Research Software Engineer

Full Time

    Job Description

    Job Type:

    Position Description

    Research Software Engineers at the RAND Corporation work in a multidisciplinary environment in support of research on a wide range of issues spanning health care, education and labor, social and economic wellbeing, national security, and military manpower. Research Software Engineers work closely with research staff in creating and managing applications to support research projects. Research Software Engineers are expected to acquire an understanding of the research topic and apply their programming and analytic skills to the research needs.

    The position requires eliciting requirements from users, designing software products with researchers, implementing designs in code, and iterating with users and researchers to ensure functional and quality requirements are met. The selected candidate will work on project teams of research staff and domain experts and must be comfortable acting as the sole software engineer on the project. Technical needs will vary by project so the selected candidate must be a well-rounded generalist able to develop solutions in more than one of the following application paradigms: web, mobile, desktop, database, modeling & simulation, and data analytics such as machine learning, statistical analysis, or visualization.

    • Proactive communication with project teams, including explaining software design, software development progress, and software tool results
    • Some of the following tasks:
      • Developing in part or in whole interactive applications including the graphical user interface to back-end server components and databases
      • Developing applications or scripts to data mine, analyze, and visualize data sets, often developing expertise in that data
      • Providing strategic technical inputs into computer programming and software integration, software transition/migration and software management activities
    • Participating in software development QA activities
    • Providing programming time estimates for budgets and proposals
    • Writing documentation of software and software tool results for inclusion in client briefings and RAND publications


    • Experience with some of the following programming languages:
      • Web programming languages (e.g. Javascript)
      • Database platforms (e.g. MongoDB, PostgreSQL)
      • Data analysis languages (e.g. R, Julia)
      • General programming languages (e.g. Java, Python, C++)
    • Willingness to pick up new tools and technologies on a frequent basis
    • Some experience with software testing, including unit, integration, and/or acceptance testing
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
    • Works best as part of a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team

    • Experience working in a research environment
    • Experience with:
      • Web application development
      • UI/UX Design
      • Modeling and Simulation
      • Cloud service providers like AWS or Azure and tools in those ecosystems
      • Big data analytic platforms like Hadoop or Spark

    Educational Requirements

    BA/BS required
    MA/MS preferred, preferably in computer science or highly related field such as information systems, computer engineering, etc.


    5 years minimum relevant experience required.

    Security Clearance

    Ability to obtain and maintain a U.S. government security clearance is preferred.

    Writing Sample/Code Sample Required
    Applicants will be required to provide Code sample(s) -related work uploaded as a writing sample.


    Santa Monica, CA; Pittsburgh, PA; Washington DC; Boston, MA

    Salary Range

    Level III: $95,100 - $144,800

    Level IV: $113,700 - $173,600

    RAND considers a variety of factors when formulating an offer, including but not limited to, the specific role and associated responsibilities; a candidate's work experience, education/training, skills, expertise; and internal equity.The salary range includes base pay plus RAND's sabbatic pay (which provides additional compensation above base pay when vacation is taken). In addition, RAND provides strong benefits including health insurance coverage, life and disability insurance, savings plan, paid time-off and more.

    Equal Opportunity Employer: race/color/religion/sex/sexual orientation/gender identity/national origin/disability/vet