Research Associate, Opening Doors
Vera Institute of Justice
Who we are:
The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grassroots, and grasstop organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.
Vera has a staff of 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.
Who you are:
Vera is hiring a Research Associate for Opening Doors, an initiative that focuses on promoting safe, stable, and affordable housing for people with a conviction history through technical assistance, advocacy, policy development, and research. The Research Associate will participate in multiple different research projects, including both qualitative and quantitative research designs, and be responsible for completing discrete tasks as components of broader projects. These projects may include a mixed methods process and outcome evaluation of tenancy and criminal-legal involvement among public housing residents, descriptive and longitudinal analyses of access to housing over time by conviction history, a survival analysis of new convictions over a period of time, and state-by-state estimates of the numbers of people affected by current landlord policies. The Research Associate also provides additional research and programmatic support for the Opening Doors team on an ad hoc basis.
What you'll do:
Data collection, management, and analysis
- Conduct data collection (qualitative interviews or observation; surveys; quantitative instruments, etc.) in consultation with the Associate Director of Research
- Lead and develop discrete analyses as components of broader projects (quantitative and qualitative)
Write up/presentation of research
- Prepare data or background research for reports
- Write up results and integrate into public-facing products including reports, advocacy documents, or other publications (quant or qual)
- Lead background research and literature reviews and integrate into public-facing products including reports, advocacy documents, or other publications (quant or qual) under the supervision of senior researchers
- Present research at department meetings, “brown bag” discussions, and other internal Vera events
- Present at academic and policy-focused conferences and professional meetings
- Prepare and/or present projects for IRB review, with support and approval of a Senior Research Associate or above
- Draft sections of research fundraising proposals in support of senior staff
What qualifications are we looking for?
Education and Experience:
- Bachelor’s degree + 3-5 years of relevant experience
- In lieu of a bachelor’s degree, applicable work or life experience may be considered
- Demonstrated commitment to race equity, a track record of taking initiative and independent problem-solving, and quantitative analytical skills and experience.
- While not required, a Master's or PhD in public health, economics, public policy, criminology, sociology or another related social science discipline that has a focus on quantitative research and analytical skills are preferred as they are exceptionally relevant to the work
- At least 2 years of work experience in social science research
Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities you'll bring:
- Knowledge of and experience with data cleaning and management methods and procedures
- Knowledge of and experience with survival analysis and longitudinal data analysis
- High level of initiative and organization; ability to be self-directed; excellent communication skills; and attention to detail
- A demonstrated commitment to race equity
- Preferred: familiarity with the US criminal justice system and public housing systems
Technical knowledge we need you prepared to use:
- Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
- Proficient with Stata statistical software
Additional Eligibility Requirements:
- Ability to travel for up to 5% of the time
Please note this role will report to our Brooklyn, NY, or Washington, DC offices. Vera employees adhere to a hybrid schedule and are in-office on an alternating schedule that generally amounts to 10 days per month.
Compensation and Benefits:
The compensation range for this position is $81,000 - $86,000. Actual salaries will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. The salary range listed is just one component of Vera Institute’s total compensation package for employees. As an employer of choice in our field, supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we invest in the well-being of our staff through other rewards including merit pay, generous paid time off, a comprehensive health insurance plan, student loan repayment benefits, professional development training opportunities and up to $2,000 annual for education costs and fees relevant to Vera work, employer-funded retirement plan, and flexible time. To learn more about Vera’s benefits offerings, click here.
Applications may also be faxed to:
ATTN: People Resources / Research Associate, Opening Doors
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.
In order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.
Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.
Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.
For more information about Vera, please visit www.vera.org
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