Research Engineer (Innovation Lab)

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Consumer Reports · Washington, DC

Data + Analytics
Public Service & Civic Engagement
$130,000 - $155,000 Per Year
Posted 3 weeks ago

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CR is seeking a Research Engineer to develop new tools that grow consumers’ power, privacy, and access to informed choices.  You will roll up your sleeves to build prototypes, conduct technology assessments, and take ownership of other time-bound tasks to advance CR’s overall innovation strategy.  You will also have the opportunity to publish and contribute to open source projects, and present in relevant publications and conferences to raise CR’s profile as a technology leader.

This is a role on CR’s Innovation Lab team. In this position, you’ll be reporting to the Head of Experimental Engineering.


Under our CRFlex program, this position is eligible for Fully Remote status for candidates who live more than 75 miles from one of our main office locations (Yonkers, NY, Washington DC, Colchester, CT). Additionally, the successful candidate must reside in one of the following locations: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, Vermont, Washington D.C. 




As Research Engineer, you’ll have an opportunity to work on some of the most pressing issues facing consumers today: How we find information. How we protect our personal data. How we get the fair treatment we deserve.


This is an opportunity to ship code that has a real impact on the marketplace and people’s lives. You will help CR nurture new technologies and solutions that advance consumers’ interests, and which can be scaled up by CR or like-minded partners. Some of your projects will inform future revenue-generating projects underwriting CR’s non-profit mission; others will help us fail faster and smarter, with valuable learnings for our peers trying to build a better marketplace. All of your projects will be guided by the mission of making the marketplace better for everyone.


You’ll Be Highly Rated If:

  • You have at least 5 years experience: doing creative engineering
  • You're the swiss army knife of technology skills: you are fluent in common JavaScript and Python development frameworks-- both back-end (such as Django) and front-end (familiarity with at least one front-end framework, ideally React). 
  • You’ve demonstrated curiosity for solving challenging and non-straightforward engineering problems: this might be reflected in a prior research engineering position, contributions to open source projects, self-directed programming projects, or something you'll surprise us with.
  • You’re a strong generalist: You have a broad grasp of computer science and engineering fundamentals, but also deep expertise in at least one specific domain.  You’re excited about contributing your skills and creative problem solving to a small, fast-paced R&D team.
  • You’re curious and learn fast: You check Hacker News daily. You can quickly master new libraries and APIs. You’re able to hold a conversation on breakthroughs or foundational papers in new domains like AI; you enjoy self-directed study to help advance our research frontiers.
  • You’re professional: You write clean, merge-friendly code, coherent docs, and good tests.
  • You’re curious and learn fast: You check Hacker News daily. You can quickly master new libraries and APIs. You’re able to hold a conversation on breakthroughs or foundational papers in new fields of research like generative AI; you enjoy self-directed study to help advance our research frontiers.
  • You take ownership: you can translate intent into discrete programming work units from planning through delivery — e.g., improving source layouts, implementing new features, fixing bugs, designing UIs, benchmarking and developing optimization strategies, etc.

You'll Be One Of Our Top Picks If:

  • You’ve got a portfolio of interesting work on GitHub.
  • You’ve got a track record of shipping in diverse institutional contexts: You’ve contributed creative engineering or technical perspectives to help achieve institutional objectives; you’ve shipped things that people want to use
  • You have strong communication skills in both technology and strategy: Can you articulate the behavior of a nondeterministic bug and also articulate a vision for improving the Internet?
  • You are familiar with basic DevOps tools and frameworks: such as Docker, Kubernetes, and AWS.
  • You’ve developed at least a fascination and conceptual knowledge of application development using large language models: such as GPT-3.5/4, Claude, and Dolly; knowledge of embedding, fine-tuning, and other customization approaches to leverage models in custom applications.  



Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to a fair and just marketplace for consumers. Our team is made up of truth tellers, change agents, and consumer advocates who investigate and build coalitions to fight for fairness and justice in the marketplace. We leverage our evidence-based approach to demand safer products, a healthier environment, and equitable services for everyone.

Our mission starts with you. We offer medical benefits that start on your first day as a CR employee that include behavioral health coverage and unlimited sick days. There’s also generous family planning benefits and a generous 401K match. Learn more about how CR advocates for strong benefits on behalf of their employees here:


At Consumer Reports, we are committed to fair, transparent pay and we strive to provide competitive, market-informed compensation. The target salary range for this position is $130k to $155k. It is anticipated that most qualified candidates will fall near the middle of this range. Compensation for the successful candidate will be informed by the candidate’s particular combination of knowledge, skills, competencies, and experience.

Consumer Reports proudly seeks to build a richly diverse workforce by hiring people with a diversity of thoughts, identities, perspectives, and experiences that help advance the difference we make for consumers, and by ensuring our people experience equity and inclusion in their work lives. We encourage members of traditionally underrepresented communities to apply, including women, LGBTQIA people, people of color, and people with disabilities.

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