Position Description

Technical Research Assistant
Location New York, NY
Job Code 2021-69
# of Openings 1
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MDRC is seeking a Technical Research Assistant with an interest in public policy research and quantitative analysis to join the Center for Applied Behavioral Science (CABS). MDRC is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that uses experimental studies to build knowledge in the social and education policy fields. CABS combines MDRC’s policy and evaluation expertise with insights from behavioral science. Since launching the first major project to apply a behavioral research lens to human services programs that serve low-income families in the United States, CABS has expanded and developed numerous projects in child support, child welfare, welfare-to-work, workforce development, K-12 education, and higher education. Our research draws upon behavioral science, predictive modeling, and other advanced quantitative techniques. Technical Research Assistants within CABS have the opportunity to work as a part of multidisciplinary teams on current social policy issues in a dynamic and challenging environment, alongside leading public policy experts.


The main responsibility of a technical researchers is to collect, process, manage, and analyze a variety of quantitative datasets to help 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:

  • Writing and reviewing SAS code to create outcome measures, restructure data files, perform data-cleaning operations, and perform various forms of statistical and data analysis.
  • Run statistical models and perform data analysis to identify the impacts of social programs.
  • Contributing to and implementing the project team’s data management and security plans.
  • Writing technical memos that document data processing decisions and summarize the quality of data.
  • Contributing to analytical sections of research reports.
  • 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.


The ideal candidate will be a passionate problem-solver — someone who relishes the intricacies of writing code to cleaning difficult data. This role is a fit for someone who loves data and thrives on engaging in the intellectual puzzle of solving data problems with code.

  • BA/BS in mathematics, statistics, economics, education, public policy, psychology, sociology, social science, computer science, or a related field is required.
  • Experience with a statistical programming or database programming language, such as SAS, R, STATA, SPSS, or SQL.
  • A good understanding of quantitative research methods and experience applying quantitative research methods.
  • Active involvement in various stages of research projects, from project design to analysis and reporting.
  • Data management experience.
  • Demonstrated interest in social policy issues and research.
  • Strong technical documentation skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

This position is part of a collective bargaining unit under Social Policy Worker United (SPWU) – Local 57 of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

Timing: Applications should be submitted by Friday, December 3, 2021.

Please see “What to expect from MDRC’s recruitment process” for more information.

Location: Based in MDRC’s New York City, but we anticipate remote work through January 2022.

Compensation and benefits: Salary will be commensurate with experience. Comprehensive benefits and relocation assistance offered. Some on-the-job training is provided.

Instructions: When submitting your application, please include:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Programming sample
  • Names of three references

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. As a Federally Contracted employer, MDRC is in full compliance with all applicable regulations including, but not limited to, recent changes that require vaccination of employees of federal contractors. All employees are required to be fully vaccinated with one of the available COVID-19 vaccinations, unless they have sought and received an exemption from this policy due to a disability or other medical condition, or because of a sincerely held religious belief. Accommodations are granted in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Applicants must submit proof of vaccination or request and submit an applicable request for accommodation during the offer stage.

MDRC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. No qualified applicant, employee, intern, volunteer, or apprenticeship trainee will be discriminated against on the basis of his, her, or their race (including traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and protective hairstyles), color, national origin (including physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics), marriage to or association with persons of a national origin group, tribal affiliation, membership in or association with an organization identified with or seeking to promote the interests of a national origin group, name that is associated with a national origin group, accent, language use, immigration status, citizenship, possession of a driver’s license issued to persons unable to prove their lawful presence in the United States, and other definitions under California or other states’ laws, ancestry, creed, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices), age, citizenship, veteran and/or military status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity (including transgender status), gender expression, gender transitioning or perceived gender transitioning, marital status or civil partnership/union status, physical or mental disability (actual or perceived), medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), genetic information, protected medical leaves (requesting or being approved for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act) or similar state family medical leave laws, domestic violence victim status, political affiliation, or any other basis prohibited by applicable federal, state or local law. Legal work authorization is required. To request a reasonable accommodation during any stage of MDRC&’s employment process due to a disability, please contact HRQuestions@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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