Research Associate

Job Type

Full Time




United States


Research Associate – Full Time

July 2018

Public Agenda’s is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to strengthening democracy and expanding opportunity for all Americans. We pursue our mission through projects that employ research, public engagement, and communications to:

  • Help leaders better understand and respond to the public’s evolving views, values and concerns.
  • Help the public better understand challenges facing their communities and the nation, such as education, health care, police-community relations and climate change.
  • Give those affected by a problem a voice and role in forging solutions.

Public Agenda was cofounded by Dan Yankelovich, a social scientist, public opinion research pioneer and democratic theorist and public/stakeholder opinion research are mainstays of the organization. Our research department regularly conducts quantitative and/or qualitative studies on K-12 education, higher education, health care, democratic reform and civic engagement. On an occasional basis we also work on incarceration reform, immigration, workforce development and other topics. We employ large-scale opinion surveys, focus groups, in-depth one-on-one interviews and are interested in expanding into other methodologies over time. The research department frequently collaborates with Public Agenda’s public engagement and communications teams on joint projects.

We seek a highly motivated, collaborative, experienced research associate who is interested in joining our team in New York City. This position reports to the director of research.

Key Responsibilities

As part of a collaborative research team, the research associate will be involved in all phases of our public opinion research and other research projects. His/her primary responsibilities will be to significantly contribute to and occasionally lead: background research and policy reviews; the development of research instruments, including surveys, focus group moderator guides and interview guides; fieldwork, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and drafting and production of reports and briefs for varied audiences.

Required Skills and Abilities:

·        Master’s degree in the social sciences, public policy or a related discipline, with a minimum of 4 years of full-time experience conducting applied social science research, including both quantitative and qualitative methods.  

·        Ability to conduct a range of descriptive and some advanced statistical analyses. Comfortable using SPSS or similar statistical software programs.

·        At least 2 years of significant focus group research experience, including moderating groups and analyzing qualitative data. 

·        Ability to effectively engage individuals of diverse backgrounds and industries in interviews and focus group discussions. 

·        Experience developing survey questions, ideally for policy-relevant research, and a strong interest overall in working on public policy issues. Significant experience in one or more of the following areas is a plus: K-12 education, postsecondary education, health care, civic engagement, democracy reform.

·        Willingness to collaborate with team to translate research findings into key insights, implications and actionable solutions for internal and external audiences.

·        Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including report writing, editing and presentation skills. Writing effectively for non-academic leadership audiences is a very strong plus, as is grant writing.

·        Strong Excel skills, experience creating charts and graphs, and interest in data visualization is a plus.

·        Intellectual curiosity, a sense of humor and ability to work with a diverse team on diverse projects.

·        Highly organized, able to coordinate multiple schedules and project logistics on an ongoing basis.

·        A strong interest in Public Agenda’s mission and a comfort level working in a nonpartisan (as opposed to an advocacy) organization.

Please send your resume, cover letter and a writing sample (as one PDF) to Roslyn Beck at Applications without writing samples will not be considered.

Public Agenda is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity. Minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin. We are a national organization based in New York City (Brooklyn Heights), and offer a competitive salary, excellent benefits, and room to grow.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

Master's degree