Research Assistant Position

20%-70%, Zurich, temporary

Our research group on Law, Economics and Data Science at the Center for Law & Economics is seeking to hire a research assistant (starting in 2019 or early 2020). The contract is limited to one year. The research assistant contributes to a project employing recent innovations in Natural Language Processing (NLP) to extract narratives from large text corpora. The Center for Law & Economics is located at the Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences at ETH Zurich.

Project background

Social scientists have long argued that, when making sense of the world, human beings often rely on narratives. Narratives are simple stories that are easy to understand and relate to, but are not necessarily true. They often structure public and political debates. Relying on innovations in Natural Language Processing (NLP), we are developing methods to measure and analyze the use of narratives in large historical text corpora.

Job description

The research assistant will take on the following responsibilities:

  • Further develop our data science pipeline to process the text data (coded in Python)
  • Contribute to the improvement of the underlying statistical models

Your profile

  • Proficiency in Python
  • Knowledge of Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques
  • Interest in social science research is a plus
  • Someone willing to take on responsibility and work autonomously

ETH Zurich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.
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We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Short description of your interest in the position
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Transcripts
  • Python code sample

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about the Center for Law and Economics can be found on our website For questions about the position, please contact Prof. Elliott Ash via e-mail on (no applications).

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