Research Associate, Democracy (Voting & Representation)

Brennan Center for Justice · New York, NY

Data + Analytics
Public Service & Civic Engagement
$58,000 - $78,000 Per Year
Posted 2 weeks ago

Project Management
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The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve the systems of democracy and justice in the United States. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. Among our core priorities, we fight to protect voting rights, end mass incarceration, strengthen checks and balances, and preserve constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them — in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion. 

Our Voting and Representation Program advocates for free, fair, and accessible elections, with special focus on the ways systemic barriers impede electoral participation by communities of color. The past ten years have seen a brazen and widespread assault on the right to vote. Elected officials at the highest levels have deployed disinformation and misinformation to scapegoat communities trying to assert their rightful place in the electorate. And the Capitol attack made plain that some are even prepared to reject the use of elections as the arena to contest political differences. We meet these challenges, and others, head on. We do so with partners ranging from community-based organizations to election administrators to pro bono counsel.  

The Research Associate supports the work of Research Fellows, Senior Research Fellows, and program staff including attorneys. 

Note: Brennan Center employees adhere to a hybrid schedule that is subject to change, with most employees currently working in the office a minimum of three days per week. The position is based at our headquarters in New York City and may require occasional travel. 

Responsibilities for the position include: 

  • Conducting empirical research and data analysis, under the instruction and mentorship of the research supervisor. Research methods include statistical regression analysis, surveys, qualitative methods, text analysis, and other approaches. 
  • Collecting and cleaning raw data from a wide variety of sources. 
  • Preparing literature reviews. 
  • Managing public records requests and other data pipelines. 
  • Providing administrative, logistical, and/or project management support to research supervisors and attorneys. 
  • Drafting and editing publications, reports, academic journal articles, and other public communications as needed. 
  • Taking on special projects and other duties as assigned. 

This is a junior-level position reporting to a Research Fellow or Senior Research Fellow. 


  • A bachelor’s degree is the minimum education requirement, but candidates with a master’s degree will be given full consideration. Two years of applied data and research experience (undergraduate or post-graduate) is preferred. 
  • This position also requires specific technical skills, including working knowledge of a command-line program (preferably R or Stata), familiarity with Excel, and basic data cleaning skills. 
  • Strong ability to efficiently manage time, ensure attention to detail and accuracy, and communicate clearly in writing and verbally with cross-functional teams is required. 
  • While not required, familiarity with the fields of U.S. democracy, elections, politics, demography, and/or civil rights is a plus. 
  • Our research centers issues of equity with respect to race, gender, sexual orientation, class, and other sociopolitical factors; comfort with equity as a driving principle of research is essential to success in the role. 

The Brennan Center is committed to advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the workplace. We continuously work with our staff to find new ways to increase diversity and to build and cultivate an inclusive and equitable work environment, where everyone can be their true self and feel a strong sense of belonging. As such, we seek to hire employees who have a commitment to and/or experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition, we expect employees to participate/contribute with DEI initiatives or activities with recruitment, retention, and workplace culture.  

Position Start Date: The earliest start date will be September 2023. 


Applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis, and decisions will be made as soon as appropriate candidates are identified.  We hope to expeditiously move through the recruitment process; therefore, we strongly encourage interested applicants to apply early. To apply, please visit >>this link<< and upload the following application materials: (1) cover letter, (2) resume, (3) writing sample (no more than 10 pages), (4) coding sample (no more than 1 page) and (5) contact information for three references. Applications without all of the previously listed materials will not be considered. If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: [email protected] with “Research Associate, Voting & Representation” in the subject line, after registering in the online system. 

Compensation and Benefits: 

The salary range assigned for this position is $58,000-$73,000. We determine our salary ranges based on market competitiveness and internal equity for each job. The salary offered to a selected candidate will be contingent upon the candidate’s qualifications, experience, and education, along with internal equity considerations.  Additionally, we offer a very robust and competitive array of benefits such as a generous time off program, 401k plan, comprehensive health insurance (medical, dental, and vision), and wellness and office perks. 

In addition, this position is part of a bargaining unit represented by the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, UAW local 2320. 

Note: The Brennan Center is committed to public health and to the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and visitors.  As such, we have adopted a policy requiring all employees working in the New York and Washington, DC offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19, including having a booster, or to meet the legal guidelines for an exemption.

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