CHRGJ Invites Applications for Data Visualization Research Fellowship
May 20, 2015

The Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law invites applications for a 12 to 15-month project-specific Data Visualization Research Fellowship. The Fellowship will begin during summer 2015, with the exact start date negotiable, and will conclude after a term of 12-15 months. The ideal candidate will bring skills in data visualization and experience in human rights advocacy and will be passionate about working with advocates and scholars alike. S/he will be enthusiastic about advancing research-based best practices in the human rights field.

The Fellow will report to Professor Meg Satterthwaite and will work closely with a collaborating research team at NYU-Poly headed by Professors Enrico Bertini and Oded Nov, which includes a post-doctoral researcher based at NYU-Poly. S/he will be one of five individuals charged with implementing a project on data visualization in human rights that combines scholarly inquiry with action-oriented solutions.

Summary of Research Project

In a world of “Big Data” and open government, effective data visualization is becoming central to how we understand social problems and their potential solutions. Data visualization allows the viewer to explore curated data; the creator to quickly convey complex information; and advocates to vividly display their view of a better world. The recent explosion of data relevant to key social and economic issues that is available through the internet, as well as the progressive “datafication” of information in new areas of knowledge has made it possible for individuals and organizations to identify patterns and trends that can be harnessed to tell powerful stories.

Fields as disparate as journalism, environmental advocacy, and development assistance are taking advantage of these data-filled times to shape compelling, informative, and convincing narratives. One field that lags behind is human rights advocacy, where—apart from specialist data-focused organizations—there is a relative lack of well-designed data visualization. While news media outlets regularly avail themselves of the full array of data visualization tools—including complex interactive maps and sophisticated infographics—relatively few human rights organizations have the knowledge and resources to create and incorporate sophisticated visualization. This is surprising since the human rights field has increasingly engaged with quantitative data and methods to describe and understand human rights violations, such as drone attacks, conflict-related deaths, and violations of economic and social rights. Visualization in the broader human rights context could help advocates convey persuasive messages while retaining complexity and nuance.

A cross-disciplinary team at NYU has joined forces to respond to this gap. The Research Fellow will be a key part of this team. Within the period of the project, the research team will complete an empirical study, formulate guidelines, and provide partner human rights organizations with hands-on technical assistance and training in visualization techniques. The Research Fellow will be responsible for working with the Poly team to create visualizations, working with human rights organizations, managing trainings, and producing research products for human rights advocates. This position includes both high-level research and administrative/management tasks.


Essential qualifications:

Desired qualifications/experience:

Evidence of the following will be especially helpful:

To apply

Applicants should submit (1) a cover letter addressing the specific qualifications described above; (2) evidence of those qualifications (e.g. sample data viz, infographics, research products, etc.); (3) a resume or curriculum vitae; (4) one or two writing samples that have not been edited by others; and (5) the names and contact information for three referees. Submit these materials to Professor Satterthwaite’s assistant Diana Limongi at

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled; however, applicants are encouraged to apply by May 29, 2015. Applicants chosen for interviews will be contacted.

Competitive salary and benefits for the non-profit sector.

New York University is an Equal Opportunity Employer. NYU does not discriminate due to race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability, unemployment status or any other legally protected basis, and to the extent permitted by law. Qualified candidates of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

View the PDF announcement here.


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