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Job Details

UnitedHealth Group

Principal Data Scientist - Telecommute


Data Scientist


Minnetonka, Minnesota, United States

Combine two of the fastest-growing fields on the planet with a culture of performance, collaboration and opportunity and this is what you get. Leading edge technology in an industry that's improving the lives of millions. Here, innovation isn't about another gadget, it's about making health care data available wherever and whenever people need it, safely and reliably. There's no room for error. Join us and start doing your life's best work.(sm)

Optum Labs is the research and development arm of UnitedHealth Group. We're a diverse team of curious thinkers and experts in big data, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and scientific and clinical research searching for new ways to help people live healthier lives. We partner with world leaders in health care delivery, research, and technology to create disruptive solutions that serve patients, caregivers, providers, and commercial and government payers.

More equitable, effective, and affordable health care - that's our goal. We aren't just trying to improve the care an individual receives. We're building a future where the health care system works better for everyone.

Our team at Optum Labs is seeking a Principal Scientist ML with expertise and experience in in applying machine learning to use-cases (e.g., healthcare) with high-stakes consequences. This is an individual contributor role responsible for conducting research and development of advanced, high-impact machine learning techniques for various healthcare use cases. This role provides an unprecedented opportunity to leverage large-scale proprietary healthcare datasets, internal team of subject matter experts and cutting-edge computing cloud infrastructure to craft innovative machine learning problems to challenging and high-impact healthcare problems.

You’ll enjoy the flexibility to telecommute* from anywhere within the U.S. as you take on some tough challenges.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Conduct independent research into machine learning methods for use cases such as disease early-onset and progression modeling (including uncertainty quantification), population health risk identification and patient intent/experience prediction – potential techniques could be regression, classification, sequence modeling, time-series methods, anomaly detection, deep learning, NLP, clustering/segmentation etc. 
  • Compile relevant learnings from published/presented findings from both the private (blogs, articles, public repositories) and public sector (scientific articles, reports), and apply these to originate, build scope and execute on various research initiatives
  • Be a storyteller to explain the ‘why and how’ of your data driven recommendations to cross-functional teams
  • Be a hands-on contributor with an applied development mindset e.g., by building prototypes using variety of predictive methods
  • Collaborate with foundational research teams and software engineering teams to funnel Applied R&D work into software products or applications
  • Participate in meetings business stakeholders, data experts, software/platform engineering, physicians to scope R&D use-cases and convert them into scope of work
  • Be a thought leader and coach the junior team members in the wide variety of statistical/predictive methods to attack a given prediction use-case
  • Present findings at conferences with the aim to share learnings with the broader community

You’ll be rewarded and recognized for your performance in an environment that will challenge you and give you clear direction on what it takes to succeed in your role as well as provide development for other roles you may be interested in.

Required Qualifications:

  • Masters degree in Engineering, Mathematics or computer science 
  • 7+ years of solid experience in scientific/software programming via a combination of languages such as Python, R, Julia, Matlab, C++ - (we mainly are looking for a level where the candidate can demonstrate via code the difference between good and bad code, script and program, knowing when to use what etc.)
  • 5+ years of experience designing and implementing predictive or experimental research (e.g. forecasting, survey design, simulation, observational, statistical preferably at scale) using multiple kinds of predictive (ML, statistical) methods
  • 5+ years of relevant applied research experience in healthcare, energy, industrial AI, aerospace or other high-stakes domains
  • Experience distilling concepts into frameworks and converting approaches into scalable tools
  • Experience digesting and evaluating evidence from interdisciplinary literature
  • Experience presenting via written and verbal mediums to a variety of audiences

Preferred Qualifications:

  • PhD degree in Engineering, Mathematics or computer science
  • Experience with one or many of these topics such in customer churn, intent prediction, disease/damage progression, anomaly detection, sequence-based models, time-series forecasting or time to event modeling in the population health domain
  • Experience in deploying machine learning models in a production setting (logging, monitoring, alerts) in a cloud environment
  • Exposure to extracting and manipulating data via tool/libraries/forms such as Spark, pandas, scikit family, numpy/scipy, matplotlib, streamlit
  • Demonstrable ability for or experience with designing applied research initiatives with a underlying focus on quantifiable value generation for business via software implementations.
  • Proven record of publishing applied research on predictive methods in academic journals of your field (should be listed on resume or added as an attachment when applying)
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a matrixed environment to deliver multi-phased work.
  • Full COVID-19 vaccination is an essential requirement of this role. UnitedHealth Group will adhere to all federal, state and local regulations as well as all client requirements and will obtain necessary proof of vaccination prior to employment to ensure compliance. Candidates must be able to perform all essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodation

We Lead with Diversity, Inclusion and Compassion

At Optum Labs, we are dedicated to building teams where every individual is recognized for their unique experience and contributions. Our Leadership Principles underscore our commitment to inclusion, encouraging us to “walk in each other’s shoes” and open doors for our peers.

UnitedHealth Group supports local, regional, and national organizations that share these values through joint initiatives, event and program participation, volunteerism and giving. Through our Connected Communities, employees can connect with others who have similar – or different – life experiences and backgrounds. These groups are led by peers, supported by Human Capital, and championed by leaders.

We Invest in Talent

Managers at every level are committed to their roles as talent stewards who help guide and nurture professional development. We want our employees to reach their highest level of potential just as they help us reach ours.

To protect the health and safety of our workforce, patients and communities we serve, UnitedHealth Group and its affiliate companies require all employees to disclose COVID-19 vaccination status prior to beginning employment. In addition, some roles and locations require full COVID-19 vaccination, including boosters, as an essential job function. UnitedHealth Group adheres to all federal, state and local COVID-19 vaccination regulations as well as all client COVID-19 vaccination requirements and will obtain the necessary information from candidates prior to employment to ensure compliance. Candidates must be able to perform all essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodation. Failure to meet the vaccination requirement may result in rescission of an employment offer or termination of employment

Careers with Optum. Here's the idea. We built an entire organization around one giant objective; make health care work better for everyone. So when it comes to how we use the world's large accumulation of health-related information, or guide health and lifestyle choices or manage pharmacy benefits for millions, our first goal is to leap beyond the status quo and uncover new ways to serve. Optum, part of the UnitedHealth Group family of businesses, brings together some of the greatest minds and most advanced ideas on where health care has to go in order to reach its fullest potential. For you, that means working on high performance teams against sophisticated challenges that matter. Optum, incredible ideas in one incredible company and a singular opportunity to do your life's best work.(sm)

*All Telecommuters will be required to adhere to UnitedHealth Group’s Telecommuter Policy.

Colorado, Connecticut or Nevada Residents Only: The salary range for Colorado/Connecticut/Nevada residents is $97,300 to $176,900. Pay is based on several factors including but not limited to education, work experience, certifications, etc. In addition to your salary, UnitedHealth Group offers benefits such as, a comprehensive benefits package, incentive and recognition programs, equity stock purchase and 401k contribution (all benefits are subject to eligibility requirements). No matter where or when you begin a career with UnitedHealth Group, you’ll find a far-reaching choice of benefits and incentives.

Diversity creates a healthier atmosphere: UnitedHealth Group is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, protected veteran status, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.

UnitedHealth Group is a drug - free workplace. Candidates are required to pass a drug test before beginning employment.