Who we are:
The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a nonprofit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. We are an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. We leverage our access to government to transform these systems and work collaboratively with stakeholders across many movements—including advocacy, grassroots, and grasstop organizations. Our role is to pilot solutions that are transformative and achievable, harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice, and use advocacy and communications to change narratives and norms.
Vera has a staff of 300 people and offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. We are an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace. We expect our staff to embody respect, independence, collaboration, commitment, anti-racism, and equity—both in our outward-facing work and the internal culture of our workplace. We value a range of experiences in people’s educational backgrounds and encourage people who have been directly impacted by the criminal justice system to apply.
Who you are:
The Principal Research Associate (PRA) for the Advanced Universal Representation (UREP) Initiative will conduct and oversee research in support of the Initiative’s goal to advance universal representation for people facing deportation. The PRA will lead the conceptualization, design, and implementation of impact evaluation studies, involving a range of program contexts. Through this work, they will have a unique opportunity to lead the evaluation of SAFE network programs to help make the case for the continuity and expansion of government-funded universal representation. The PRA will have a strong background and successful track record in quantitative and impact evaluation research. The PRA will support the strategic development of the Initiative’s research agenda and design, implement a range of research projects, ensure the rigorous implementation of research tasks, mentor other researchers, represent the initiative’s research portfolio in designated engagements, and advise and assist other teams within the Initiative or across Vera, as needed.
What you'll do:
Research conceptualization, design, and implementation
- Work closely with the Initiative’s Associate Director of Research and other members of the team in the development of the initiative’s research agenda
- Lead the conceptualization, design, and implementation of a range of evaluation studies, using quantitative, qualitative, mixed-methods, and participatory research approaches
- Bring a creative use of social science approaches and research methods to the urgent need to build evidence showing the impact of government-funded universal representation Vera is advancing through the Advancing Universal Representation Initiative.
- Center race equity and a critical racial justice lens in research and publications, helping to advance a broader body of immigration research connecting the criminal legal and immigration systems in support of Vera’s reform efforts
- Lead, train and supervise others on data collection and analyses (qualitative or quantitative)
- Develop and monitor the execution of project workplans to ensure conformity with deadlines and budget
Write up/presentation of research
- Lead development and editing of research publications and evidence-based messaging and products in support of project or initiative goals, including rapid response work
- Present Vera’s research to external audiences, including academic and policy-focused conferences and professional meetings
- Hire and recruit senior research associates, associates, or analysts, and supervise senior research associates, research associates, analysts or interns
- Provide training and technical assistance to researchers
Internal collaboration and support
- Actively engage in UREP initiative-wide activities
- Advise advocacy, site-implementation, blueprinting design, and communications on subject area and methodological issues
- Lead efforts to ensure Vera’s race equity and inclusion priorities are a core aspect of Vera’s research, including in methodological approaches, publications, hiring and staffing, and external and internal research communications.
- Work with the research leadership team to ensure that researchers across the organization receive appropriate support
- Serve as the team representative in designated cross-team initiatives
Fundraising/ proposal development
- Develop research proposals in support of fundraising led by senior leadership in the program or initiative
- Develop and present IRB applications and ensure that research is conducted to the highest ethical standards, serving as Principal Investigator on research projects
- Mentor early career researchers in human subjects /IRB protocols
What qualifications are we looking for?
- Bachelor’s degree + 6-9 years of relevant experience. In lieu of degree, applicable work or life experience may be considered
- Broad experience conducting evaluation research (including needs assessments, program monitoring, cost-benefits analyses, and impact evaluation)
- Exceptional written and oral communications skills, including authoring and editing research reports in written and visual formats accessible to broader audiences, and translating and presenting research findings to community-based partners, advocates, funders, and media through a variety of written and visual media
- Advanced quantitative skills, including hands-on experience with both predictive and causal analyses, and ability to think creatively about how to use statistical modelling to address pressing policy questions.
- PhD or equivalent training and 6+ years of work experience, or equivalent applied experience over 10+ years
- Extensive track record using evaluation research as a tool for justice reform
- Subject matter expertise in immigration policy research
Technical knowledge we need you prepared to use:
- Statistical analysis software such as R or Stata
- Qualitative analysis software such as NVivo or Atlas.ti
Compensation and Benefits
The compensation range for this position is $110,000 – $115,000. Actual salaries will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. The salary range listed is just one component of Vera Institute’s total compensation package for employees. As an employer of choice in our field, supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we invest in the well-being of our staff through other rewards including merit pay, generous paid time off, a comprehensive health insurance plan, student loan repayment benefits, professional development training opportunities and up to $2,000 annual for education costs and fees relevant to Vera work, employer-funded retirement plan, and flexible time and remote work schedules. To learn more about Vera’s benefits offerings, click here.
Applications may also be faxed to:
ATTN: People Resources / Principal Research Associate, Advancing Universal Representation
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.
As a federal contractor, and in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.
Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.
Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.
For more information about Vera, please visit www.vera.org