Data Scientist

The Verena Institute ( is a research collaboration that uses the science of the host-virus network to understand zoonotic disease and pandemic threats. Recently established as an NSF Biology Integration Institute through a five-year, $12.5m NSF grant, we are expanding our data infrastructure and research, and establishing new programs in the lab, field, and classroom. We’re hiring a full-time data scientist to join our team to 

  1. maintain, expand, and improve our ecosystem of approaching a dozen open databases;
  2. manage an internal data system tracking a multi-institution field project;
  3. develop open-source software to support data sharing and research

This is not a research heavy position per se, but one that will include conventional academic publishing and one on which a massive multi-institution research program will rely. The ideal candidate possesses strong data science skills (including any mix of data management, R language experience, software and web development, and bioinformatics) and will work with our team on long-term goals to advance both basic science and pandemic prevention. 

The position has some major project milestones and management responsibilities, but also has significant room for creativity and imagination, particularly in the long term. Strong interpersonal skills and collaborative mindset are a must, including a willingness to work together on complex data problems with a team that includes a wide range of data science experience and comfort (and that prioritizes team culture and diversity as non-negotiable aspects of how success is defined).


  • Experience with data science in R, ideally including a working proficiency in ‘tidyverse’
  • Strong experience with version control / Github
  • Strong communication skills and experience working in collaborative teams

Strongly desired:

  • A PhD (or similar) in biology, data science, or a related field
  • Full-stack development experience, including web front-ends and APIs for open data
  • Familiarity with genetic sequence data, including both relevant data platforms (e.g., GenBank and SRA) and file formats (e.g., FASTA files)
  • Familiarity with cloud computing
  • Experience using AirTable
  • Project management experience 


  • Experience in Python, Julia, and/or C++
  • Familiarity with database languages and management (e.g., SQL, dolt)
  • Professional experience in the tech industry

Candidates from backgrounds not traditionally represented in academia are especially encouraged to apply! Our top priority is building a supportive and collaborative community. Please reach out with any questions.

For best consideration apply by November 15! Send cover letter, CV, and contact information for three references to [email protected]

Georgetown University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.