new?

As part of a new developer cluster hire, the Digital Scholarship Group (DSG) in Northeastern University's Library is excited to open a search for a Data Engineer. This position will gather, organize, manipulate, transform, and document the humanities research data in use by DSG and our colleagues across Northeastern University for various projects and in many forms. The Data Engineer will work closely with the DSG team, Library Technology Services, and the newly-formed Research Data Services team.  This position is joined by a Digital Scholarship Developer and a Semantic Data Specialist which together will focus on creating sustainable platforms for community-led digital scholarship; together with Northeastern’s recent faculty cluster search in digital humanities, these positions represent the university’s ongoing commitment to digital scholarship.

The Data Engineer has responsibility for ensuring that data in a wide range of formats and with varied semantics can be used flexibly and powerfully, across multiple projects and often in unforeseen contexts. Working closely with other DSG staff and students, this position will develop data dictionaries, mappings between data standards, transformation routines, and other curatorial systems. Expertise with tools like regular expressions, XSLT, and OpenRefine, and facility with data including JSON, various API responses, CSV, XML, and other formats will be essential. The position will also involve a deep understanding of data structures and access points, as well as their pedagogical, research, and social and ethical implications.

This position has been made possible in part by a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Infrastructure and Capacity Building grant and the Andrew Mellon Foundation.

About the Digital Scholarship Group

A recognized leader in the field, the Digital Scholarship Group supports digital modes of research, publication, and collaboration through applied research, systems and tools development, and consultative services. Our team engages with faculty in the digital humanities and quantitative social sciences from across the university, and has become an essential partner for the NULab for Maps, Texts, and Networks, as well as cultural heritage partners in Boston, including the Massachusetts Historical Society and the Boston Public Library.  Current DSG projects include the Boston Research Center, the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project,the Early Carribean Digital Archive, and TEI Archiving Publishing and Access Service (TAPAS), as well as a number of digital archiving projects from the Library’s Archives and Special Collections. The DSG offers a friendly and closely collaborative work environment, and actively fosters the professional and intellectual development of all of our colleagues and collaborators, including training opportunities and mentorship.

About Northeastern:

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a global research university and a world leader in experiential learning. The same commitment to connecting with the world drives our use-inspired research enterprise. The university offers a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs leading to degrees through the doctorate in nine colleges and schools. Our campuses in Charlotte, N.C., San Francisco, Seattle, and Toronto are regional platforms for undergraduate and graduate learning and collaborative research. Northeastern pursues advanced research in security and materials at the Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts, and in coastal sustainability at the Marine Science Center in Nahant, Massachusetts.


• Bachelor’s degree required; Master's degree in statistics, information science, information design, or other relevant discipline preferred
• Minimum of 2 years of experience working in a data-intensive environment, preferably in an academic or non-profit research setting
• Experience working with quantitative data and working between qualitative and quantitative datasets; experience working with historical and cultural heritage data and metadata preferred
• Experience moving complex data between formats (e.g. XML, RDF, JSON, CSV, SQL)
• Knowledge of metadata standards relevant to research data, particularly the Data Documentation Initiative
• Experience with at least one programming language (e.g. R, PHP, Python, Perl) and working knowledge of major statistical software (R, SAS, STATA, SPSS)
• Experience working with databases, data management systems, and APIs
• Proven ability to manage multiple concurrent projects and deliver results in a fast-paced academic environment
• Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills and the ability to formulate options, develop, and recommend solutions as part of a participatory and community-focused set of work practices
• Excellent oral and written skills, ability to communicate across expertise levels, and prepare project documentation
• Demonstrable experience in open-source development practices and workflows, preferably within an academic or non-profit environment
• Experience with developing and leading workshops and individual consultations desirable

Full/Part Time

Full Time




Closing Date

How to Apply

The Northeastern University Library supports the mission of the University by working in partnership with the University community to develop and disseminate new scholarship. The Library fosters intellectual and professional growth, enriches the research, teaching, and learning environment, and promotes the effective use of knowledge by managing and delivering information resources and services to library users.

Northeastern University is an equal opportunity employer, seeking to recruit and support a broadly diverse community of faculty and staff. Northeastern values and celebrates diversity in all its forms and strives to foster an inclusive culture built on respect that affirms inter-group relations and builds cohesion.

All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

To learn more about Northeastern University's commitment and support of diversity and inclusion, please see

To apply go to


2020-03-09 |  Quick link to this job