The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University invites applications for three resident TRAC Faculty Fellow positions. These new positions have been established to further the groundbreaking research at the Center. Successful candidates should have a passion for ensuring government transparency and accountability, a facility for analyzing data to monitor government performance, and a portfolio of work demonstrating relevant accomplishments.
Fellows will initiate and guide active campaigns using the Freedom of Information Act to secure public access to internal databases within federal agencies, and/or focus on organizing and mining these data to develop a range of reports and information products. When applying, fellow may wish to designate which of these two activities they are primarily interested in, and whether there is a particular research area at the Center that especially interests them.
Areas include: TRAC's FOIA Project, its Immigration Project, its Judge Information Center, initiatives monitoring federal criminal and civil justice systems, regulating business and enforcing federal tax laws. Initial fellowship appointments are for one year, and are renewable contingent upon performance and research funding.
Successful applicants will work as members of small research teams. They should have strong interpersonal skills to facilitate working collaboratively. Depending upon the project, they may also interact with scholars from around the globe, government agencies, journalists, attorneys and the public oversight community more generally to fulfill the center's 30-year tradition of providing the public with comprehensive, independent and nonpartisan information about federal enforcement, services, staffing, and spending.
Founded in 1989 as a center at SU specializing in "big data" before that concept was widely recognized, TRAC has a fulltime professional staff and publishes a steady stream of special reports and data products at trac.syr.edu. Established to provide the American people with the authoritative and accurate information they need to hold their government accountable, the Center is unique in the information marketplace.
With an incoming flow of data records from its FOIA operations of over 250 million records each month, TRAC adds more than 3 billion new records to its inventory each year. In addition, with over 300,000 further queries each month to the federal courts for their records on civil and criminal proceedings, not counting court records obtained from federal administrative courts, TRAC's Judge Information Center now regularly and systematically compares individual judge-by-judge performance on such vital matters as federal sentences for individuals and corporations, and disparities in judge asylum decisions. TRAC's companion FOIAproject.org website, updated daily, systematically monitors federal agency FOIA decisions and practices.