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Associate Director, Research

Vera Institute of Justice

Vera Institute of Justice

Brooklyn, NY, USA · Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Saturday, June 15, 2024

Who we are:

The Vera Institute of Justice is powered by hundreds of advocates, researchers, and policy experts working to transform the criminal legal and immigration systems until they’re fair for all. Founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to money bail in New York City, Vera is now a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change. We develop just, antiracist solutions so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are in jails, prisons, and immigration detention; and everyone is treated with dignity. For more information, visit vera.org.

Vera has a staff of 240 people, is headquartered in Brooklyn, New York and has offices in Washington, D.C., 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.

About the team:

The Associate Director of Research will lead research for Vera’s Opening Doors Initiative – a national effort to expand access to housing for people with conviction histories. The initiative is pursuing state-specific campaigns for policy change, pursuing federal policy change at HUD, and developing and lifting up evidence to support these policy changes.

About the role:

The Associate Director of Research reports directly to the Initiative Director with a “dotted line” to the Initiatives’ Director of Research. In this role, the Associate Director of Research oversees staff working across a range of methodologies and multiple projects or studies, engages in sophisticated hands-on research as needed, and manages the team’s research portfolio. This position has fluency in advocacy and communications strategies and draws on their substantial expertise in the field to oversee evidence-based messaging and policy in support of big goals. They are responsible for all research products and publications coming out of their teams. Associate Directors of Research bring substantial management experience, advanced methodological skills, strong research communication skills, and experience building and leading a research team. This is a senior-level position for researchers with extensive technical expertise and substantive knowledge and experience.

What you'll do:

Research Leadership

  • Represent research on the initiative leadership team
  • Work with the initiative director to develop strategies that incorporate research, participating in theory of change planning, MEL, and other activities related to the impact pipeline
  • Work with the initiative director in support of annual planning and budget development, staffing plans, and fundraising
  • Serve as a member of the Vera Research Leadership Team
  • Ensure that researchers across the organization receive appropriate support
  • Supervise, support and mentor the initiative research team
  • Partner with initiative director and the research leadership team to develop staffing plans and lead recruitment and hiring
  • Cultivate relationships with partner organizations
  • Supervise all research work on an initiative project or team
  • Provide training mentoring, and technical assistance to researchers within and across teams
  • Partner with Advocacy and Communications staff to develop coordinated strategies that leverage research

Presentation and dissemination of research

  • Sign off on evidence-based messaging and research within the initiative, and oversee development, writing, and editing of research publications and evidence-based messaging and products in support of initiative goals, including rapid response work
  • Act as an internal and external spokesperson/representative of the work to a range of audiences
  • Partner with advocacy and communications staff to develop coordinated strategies that leverage research

Research design and implementation

  • Review IRB applications; develop and present IRB applications and ensure that research is conducted to the highest ethical standards, serving as Principal Investigator on research projects
  • Mentor early career researchers in human subjects/IRB protocols
  • Lead the initiative’s data collection and analysis

Data collection and analysis

  • Lead/train/supervise others on data collection and analysis, overseeing all aspects of data management and analysis within the initiative

What qualifications are we looking for?

Education and Experience:

  • ADRs typically have advanced graduate training, such as a Ph.D. or equivalent, as well as 6+ years of work experience or equivalent applied experience over 8+ years. Additionally, ADRs will have several years of experience supervising interdisciplinary research teams.
  • Experience supervising and working with mixed methods research and/or researchers; ability to supervise and advise on sophisticated quantitative analyses.
  • Experience conducting applied policy research; subject matter expertise including understanding of current criminal legal systems and policy.
  • Ability to support and build advocacy efforts and external stakeholder relationships.
  • Advanced technical, methodological, analytic, and project leadership skills.
  • Commitment to race equity is required.

Preferred:

  • Experience partnering with advocacy and strategic communications professionals is a plus.
  • Experience conducting community-based research, research with people who have experienced trauma, and/ or research with people who have been detained or incarcerated

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities you'll bring:

  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite
  • Fluency in Stata, SPSS, or R statistical software; ability to lead and support code review in these programs or GitHub
  • Proficient with Atlas.TI or similar qualitative analysis software
  • Proficient with Datawrapper, Tableau, ArcGIS, or similar data visualization and mapping software
  • Experience managing and analyzing administrative criminal legal system datasets
  • Experience with program evaluation design and implementation

Location:

Please note this role will report to our Brooklyn, NY, or Washington, D.C., office. 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 $129,000 - $134,000. 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 / Associate Director, Research
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