Bellingcat is Hiring! Developer and Data Scientist Roles

We are searching for two new colleagues to join our growing team (remote working possible) in the following positions:

  1. Developer (full-time or part-time)
  2. Data-scientist (full-time or part-time)

Who we are

Bellingcat is an independent collective of international researchers, investigators and citizen journalists using open source and social media investigations to probe conflict, corruption, crimes, misinformation, disinformation, extremist groups and much, much more. We have received multiple awards for our research and publications that shine a light on wrongdoing. Our community (which includes staff, contributors and volunteers around the world) works in a unique field where technology, forensic research, journalism and the advancement of justice and accountability come together. Do you want to join this exciting adventure?

Who you are

You are enthusiastic about working for an international nonprofit organisation that uses publicly available data and open source analysis to investigate a variety of topics that are in the public interest and which advance transparency.

Position 1: Developer (full-time or part-time)

 

Who we are looking for

The Bellingcat Investigative Tech team is looking for a full-stack developer with an interest in data and data visualisation to help us develop tools for digital investigators. You will work closely with developers and journalists on the Investigative Tech Team to build web-based software that helps researchers at Bellingcat and partner organisations store, query and understand social media data. You will also work with Bellingcat’s IT and devops engineer to ensure that our software is secure and robust. Experience with front-end development using modern Javascript frameworks and data-heavy back-end development is a must. Experience with web scraping and data analysis is beneficial, but not a requirement — there will also be on-the-job opportunities to grow and strengthen these and related skills. 

Depending on your preferences, this position can potentially either be a full time or a part-time role (three days per week).

Responsibilities

  • Work with the Bellingcat Investigative Tech team to help ongoing development of tools; social media archiving and analysis is currently one focus area but the team covers a variety of aspects relating to digital investigations
  • Collaborate with media or tech partners on projects related to open source investigations, initially on a project related to online counterfactual communities
  • Support the team on tasks that are relevant for the growth of Bellingcat as an organisation (this might also include tasks like contributing to technical sections of proposal writing, preparing and offering workshops etc.)

Qualifications & Skills

  • Proficient in front-end web development, including a modern Javascript framework such as Vue (preferred), React, or Angular
  • Proficient in development of simple but performant and secure web back-ends with Python or Node
  • Proficient working with relational databases (especially Postgres and SQLite) and non-relational databases, as well as the wisdom to know when one or the other is a better fit for data storage and access
  • Comfortable working on a small team with diverse technical backgrounds where the next task may be uncertain
  • Interested in the very practical research work conducted by Bellingcat, which is different from traditional journalistic or academic research but at the intersection of several very different fields
  • Beneficial but not necessary: experience with web scraping, data wrangling, data analysis, or machine learning
  • Beneficial but not necessary: experience with web infrastructure and devops
  • English proficiency

Position 2: Data-scientist (full-time or part-time)

 

Who we are looking for

We are looking for a data-scientist with solid Python (or R) data processing skills to help our team build social media analysis and various other open source investigation tools. A current focus is on setting up APIs, scraping methods and developing analysis tools for social media data. 

Bellingcat’s Investigative Tech Team focuses on building tools that help digital researchers around the world. Our approach is less focused on theory and mathematics but on concrete practical solutions for digital research challenges that our investigators face during their work. We are looking for a colleague with an experimental mindset who feels comfortable developing research tools and methods together with researcher colleagues without always knowing all requirements of the desired tool or method on day one but who enjoys being involved in iterative processes. 

You will spend part of your time working on a collaborative online disinformation project with several Dutch tech, fact-checking and media partner organisations, as well as exploring and developing new network analysis tools and techniques. The rest of the time will be dedicated to supporting Bellingcat’s Tech Team in developing tools and methods for various other aspects of open source investigations. Together with the team, you will also translate those newly developed tools and methods into workshop materials and hold workshops for investigators from all around the world.

Responsibilities

  • Work within a long-term project with several partners on defining and developing network analysis tools and methods for social media data 
  • Collaboratively develop data-intensive research methods and tools for a variety of open source investigations together with Bellingcat colleagues and the wider open source community
  • Help prepare workshop materials and hold workshop sessions together with both technical and nontechnical Bellingcat colleagues                                                          
  • Support the team on tasks that are relevant for the growth of Bellingcat as an organisation (this might also include tasks like contributing to technical sections of proposal writing)

Qualifications & Skills

  • Proficient with data munging, cleaning, analysis, and visualisation with Python/Pandas (preferred) or R
  • Proficient with relational databases, especially PostgreSQL and SQLite
  • Proficient in extracting data from the internet via both official (API) and unofficial (scraping) methods
  • Proficient with Linux and the command line
  • Experience from a “big-data” perspective is helpful but not necessary, however experience processing and analysing “medium data” (50-500GB, 500K-50M rows) is desired
  • Comfortable working on a small team with diverse technical backgrounds where the next task may be uncertain
  • Interested in the very practical research work conducted by Bellingcat, which is different from traditional journalistic or academic research but at the intersection of several very different fields
  • Beneficial but not necessary: experience building and maintaining production data processing pipelines
  • Beneficial but not necessary: experience with interactive data visualisation in Javascript
  • English proficiency

Depending on your preferences, this position can potentially either be a full time or a part-time role (three days per week).

Additional information for both positions

Bellingcat aims to hire a full-time staff member for one of the positions and a part-time staff member for the other position (three days per week). Please indicate in your application whether you have a preference.

You can choose between working from Bellingcat’s office in the Netherlands or working remotely as long as you are able to participate in meetings that take place according to EU time zones. Occasional traveling to team meetings or workshops is required. 

The initial contract for both positions will be for one year, with a possibility to extend the contract (depending on performance and available project funding).

The salary range for both positions is 58-60k Euros (gross annual based on 40 hours/week) depending on experience. 

Bellingcat is committed to a diverse working environment. Our team is international, from a wide range of backgrounds and we always welcome and appreciate new perspectives and life experiences. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, colour, origin, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation. Your formal education is less important to us than your previous experience in the field. 

Please apply by 10 October 2021 to jobs@bellingcat.com and refer to and describe previous software development or data science projects in your applications. Only short-listed candidates will be approached and invited for the next selection round in October. Due to the expected high volume of responses it will unfortunately not be possible to respond to all applicants or to provide individual feedback.

We are looking forward to receiving your application!