Position Description

Technical Research Assistant - Now Hiring 2021 BA/BS Graduates
Location New York, NY
Job Code 2021-02
# of Openings 7
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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 to be involved in the cutting edge of social research methodology. MDRC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization that works to find solutions to some of the most difficult problems facing the nation — from reducing poverty and bolstering economic self-sufficiency to improving public education and college graduation rates. We design promising new interventions, evaluate existing programs using the highest research standards, and provide technical assistance to build better programs and deliver effective interventions at scale.

MDRC is currently seeking Technical Research Assistants to work in our dynamic environment. Positions are available with immediate and upcoming start dates in June/July 2021. Candidates with immediate availability or who are graduating in spring/summer 2021 are highly encouraged to apply.


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 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 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 to include 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 multitasking; able to coordinate, organize, prioritize, and execute responsibilities in the face of conflicting priorities and unexpected situations.
  • Fluency in Microsoft Word and Excel.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Effective verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong work ethic.

The following groups in our New York City location have open positions available:

  • Center for Applied Behavioral Science. Using insights from behavioral economics to develop innovative, low-cost interventions that improve the effectiveness of social and educational programs.

  • Family Well-Being and Children’s Development. Evaluating early childhood education programs, strategies to improve family relationships, and interventions that focus on both parents and their children.

  • K-12 Education. 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.

  • Youth, Criminal Justice, and Employment. Identifying the most effective ways to improve labor market outcomes for disadvantaged young people and other individuals facing barriers to employment, including former prisoners — as well as on implementing reforms that aim to reduce the use of incarceration, save money for taxpayers, and maintain public safety.

Timing: Applications should be submitted by March 19th, 2021. All materials will be reviewed after the application deadline.

While all applications received by the deadline will be reviewed, interviews will be scheduled on a rolling basis. Anticipated start dates are in April 2021 and beyond until all positions are filled. Please see “What to expect from MDRC’s recruitment process” for more information.

Location: The position can be based in MDRC’s New York City office, but we anticipate remote work through mid-2021.

Compensation and benefits: Salary will be commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits and relocation assistance offered. On-the-job training, including introductory and supplemental SAS classes and basic statistics training, is provided.

Instructions: When submitting your application, please include:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Writing sample
  • Programming Sample
  • Names of three references
  • You may also select policy areas of interest

Only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted. Please note that the health and safety of our employees and candidates is very important to us and that interviews (when scheduled) will be conducted via video conferencing.

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. To request a reasonable accommodation during any stage of MDRC's employment process due to a disability, please contact recruitment@mdrc.org

MDRC's dedication to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion exceed compliance requirements. We believe that recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce of all backgrounds and perspectives improves the quality and relevance of our research, as well as the daily experiences of our staff. By fostering an equitable culture of inclusivity and belonging, we seek an environment in which staff feel welcomed, valued, and engaged in their work.

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