The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization that combines expertise in research, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to assist leaders in government and civil society examine justice policy and practice, and improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace.
Vera’s Center on Immigration and Justice (CIJ) works with government, nonprofit partners, and communities to improve government systems that affect immigrants and their families. The center administers several nationwide legal services programs for immigrants facing deportation, develops and implements pilot programs, provides technical assistance, and conducts independent research and evaluation studies with funding from government, scientific agencies, and private foundations. CIJ researchers also support the Center’s programmatic efforts and perform regular analysis of federal government and subcontractor data.
Vera seeks a Research Associate or Senior Research Associate to work with its Center on Immigration and Justice (CIJ) on a research team for its new multi-city initiative on immigrant representation. This is an opportunity to help shape an innovative national research and policy agenda as part of a dedicated team of experts working to improve access to justice for noncitizens.
The incumbent will work with the existing research team to plan and implement nationwide research on the effects of legal representation for detained immigrants, their families, and communities. This will likely involve setting up and conducting focus groups with a wide range of stakeholders, interviewing clients in Spanish, implementing innovative qualitative methodologies, analyzing qualitative data, helping coordinate a cost benefit assessment, and working with cities and legal service providers to document and interpret program service and government data.
This is a full time position based in New York City.
The ideal candidate will possess the following:
- Qualitative research experience, including previous work with focus groups, ethnographic research, or interviews with vulnerable populations;
- Ability to conduct interviews in Spanish;
- Strong organization, communication, data analysis, and writing skills;
- Ability to work collaboratively on a team, as well as to take initiative and manage projects independently;
- Understanding of quantitative methods and ability to collaborate on evaluation and data reporting activities linking quantitative and qualitative findings;
- Experience in applied research or policy settings, including maintaining relationships with project partners;
- Willingness to periodically travel to cities across the United States to conduct research;
- Interest in or knowledge of mapping or data visualization is a plus;
- Familiarity with or demonstrated interest in issues affecting immigrants in the United States.
Candidates for the Senior Research Associate position must additionally possess the following:
- Ph.D. in a relevant social science field or an advanced degree and equivalent work experience;
- Project management experience, and ability and dedication to mentoring and supervising other research staff;
- Exceptional written and oral communication skills for research and non-research audiences, and ability to communicate complex scientific findings to government and community partners;
- A history of successful external funding and/or research publications;
- Experience with human subjects research ethics requirements and Institutional Review Boards; and
- Eligibility for government security clearance.