Position Description

Research Associate
Location New York, NY; Oakland or Los Angeles, CA
Job Code 9102-59
# of Openings 1
Apply Now

MDRC is seeking an Associate to join our Postsecondary Education policy area, which conducts research to gauge the impacts of programs designed to help low-income students succeed academically in community colleges and other postsecondary institutions and provides support for evidence-based program design based on our findings.  

MDRC is a recognized as a national leader in postsecondary education research and technical assistance. For its growing postsecondary education agenda, MDRC is seeking a person to work as part of interdisciplinary teams on institutional reform, comprehensive student services, financial aid, and developmental education interventions. This position covers a range of possible activities within MDRC’s national and state-level postsecondary work, including research, operations, technical assistance, development, and dissemination. Candidates should have an interest in postsecondary education programs and/or research, and strong analytical, communication, and organizational skills. The staff person will have the opportunity to work as part of a multidisciplinary team on current social policy issues related to postsecondary education in a dynamic and challenging environment. The position provides opportunities to lead tasks within large-scale projects, under the guidance and supervision of leading program evaluation and public policy researchers, and over time serve as a project manager.


The position provides the successful candidate an immediate opportunity to engage in a range of activities, including:

  • Work with a multidisciplinary research team to conceptualize and implement rigorous evaluations of postsecondary education initiatives, helping the policy area build a portfolio of new work;
  • Conduct reconnaissance and recruit sites into MDRC evaluations;
  • Develop and deliver technical assistance and program-related support to service providers;
  • Serve as liaison between evaluation sites and MDRC project directors;
  • Assess and monitor ongoing program planning, implementation, and operations in program locations and provide formative feedback;
  • Conduct interviews and observations with a broad group of administrators, program staff, policymakers, students, and other key stakeholders;
  • Analyze data, synthesis findings, write reports, and disseminate results to policymakers, practitioners, and social scientists; and
  • Lead aspects of large-scale studies and potentially assume leadership of smaller-scale projects.


Prospective candidates should possess the following qualifications:

  • Graduate-level degree (either a master’s degree with relevant program operations experience or a Ph.D.) in a social policy/science or a related field preferred;
  • Knowledge of and experience in postsecondary education;
  • Demonstrated interest in social policy issues affecting low-income children and families;
  • Understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methods;
  • Ability to work both independently and as part of a team;
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks and meet deadlines;
  • Ability to independently lead the work of a team on tasks within projects;
  • Excellent written, oral, and interpersonal communication skills, as well as analytical ability;
  • Ability to collaborate and work with diverse program teams;
  • Cultural competence to conduct research and technical assistance in diverse communities and the ability to relate to program management staff, site staff, community residents, and study participants; and
  • Comfort in working in a highly collaborative and fast-paced environment.

The position requires travel and is based in MDRC’s New York or Oakland office; some on-the-job training is provided. Salary and level will be commensurate with education and experience. Comprehensive fringe benefits offered.

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.

Back Apply Now