Position Description

Technical Research Assistant/Analyst on Special Federal Assignment
Location Washington, DC
Job Code 9102-22
# of Openings 1
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MDRC is seeking a Technical Research Assistant or Technical Research Analyst (with two to four years’ experience) to work on site full time at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (HHS/ACF) in Washington, DC. The selected candidate would have the unique opportunity to work with federal and state agencies as well as top national experts from nonprofit organizations and academic institutions to improve Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) programs and participant outcomes. This position is part of a critical initiative to improve the capacity of TANF agencies to use data to inform policy and practice in order to improve employment and well-being outcomes for individuals and families. As a key part of the federal effort related to evidence-based policy making, the aim is to support routine use of TANF and other administrative data so that federal and state agencies can make more informed decisions about how to best understand and serve their clients.


  • Serve as communication liaison among federal staff and state agencies
    • Track TANF data transmissions and related issues and coordinate communication among states, the ACF Office of Family Assistance (OFA), the ACF Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation (OPRE), and the ACF Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) to address issues related to transmissions.
    • Communicate data quality and integrity issues to states, OFA regional staff, and OFA leadership.
    • Provide technical assistance on TANF data reporting and transmission
  • Develop and/or update on-demand federal reporting training and technical assistance content for states.
    • Contribute to periodic data newsletters for states.
    • Work with federal staff, contractors, and states to identify and solve problems related to emerging data issues.
  • Support the OFA division of data collection and analysis
    • Document and help improve data processing and management procedures.
    • Develop written products, such as data analysis briefs or technical memos that document data processing decisions and summarize data quality.
    • Participate in various stages of preparing, reviewing, and fact-checking figures, charts, tables, and documentation.
    • Help develop and tabulate outcome measures, restructure data files, perform data-cleaning operations, and review data publications.


  • A minimum of a BA/BS in mathematics, statistics, economics, education, public policy, psychology, sociology, social science, computer science, or a related field is required.
  • Interest in data, poverty research, and social safety net programs.
  • Demonstrated experience with a statistical or database programming language (e.g., SAS, R, SPSS, STATA, SQL).
  • Strong technical documentation skills and data management experience.
  • Good understanding of and experience with quantitative research methods.
  • Ability to be detail-oriented and self-motivated and to prioritize and balance a diverse workload.
  • Skilled at multitasking; able to coordinate, organize, prioritize, and execute responsibilities in the face of conflicting priorities and unexpected situations.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong computer skills, including advanced Microsoft Word and Excel skills required.
  • Strong organizational, written, and oral communication skills.

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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