Job Title: Research Associate
PVN ID: VB-1809-002739
Category: Research

Key Features

Full Time
Annual Salary Range
$55,000.00 - $80,000.00
Closing Date
Apr 17, 2019 (Or Until Filled)


Job Description

General Description

CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance (ISLG): Overview

ISLG is an institute within the City University of New York. The Institute’s mission is to help achieve improvements in the financing, delivery, and measurement of critical public services by assisting current and future leaders in government, non-profit organizations, and the private sector, in the U.S. and internationally, by offering research, technical assistance, and education and training. The Institute’s director, Michael Jacobson, previously served as New York City’s Probation and Correction Commissioner and president of the Vera Institute of Justice.


Project Description

ISLG is hiring a Research Associate to provide technical and data management support on the Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC), a $100 million initiative funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to reduce over-incarceration by changing the way America thinks about and uses jails. To date, the Foundation has awarded 20 jurisdictions grants to implement strategies across the criminal justice system that will reduce jail populations and racial and ethnic disparities. ISLG is one of several organizations providing technical assistance and counsel to the 20 jurisdictions as they plan and implement reforms. Our primary role is to monitor and assess the performance of participating sites to demonstrate progress over time and help sites make adjustments in practices as needed. Specifically, using local criminal justice data from each site, we create and track performance measures related to the broad goals and objectives of the initiative. ISLG also serves as the data liaison for the initiative, collecting and managing local system-wide criminal justice data for all 20 sites in support of the Challenge’s broader research and evaluation agenda.

 The Research Associate may also have opportunities to work in a similar capacity on other projects at the Institute.

Position Description

ISLG is looking to hire a Research Associate for the SJC team that will focus specifically on providing data management and technical support across multiple sites. The Research Associate will report to a Senior Researcher and will work closely with other project staff. Specifically, the RA will support project team members through the following activities:

Cleaning and preparing case-level administrative data files for analysis (i.e. importing, reshaping, recoding) in a streamlined and efficient manner

  • Writing programming and syntax
  • Creating a system for organizing and managing data files
  • Responding to data requests across sites
  • Translating “conceptual”/practical data needs from SJC project team members into technical programming language
  • Working closely with SJC project team members to ensure that technical work is informed by an understanding of local criminal justice processes
  • Serving as a technical consultant to sites and partners, as needed
  • Assisting in the development of data requests and file specification protocols for site partners that are providing data to ISLG
  • Conducting quantitative analysis as needed
  • Maintaining detailed documentation on all data management decisions and technical work
  • Developing codebooks, file specifications, and other resource documents
  • Conducting data and systems reviews as needed
  • Potentially traveling to sites, as needed

Other Duties



  • MA or PhD in computer science, data analytics, data science, data/information management or other related field
  • At least two years of experience (four or more years preferred) doing data management work in an applied research setting
  • Experience working with administrative data (experience with criminal justice data a plus)
  • Excellent data management and analysis skills, including extensive experience cleaning, coding, merging, and analyzing large and complex quantitative data files in SQL, SPSS, R, SAS, or STATA (including fluency in programming/syntax in one or more of these programs)
  • Experience in information technology and/or database administration
  • An ability to understand practical project requests and figure out what technical work is needed to meet them
  • An ability to discuss technical work with project members in an accessible manner
  • A basic understanding of the criminal justice system is a plus, but not a requirement
  • An exceptional commitment to accuracy and attention to detail
  • An ability to work on a team, as well as independently


This is a full-time position with excellent benefits and is located in New York City. Salary range: $55,000–$80,000 depending on technical skills and level of experience.


How to Apply

To apply, you will need to submit a cover letter describing your qualifications and interests and attach your curriculum vitae via the Research Foundation Careers page. Questions can be addressed to


Application review will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled.