Position Description

Technical Research Assistant
Location New York, NY
Job Code 9102-45
# of Openings 1
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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 studies and designs approaches to problems confronting education; low-income children, families, and communities; low-wage workers; and people who have serious barriers to employment.

MDRC is currently seeking a Technical Research Assistant to work in our dynamic Postsecondary Education policy area.


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 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 position is based in MDRC’s New York City office. Salary and level will be commensurate with experience. Comprehensive fringe benefits offered.

On-the-job training, including introductory and supplemental SAS classes and basic statistics training, is provided. Salary will be commensurate with experience and comprehensive benefits are offered.

If interested, please attach a writing sample and programming sample to your application (associated data does not need to be included).. 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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