Project Director, Machine Learning in US Health

Remote, US

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Job's description

Role and Responsibilities 

ideas42 has a clear mission: to use our unique experience as a nonprofit at the forefront of behavioral science and data science to change millions of lives. We design innovative solutions to tough problems in economic mobility, education, consumer finance, and US health and healthcare. Our approach is based on a deep understanding of human behavior and why people make the decisions they do. We work closely with our partners from leading government, foundations, NGOs and companies.

The Project Director, Machine Learning in US Health will lead ideas42’s portfolio of work at the intersection of behavioral science and machine learning in health. This person will drive a new and rapidly growing initiative within ideas42 and should anticipate many opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation. They will be primarily based within ideas42’s US health team; though on occasion they will also relate to organization-wide machine learning initiatives, as well as non-machine learning efforts within the broader US health portfolio.

Specific responsibilities may include but are not limited to:

Simultaneously overseeing multiple machine learning projects in the US Health focus area, including:

  • Efforts to reduce bias in healthcare algorithms through partnerships with payers, providers, health companies, and governments
  • Application of behavioral science principles to the adoption of decision aids (e.g. helping ensure that human-in-the-loop machine learning tools are designed for their end-users)
  • Using machine learning and other computational methods to personalize evidence-based interventions

Driving high-quality project execution through activities such as:

  • Leading internal and external teams through complex data analysis
  • Driving the creation and implementation of design solutions
  • Serving as the main point of contact for funders and partners
  • Structuring primary and secondary research, especially related to algorithmic fairness and human adoption of algorithmic systems

Growing ideas42’s work in machine learning and health through:

  • Building machine learning and health portfolio strategy: setting targets for impact, forecasting team needs, and pursuing projects that are relevant in a rapidly changing field
  • Significantly contributing to business development efforts: writing grant proposals, building external relationships, and scoping upcoming projects
  • Managing and developing junior staff 
  • Cultivating relationships with academic affiliates who are leaders in the field of data science and machine learning
  • Disseminating project results and driving thought leadership in industry forums and publications

Who Are We Looking For?

Much of our work hinges on our ability to ask the right questions. As a result, we seek inquisitive, resourceful, analytical individuals with an entrepreneurial spirit. A passion for understanding human behavior, pursuing innovation, and promoting the social good is critical, but prior expertise or training in behavioral economics or psychology is not required.

Minimum qualifications include:

  • Bachelor's degree with 8+ years of full-time relevant experience
  • An interest in and aptitude for developing business opportunities and strategically growing a relatively new effort within an organization
  • Working knowledge of supervised machine learning methods (e.g., regression, classification)
  • Experience implementing data analyses start to finish
  • Substantial experience leading complex projects is a must; this includes managing and developing team members as well as guiding workstreams, timelines, and external deliverables
  • Mission-aligned, self-starter, and able to thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment
  • Excellent written and verbal communication with a commitment to high-quality output
  • Record of academic excellence. Smart, logical, and structured thinkers, who are also creative

Preferred qualifications include:

  • A background in US health and healthcare, especially working with healthcare data
  • Familiarity with current research and best practices related to mitigating algorithmic bias
  • Master’s degree or PhD in data science, statistics, machine learning, computer science, or a related field

About ideas42

We’re a non-profit looking for deep insights into human behavior—into why people do what they do—and using that knowledge in ways that help improve lives, build better systems, and drive social change. Working globally, we reinvent the practices of institutions, and create better products and policies that can be scaled for maximum impact.

We also teach others, ultimately striving to generate lasting social impact and create a future where the universal application of behavioral science powers a world with optimal health, equitable wealth, and environments and systems that are sustainable and just for all.

For more than a decade, we’ve been at the forefront of applying behavioral science in the real world. And as we’ve developed our expertise, we’ve helped to define an entire field. Our efforts have so far extended to 40 countries as we’ve partnered with governments, foundations, NGOs, private enterprises, and a wide array of public institutions.

We value diversity and inclusion and are dedicated to growing our teams with people who have diverse experiences, backgrounds, and skills. We are committed to fair and unbiased hiring practices that support equal employment opportunities regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, ethnicity, gender, national origin, age, abilities, sexual orientation, or veteran status.

Working with Us

We are a culture-first organization where rules or processes do not take precedence – people and their ability to make well-reasoned decisions do. You’ll find that our team members are deeply caring, smart, and both tenacious and rigorous in their work. We are committed to building an inclusive team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, beliefs, and experiences.

Our core values are at the heart of everything at ideas42:

  • We live and breathe what we do. We look at everything through a BEHAVIORAL LENS.
  • We take OWNERSHIP. We don’t just work at ideas42, we take shared responsibility for it.
  • We DO GOOD. We use our expertise to improve millions of lives and create a better world for all.
  • We have fun. We let PLAYFULNESS inform the way we work and our approach to the world, helping to drive our creativity and improve our solutions.
  • We live with a SPIRIT OF GENEROSITY. We approach our colleagues, partners and people whose lives we seek to improve with an attitude of selflessness and cooperation.
  • We are TENACIOUS. We never take the easy route, but push to stretch the limits of what’s possible.
  • We are RIGOROUS in how we think and how we tackle problems.


We hope that you are excited by the opportunity to work with us. We are proud to offer a comprehensive and behaviorally designed benefits package and other perks to support our team and allow us to focus on our work of solving tough social problems. 

  • Insurance: We offer fully-covered medical, dental, vision, disability, and life insurance coverage for you and your families.
  • 401(k) Match: We contribute 3%, even if you don’t contribute at all.
  • Generous Vacation and Paid Time Off: We’ve built infrastructure to encourage our team to rest and recharge throughout the year. 
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Fitness benefit
  • Loan Forgiveness: Based on our 501(c)3 status, you are able to receive loan forgiveness under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Application Process Overview

The ideas42 application process has four stages:

  • Application: Submit your application and resume
  • Case Study: Selected candidates will receive a short assignment, to be completed over approx. 1 week
  • First Round Interview: Selected candidates will be invited to interview with an ideas42 program team member
  • Final Round Interview: Selected candidates will be invited to interview with an ideas42 senior team member. References will also be requested and contacted during this time.

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