Research Assistant

Location: New York, NY; Oakland or Los Angeles, CA
Job Code: 9102-15


MDRC is a leading education and social policy research organization. We are currently seeking Research Assistants to join our K-12 education policy area group, which works to conduct rigorous research on some of the most critical issues in public education. Our researchers are at the top of the field and work on multiple large-scale projects for funders, including the U.S. Department of Education and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, among many other private and public organizations seeking to build evidence and knowledge about important educational issues. We conduct many of our evaluations in urban school districts such as Philadelphia and New York City, but also do research in rural districts in states such as Florida and Ohio. Specifically, our work focuses on improving the educational opportunities and experiences of low-income people by addressing issues such as increasing high school graduation rates, closing racial and economic achievement gaps, using behavioral nudges to improve educational outcomes, and many others that are of pressing national and local policy concern.


  • Program site support and program development activities, including communicating with stakeholders and study liaisons in schools and districts.
  • Partnership with senior staff on implementation research design and field research in participating school districts.
  • Interviews with research participants and coding/analysis of qualitative data.
  • Close involvement in various stages of producing reports, proposals, and papers (coordinating across authors, writing, preparing charts and tables, fact-checking, and documentation).
  • Involvement in designing innovative ways to communicate our findings to practitioners and policymakers.
  • General support for multiple projects, including management of evaluation activities, scheduling meetings, taking notes, and managing project organization databases


  • BA/BS in public policy, sociology, education, or a related field.
  • Demonstrated interest in social policy issues, such as K-12 education policy.
  • Basic understanding of qualitative research methods and educational program operations work.
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to multitask and work efficiently.
  • Comfortable working in a team-oriented, fast-paced environment.
  • Very strong writing and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to collaborate and work well with program teams comprised of senior and junior staff and demonstrated sensitivity to conducting research in communities that serve traditionally underrepresented groups.
  • Previous experience working in a nonprofit setting or as a Research Assistant is a plus.

The Research Assistant positions are based in MDRC’s New York City or Oakland offices. Some on-the-job training is provided. We offer excellent fringe benefits, including generous paid vacation and personal days and comprehensive health insurance, among others. Salary will be commensurate with experience.

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.

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