No experience
Employment Type:
Full time
Job Category:
Social Service
Technical Research Assistant
(This job is no longer available)
MDRC | New York, NY
Grad Date

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Job Description

If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of low-income people, being part of a diverse and multidisciplinary staff, turning research findings into better public policies, and having hands-on involvement in building better programs, then consider an opportunity with MDRC and be involved in the cutting edge of social research methodology. We are a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization that studies and designs approaches to problems confronting education; low-income children, families, and communities; low-wage workers; and people who have serious barriers to employment.

We are currently seeking one or more Technical Research Assistants to work in our dynamic and challenging environment under the guidance and supervision of leading public policy researchers as well as leading researchers in the fields of developmental psychology, education, economics, and sociology.


The main responsibility of technical researchers is to collect, process, manage, and analyze a variety of quantitative data sets to help other researchers determine the effectiveness of social programs and policies. Technical Research Assistants will have a range of technical and nontechnical responsibilities, including but not limited to:

* Write SAS code to process incoming source data; create variables; restructure data files; evaluate data quality and perform data-cleaning operations; sort, update, and merge data files; create outcome measures; and perform various forms of statistical and data analysis.
* Run statistical models and perform data analysis in SAS to identify the impacts of social programs.
* Write technical memos that document data processing decisions and summarize the quality of data.
* Participate in various stages of producing reports, proposals, and papers, including conducting literature searches; preparing figures, charts, and tables; and fact-checking and documentation.
* Conduct other types of technical analysis, including survey response analysis.
* Create codebooks and other data documentation.
* Develop survey and data collection instruments.
* Assist in general project support, including scheduling meetings and note-taking.
* May be required to perform other tasks and duties reasonably related to job responsibilities.

Strong candidates will have:

* BA/BS in mathematics, statistics, economics, education, public policy, psychology, sociology, social science, computer science, or a related field is required.
* Demonstrated experience with a statistical or database programming language (e.g., SAS, R, SPSS, STATA, SQL).
* Good understanding of and experience with quantitative research methods.
* Strong technical documentation skills and data management experience.
* Demonstrated interest in social policy issues and research.
* Demonstrated ability to work in a challenging, multicultural, fast-paced, and changing work environment.
* Skilled at multi-tasking; able to coordinate, organize, prioritize, and execute responsibilities in the face of conflicting priorities and unexpected situations.
* Fluency with Microsoft Word and Excel.
* Strong interpersonal skills.
* Excellent attention to detail.
* Effective verbal and written communication skills.
* Strong work ethic.

Positions are available in the following policy area(s) in our New York City location:

Family Well-Being and Child Development

Focus on evaluating early childhood education programs, strategies to improve family relationships, and interventions that focus on both parents and their children.

K-12 Education

Focus on learning what works best to improve students' prospects for academic success in elementary, middle, and high school, focusing particularly on raising achievement in low-performing schools.

Young Adults and Postsecondary Education

Focus on developing projects to help low-income young adults succeed in school and the labor market and working with community colleges to test innovative ways to increase students' persistence and academic achievement.

Low-Wage Workers and Communities

Focus on testing initiatives to increase job retention and career mobility for low-wage workers; provide supports for low-income working parents and their families; and improve the quality of life in high-poverty communities.

Health and Barriers to Employment

Focus on identifying the most effective ways to improve labor market outcomes for individuals facing barriers to employment, including welfare recipients, out-of-school youth, individuals who have disabilities, and former prisoners.

In addition, positions are available to support MDRC's Center for Applied Behavioral Science. This center focuses on using insights from behavioral economics to develop innovative, low-cost interventions that improve the effectiveness of social and educational programs.

More information on the above policy areas and center can be found on the MDRC website.

On-the-job training, including introductory and supplemental SAS classes and basic statistics training, is provided. Salary will be commensurate with experience and comprehensive benefits are offered. If interested, please attach a writing sample and programming sample to your application. You may also select policy/center areas of interest when submitting your application. Only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted.

MDRC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. MDRC does not discriminate, and all qualified applications will receive consideration without regard to race; color; national origin; religion; creed; sex or gender (including sex stereotyping and gender identity or expression); sexual orientation; citizenship status; pregnancy; disability; age; military or veteran status; marital or partnership status; genetic information, genetic predisposition, or carrier status; prior unemployment status; consumer credit history; status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offenses, or stalking; or any other category protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws. Legal work authorization is required.

About MDRC

MDRC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan social policy research organization. We are dedicated to learning what works to improve the well-being of low-income people.