Posted: May 18, 2023

Research Translation Associate

Opportunity Insights - Cambridge, MA
Application Deadline: N/A


Harvard University’s Opportunity Insights (OI) is seeking a Research Translation Associate. This role will report to the Director of Research Translation and Strategic Initiatives and will indirectly report to OI Founding Director, Raj Chetty. The role will be responsible for content creation (written materials, data visualizations, research presentations, etc.), presentation preparation, and support for other initiatives to translate OI research to its various audiences (e.g., researchers, academics, policy and program leaders, etc.). This individual must be an experienced science writer, skilled data communicator, and skilled in and enthusiastic about working across varied and dynamic projects. This role will work closely with research teams (and must have a clear understanding and enthusiasm for the research) but will not conduct research.

OI is a nonpartisan research and policy institute focused on improving economic opportunity. Founded in 2018, Opportunity Insight has become a nationally- and internationally- recognized leader in the science of economic mobility and in the use of large administrative data to understand and address inequality. OI has published seminal work on national trends in upward mobility, racial disparities, the role of neighborhoods, higher education, and social capital in upward mobility, and the use of private-sector data to understand disparate impacts in the current economic recession and recovery. To complement this research, OI has developed data resources including the Opportunity Atlas, the Social Capital Atlas, and the Economic Tracker to support evidence-based policy and practice.


Materials development and communication of original research

  • Develops a range of original research materials including technical and non-technical research summaries, congressional testimony, grant reports, and website content. Informational research handouts, and research presentations
  • Fields inquiries and email correspondence and serves as a technical resource on inbound data- and research-related questions

Preparation for major presentations, meetings, and communications

  • Reviews, assesses, routes, answers, and monitors follow-up action on correspondence
  • Serves as primary contact for answering inquiries and managing speaking engagement requests for Prof. Chetty (intake, prep, communication)
  • Facilitates communication with team, external and university contacts including drafting substantive responses to inquiries
  • Prepares for speaking engagements, including assembling slides, conducting due diligence on requests, and preparing briefs on events/agendas/attendees

Course Development and Other Special Projects

  • Supports Prof. Chetty’s course development efforts within and outside of Harvard, including maintenance and updates to existing online course content
  • Provides support for other special projects and strategic initiatives related to research translation and policy engagement efforts

Organizational Support

  • As needed, serves as a back-up for administrative staff on matters pertaining to event and meeting management, building support, and administrative support for Prof. Chetty (including email support, travel arrangements, and calendar management)


Basic Qualifications

  • Undergraduate degree in a relevant field required
  • 3 to 5 years of relevant experience in quantitative research, social science writing, and data communications

Specific Job Skills

  • Master’s degree preferred
  • Excellent technical writing and data visualization skills and demonstrated abilities in materials development for technical and non-technical audiences
  • Training and expertise in economics, statistics, and other social science research and methodological approaches used in OI’s work
  • Strong data and scientific background with an ability to understand dataset construction, methods, and findings with nuance and to translate results with rigor and ease between academic and non-academic stakeholders
  • Comfort working with data for descriptive analyses and to aggregate results for communication
  • Demonstrated ability in materials development; excellent ability in written communication and data visualization for academic, policy, and lay-person audiences
  • Familiarity with administrative functions and processes
  • Demonstrated experience with project management and handling dynamic projects with multiple collaborators

Additional Competencies and Skills

Must be a professional, proactive, creative, collaborative, and conscientious individual. Additional competencies include:

  • Highly organized, detail-oriented, and strong interpersonal and communication
  • Ability to establish and promote good working relationships with colleagues, faculty, administrators, students, and vendors, and to handle confidential materials with discretion
  • Team player – willing to contribute to collaborative culture
  • Knowledge of the research topics and methodologies covered by OI preferred
  • Flexibility and the ability to handle multiple tasks accurately under deadline pressure


Cambridge, MA (Hybrid arrangements may be possible for this position.)

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

How to Apply

Please apply through Harvard’s online portal. To be considered for this position, a cover letter and resume must be submitted. A skills assessment will be required as part of the interview process.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.