Job Title: Research Associate
PVN ID: VB-2011-003757
Category: Research

Job Description

General Description

The CUNY Institute for State and Local Governance has a mission to improve the financing, delivery, and measurement of critical public services through research, technical assistance, and education. We lead projects aimed at reforming the criminal justice system, measuring urban inequality, expanding the reach of social service providers, and more. Each project has a dedicated team of research and policy experts who collaborate closely with internal and external organizations. Our staff have the opportunity to work with colleagues and supervisors across projects and with different types of expertise. We are seeking new team members with enthusiasm to shape the future of state and local policy.

Our goals for diversity and inclusion

We strive to foster an office environment and an approach to work that welcomes and respects different perspectives, backgrounds, and life experiences. We are working towards our goal of recruiting and retaining staff and board members who are diverse in terms of race, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, religion, veteran status, socioeconomic status, disability, and justice system involvement.

Who we are looking for

ISLG is hiring a Research Associate to work on multiple projects, with key responsibilities in assessing implementation of program/intervention/reform efforts, tracking progress and impacts of these efforts, project development, and grants management. The position is full-time and may involve travel (when possible amid the Coronavirus pandemic). Our office is located in New York City and the position will be housed there over the long term; however, the work will be remote in the immediate term.

One of the projects will be the New York County District Attorney’s Office’s (DANY’s) Criminal Justice Investment Initiative (CJII), which aims to reduce crime and improve fairness and efficiency in the criminal justice system. This work spans many projects distributed among three primary portfolios: a) Youth, Families, and Communities, b) Victims of Crime, and c) Diversion and Reentry Support. In this work, ISLG provides technical assistance to DANY and oversees the CJII, including performance monitoring for all grantees. The Research Associate will monitor the performance of grantees under the Youth, Families, and Communities portfolio, specifically the Family and Youth Development Programs, Youth Opportunity Hubs, and Programs and Approaches for Foster Youth Transitioning to Adulthood initiatives. The Research Associate will also oversee the evaluators funded under each of these initiatives, including shaping the evaluation designs and translating findings into practice and policy implications. For more information about ISLG and CJII, please visit and

The Research Associate will also work on other criminal justice projects in the Institute’s research portfolio, many of which focus on reducing incarcerated populations through criminal justice reform. One such project is the Safety and Justice Challenge (SJC), which was funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to reduce the overuse and indiscriminate use of jails across the country. On the SJC and these other projects, researchers are responsible for a range of tasks, including collecting and analyzing criminal justice data to better understand drivers of key outcomes; assessing the implementation of reform efforts; tracking progress and impacts related to criminal justice reform efforts through performance metrics; developing reports, dashboards, and other types of data visualizations to communicate analytical findings to policy and practice audiences; and identifying fair and effective strategies for reducing jail populations and racial and ethnic disparities.

The Research Associate will report to the Research Project Director (RPD) and will work closely with other research, policy, and communications staff. Specifically, the Research Associate’s work will include:

Data management

  • Developing data requests and data collection protocols for criminal justice agencies, community-based service providers, and other relevant organizations; and
  • Cleaning, coding, merging, and preparing administrative data files and codebooks for analysis.

Research and analysis

  • Developing, analyzing, and interpreting performance metrics, including their policy and practice implications; and synthesizing the data into digestible reports, memoranda, and briefings;
  • Conducting quantitative analysis, including descriptive analysis, and potentially higher-level multivariate analyses;
  • Carrying out policy and practice reviews;
  • Conducting interviews, focus groups, and observations; and
  • Conducting qualitative analysis, including content analysis and development of themes.

Using analysis to inform policy and practice

  • Working closely with the RPD, research and policy teams to oversee the implementation of the Youth, Families, and Communities portfolio and other initiatives;
  • Reporting back to grantees about their ongoing performance, and using data to address challenges and barriers to implementation;
  • Providing technical assistance to government and community partners, as needed, to develop criminal justice reform strategies and build data and analytical capacity; and

Research development

  • Participating in frequent formal and informal cross-organizational collaboration to generate new ideas and develop new research projects to grow the Institute’s body of work; and
  • Conducting literature reviews and analysis to identify areas of opportunity in criminal justice research.

Grants Management

  • Liaising with external evaluators of designated CJII grantees, including review of deliverables, problem-solving evaluation challenges, and translating findings for various audiences;
  • Liaising regularly with grantees and monitoring their progress in meeting goals and objectives;
  • Engaging project stakeholders, including personnel from city agencies in meetings, emails, and phone calls;
  • Reviewing invoices and budgets; and
  • Troubleshooting issues as they arise.

Other Duties


We would love to hear from you if:

  • You have experience (2 years or more) developing, conducting and/or managing high-quality research in an applied research setting, including advanced quantitative and/or qualitative research skills;
  • You have a background in criminal justice or a related field, and an ability to translate analytical and research findings into policy and practice recommendations;
  • You have experience in collecting and working with administrative data, particularly data from government agencies and/or community organizations (experience with criminal justice data a plus);
  • You have expertise in statistical software packages (R, SPSS and/or STATA)—including experience cleaning, coding, merging, and analyzing quantitative data files in such packages;
  • You have strong communication skills, especially when it comes to clearly conveying complex research findings to broader audiences;
  • You create and maintain excellent working relationships with colleagues and project partners;
  • You are dedicated to accuracy and pay attention to detail;
  • You have excellent time management skills and experience working in deadline-driven environments, and ability to adapt to changing demands and requirements as projects develop;
  • You are flexible; and
  • You have personal experience relevant to the mission of the organization (optional, but a plus).

This is a full-time position in New York City with a salary range of $60,000-$80,000 and excellent benefits, including:

  • Comprehensive medical/dental/vision insurance
  • Paid vacation and personal days
  • Paid sick leave
  • CUNY tuition reimbursement program
  • Pre-tax benefits for transit and healthcare costs
  • Family/parental leave
  • Life insurance
  • A retirement plan with employer contribution.

Our staff also benefit from:

  • A positive work/life balance.
  • Opportunities for advancement within the organization.
  • Engagement with the broader CUNY network.
  • Working with organizational leadership who have years of significant public sector and policymaking expertise.

How to Apply

To apply, please visit You will need to submit a cover letter describing your qualifications and interests and attach your curriculum vitae. Questions can be addressed to Application review will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Key Features

CUNY Institute for State & Local Governa
Full Time
Annual Salary Range
$60,000.00 - $80,000.00
Closing Date
Jan 03, 2021 (Or Until Filled)