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The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) is now hiring a Research Software Engineer (RSE) to work on the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) and related projects at the University of Maryland, College Park. This is a full-time, professional track faculty position, with an initial term of 12 months (starting in June 2022). Upon completion of this initial term, candidates may have an opportunity to renew the appointment, contingent on funding.


The Research Software Engineer (RSE) will perform tasks related to the ongoing maintenance and advancement of the Global Terrorism Database and related research initiatives. The GTD consists of unclassified data on more than 200,000 terrorist attacks that occurred worldwide since 1970. It supports a wide range of users around the world, including government, academia, media, industry, and the general public. The RSE will contribute to the development of software, systems, tools, and methods that facilitate the production, analysis, and public dissemination of data resources. As a key member of a small team of social scientists and technologists, they must be adept at cross-disciplinary communication and collaboration in pursuit of innovative and practical solutions to research challenges. The RSE will focus on challenges across the full software development lifecycle, designing, developing, and deploying cloud-based services in a primarily Python, JavaScript, and SQL environment. The specific responsibilities of the RSE will depend on the successful candidate’s skill sets and strengths, but will support the data collection team across one or more of the following areas:

  • Data Collection Workflow Management
  • Source Document Pipeline – monitoring and maintenance of high-volume news media source documents accessed via API and processed using a sequence of AI/ML steps.
  • Coordination/integration of working data files across components of the data collection team
  • Task and workflow automation to improve the efficiency of the data collection process
  • Web Development
  • Data Management System (DMS) – contribute to ongoing feature development of an internal data management system built in Pyramid. Developed specifically for the collection of the GTD, the DMS supports the review of thousands of source articles each month by subject-matter experts, and the creation and coding of event records for inclusion in the database.
  • Public Website, API – maintenance and feature development of the dissemination platform for the GTD and related resources, including access control and user metrics; routine publication of data and analysis; and data discovery and visualization tools.
  • DevOps
  • Monitoring and maintenance of a production Linux environment used daily by the research team. Ensuring uptime by performing regular maintenance of system configuration, maintaining security according to organizational policies, and supporting deployment of applications while minimizing or eliminating down time

Required Qualifications

  • BA in Computer Science or related discipline
  • Three years of relevant professional experience and progressively increasing responsibility
  • Knowledge of Python, JavaScript, SQL, and source control
  • Experience developing one or more of the following in a Linux environment:
  • Scientific Python stack (e.g., scipy, numpy, scikit-learn)
  • Familiarity with JQuery and modern front-end JavaScript frameworks (e.g., React, Vue, Angular)
  • DevOps/automation tools
  • Demonstrated ability to manage tasks and meet strict deadlines

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated ability to manage time and tasking, context switching, and supporting the needs of a dynamic team
  • Familiarity with event data, data collection initiatives, and social science research
  • Experience running and maintaining a 24×7 production environment
  • Experience with cloud technologies
  • Proficiency with MS Excel, including the use of PivotTables, formulas, and data sorting/filtering
  • Experience with additional technologies such as MySQL, XML, JSON, Perl, C#, SQL Server, D3.js, NLP tools, and machine learning is a plus
The annual salary for this position will be in the range of $75,000-$90,000, plus full University of Maryland benefits (explained at The RSE will report to the GTD Program Manager and work on site at START Headquarters adjacent to the University of Maryland, College Park campus. This position is eligible for telework up to three days per week.
Qualified applicants should submit a cover letter and résumé via email (with subject line “Research Software Engineer”) to Applicants should also provide contact information for three professional references. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Candidates are encouraged to apply by April 18, 2022 for best consideration. Candidates must be authorized to work in the United States for at least one year. We are not able to sponsor a visa to work in the United States.

Offers of employment are contingent on completion of a background check. A prior criminal conviction or convictions will not automatically disqualify a finalist from employment in the position.

The University of Maryland has made the safety of our students, faculty and staff, and our surrounding communities a top priority. As part of that commitment, the University System of Maryland (USM) announced that students, faculty, and staff on USM campuses, including UMD, are required to be vaccinated against COVID. As a prospective and/or a new employee at UMD, you will be required to comply with the University’s vaccination protocol. Proof of full vaccination will be required before the start of employment in order to work at any University of Maryland location. Prospective or new employees may seek a medical or religious exemption to the vaccination requirement at and must have an approved exemption prior to the start of their employment. Failure to provide proof of vaccination or to obtain approval for a medical or religious exemption will result in the offer of employment being rescinded.

The University of Maryland, College Park, an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer, complies with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action; all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected veteran status, age, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, creed, marital status, political affiliation, personal appearance, or on the basis of rights secured by the First Amendment, in all aspects of employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.