Research Associate, Safety Net

Posted by

Public Policy Institute of California

Published 18 days ago

This position provides foundational research support to advance PPIC’s Safety Net research agenda. Research associates work as part of research teams and under the direction of a senior research colleague, who provides guidance, review and mentorship. Responsibilities include assembling, coding, and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data, conducting literature searches, abstracting source materials, and presenting research in progress at project and research group meetings.

PPIC is currently working virtually. When PPIC’s offices reopen, this position will be based in PPIC’s San Francisco or Sacramento locations.

The PPIC Safety Net research group studies the interconnected nature of barriers to opportunity and considers how the safety net—including, but not only, programs overseen by the California Health and Human Services Agency—can work effectively, efficiently, and equitably to address those barriers for Californians.

In the Safety Net group our work addresses three related areas:

  • Reducing poverty: We assess the impact of state programs on individuals’ ability to meet basic needs, using the California Poverty Measure (CPM) to provide an integrated picture of those needs and related policy choices.
  • Supporting opportunity: We build on our strategic advantage in analyzing safety net programs in concert and work to connect them to holistic indicators of well-being.
  • Improving mobility: We examine safety net programs from long-term and two-generation perspectives.


  • Contribute to regular project and research group meetings
  • Construct and manage large data sets
  • Clean and analyze quantitative data
  • Perform literature searches, prepare and annotate bibliographies, and abstract data source materials
  • Assist in drafting research reports, including producing data visualizations and writing parts of technical appendices
  • Contact government agencies and other organizations to request data and other program information
  • Interact with external stakeholders
  • Assist PPIC Government Affairs staff with monitoring legislative developments
  • Perform administrative tasks as required

Research associates are integral members of PPIC’s research team. As their expertise develops, so do the opportunities to expand their level of responsibility regarding the stewardship of project-related work, the intellectual contribution to projects, or both.


  • Bachelors or Master’s degree in economics, health, political science, public policy, sociology or a related field, or equivalent experience
  • Solid computer skills: knowledge of Stata, SAS, R or another statistical package is required
  • Experience working with large data sets, preferably in Stata or SAS, along with outstanding analytical ability
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • Must be comfortable working on teams, taking initiative, paying attention to detail, delivering high quality output in a timely manner, and working in an ever-evolving policy environment
  • Demonstrated interest in applied policy research and health and human services policy (e.g., Medicaid, TANF, SNAP, refundable tax credits) is required; experience or interest in other policy areas is a plus

PPIC values the wide variety of backgrounds and experiences of our research staff, and key elements in the consideration of qualified candidates include excellence; diversity of talents, backgrounds, and viewpoints; and a strong fit with the institute’s mission, values, and goals.

To Apply

Visit and follow the applications instructions. Applications will be considered as they are received, and the position will remain posted until filled. Please tailor your cover letter to highlight how your credentials meet the qualifications listed above.

PPIC is committed to excellence through diversity. Our work is rooted in objective, data-driven policy analysis. We welcome and encourage applicants who reflect the full diversity of California. The expertise of our staff members is essential to the success of PPIC’s mission, and we assist career and personal growth through robust support of skill development at all levels of the organization. We also provide a competitive package of benefits and financial compensation.

Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records. AA/EEO/Veterans/Disabled employer.

This position provides foundational research support to advance PPIC’s Safety Net research agenda. Research associates work as part of research teams and under the direction of a senior research colleague, who provides guidance, review…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule


500 Washington Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94111

How to Apply

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