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Principal Data Scientist

Premium Job From Cambridge Assessment
Recruiter: Cambridge Assessment
Listed on: 24th August
Location: Cambridge
Salary/Rate: £48,000 - £53,844
Type: Permanent
Start Date: ASAP

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Develop the models we need to achieve our business ambitions

We are looking for a Principal Data Scientist to join our dedicated cross-functional team to research and develop data science models to underpin the Cambridge Integrated Learning and Assessment (ILA) Strategy for learners of English.

Focussed on building our capabilities in learner representation and recommendation engines, and to provide continuous data driven enhancements to them, your work will enable understanding of how our learners progress and use our products. Collaborating directly with software engineers to enhance our product offering, you'll determine how best we can use learner data to recommend activities to expedite the learning process.

Highly collaborative

As the Principal Data Scientist you will be an integral part of a diverse and collaborative, agile team of world-class practitioners, including data scientists, data engineers, software developers and learning assessment and psychometrics experts. You will be working with a range of people in Cambridge Assessment and Cambridge University Press.

Insight led development

Leveraging our cloud-based data lake and development tools such as notebooks, you'll deliver insights and proposals to guide the development of the learner representation and recommendation engine via exploratory data analysis and feature extraction. Developing and delivering model updates based on enhanced features and model fine tuning, you'll ensure that the optimised production code is functionally equivalent to development code, through collaboration with software developers, ensuring that the models run effectively and efficiently in production.

Machine learning

You will play a key role in bringing the benefits of our wealth of historic and future learning and assessment data to all areas of our business, from research and policy to operations and marketing, using cutting edge methodologies. These may include large-scale Bayesian inference, sensitive and ethical use of A/B testing, and online machine learning using our internal event streams.

Influencing skills

Drawing on your strong stakeholder management skills, and ability to communicate with both technical and non-technical audiences, you'll contribute to securing the necessary support and funding to ensure the success of these capabilities.

Value proposition

As part of the scrum team, the decisions the Principal Data Scientist is required to make will be fundamental to delivering the value proposition for integrated learning and assessment. You'll make recommendations to the Data and Analytics Product Owner about aspects of their work that will directly impact the learner experience or relate to our customers' expectations about data usage.

What we're looking for

With an advanced degree (PhD preferred) in a quantitative field like computer science, engineering or statistics related, or equivalent practical experience of developing and implementing Machine learning applications, you will also be adept at managing complex operations and development projects, preferably in an analytics context.

With deep understanding of probability, statistics, machine learning theory and practical applications, you will be fluent with various machine learning and data mining algorithms (e.g. logistic regression, random forest, neural networks) for prediction and recommendation.
Programming skills in suitable software (e.g. R, Python, SAS, Clojure) with an understanding of distributed file systems, scalable data stores, distributed computing and related technologies (e.g. Spark, Hadoop, AWS).

Able to work with a wide range of stakeholders and communicate technical information clearly to specialists and non-specialists alike, you will be willing to experiment, learn and adapt in an agile context.

Methodical and calm under pressure, you will be capable of applying your extensive specialist expertise in different and new contexts and be capable of re-focussing and acquiring new skills to tackle new challenges as they arise.

Experience exciting, meaningful work contributing to the development of data science capabilities across the Cambridge Ecosystem - spanning Cambridge Assessment, Cambridge University Press, and the University of Cambridge.

Who we are 

Cambridge Assessment English develops and produces Cambridge English qualifications, courses and tests, taken by over 5 million people every year in 130 countries and recognised by more than 20,000 universities, employers and governments.

Ultimately your contribution will enable the world's leading education specialist make a real difference to learners worldwide. 


In addition to a competitive salary, we offer a comprehensive package of benefits to help with your life both inside and outside of work:

  • Generous contributory pension
  • 28 days annual leave, plus bank holidays 
  • Annual performance related bonus and increases (discretionary) 
  • Enhanced maternity/paternity pay
  • Employee discount and cash back scheme at 2,500 retailers 
  • Cycle scheme 
  • Season Ticket Loan
  • Subsidised staff restaurants
  • Support for professional qualifications
  • Discounted access to the University of Cambridge Sport Centre, along with various other local gyms.

We know that diversity of thinking, backgrounds and approaches lead to innovation and create an atmosphere where everyone's contribution is valued. As well as wanting to create diverse teams, we also value diversity in the way our people approach their work. Work/life balance is important to us at Cambridge Assessment and we offer our colleagues a range of flexible working options according to the needs of the business and the individual, so please let us know of any flexible working requirements when applying and we can see how we can support you.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 14/09/2020 and interviews will be held on w/c 21 September.

If you're successful at interview stage we will ask you to undergo background screening (carried out by Credence Background Screening Ltd), to ensure that all information provided to us is accurate. We wish you all the very best with your application.