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Senior Backend Developer (Python, SQL)


We’re building tools to bring about an open science revolution.

Impactstory began life as a hackathon project. As the hackathon ended, a few of us migrated into the hotel hallway to continue working, completing the prototype as the hotel started waking up for breakfast. Months of spare-time development followed, then funding. That was five years ago — we’ve got the same excitement for Impactstory today.

We’ve also got great momentum. The scientific journal Nature recently profiled Unpaywall, our main product: “Unpaywall has become indispensable to many academics, and tie-ins with established scientific search engines could broaden its reach.” We’re making solid revenue, and it’s time to expand our team.

We’re passionate about open science, and we run our non-profit company openly too. All of our code is open source, we make our data as open as possible, and we post our grant proposals so that everyone can see both our successful and our unsuccessful ones. We try to be the change we want to see


The position is lead dev for Unpaywall, our index of all the free-to-read scholarly papers in the world. Because Unpaywall is surfacing millions of formerly inaccessible open-access scientific papers, it’s growing very quickly, both in terms of usage and revenue. We think it’s a really transformative piece of infrastructure that will enable entire new classes of tools to improve science communication. As a nonprofit, that’s our aim.

We’re looking for someone to take the lead on the tech parts of Unpaywall. You must have 5+ years of experience with both Python and SQL (we use PostgreSQL), and experience with directly maintaining and enhancing a production system. But more importantly, we’re looking for someone who is smart, dedicated, and gets things done! As an early team member you will play a key role in the company as we grow.

The position is remote, with flexible working hours, and plenty of vacation time. We are a small team so tell us what benefits are important to you and we’ll make them happen. We're a nonprofit, so no stock options.


We’re at about a million dollars of revenue (grants and earned income) with just two employees: the two co-founders. We value kindness, honesty, grit, and smarts. We’re taking our time on this hire, holding out for just the right person.


Sound like you? Email to with (1) what appeals to you about this specific job (this part is important to us), (2) a brief summary of your experience with directly maintaining and enhancing a production system (3) a copy of your resume or inkedin profile and (4) a link to your github profile. Thanks!

No agencies or consultancies please!

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