Posted: Jun 23, 2022

Research Associate, Racial Equity Analytics Lab (REAL) and Office of Race and Equity Research

The Urban Institute - Washington, DC
Application Deadline: N/A

About Urban Institute:

At the Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. As a nonprofit focusing on social and economic policy, our researchers and policy entrepreneurs open minds, shape decisions, and identify transformative solutions to the most pressing issues of our time.

Our Mission

To open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions through economic and social policy research.

Our Values

Collaboration, Equity, Inclusivity, Independence, and Integrity

For more information on the Urban Institute, please visit

The Opportunity:

The Office of Race and Equity Research is an interdisciplinary hub for innovation in research, policy, and practice to drive equity. Researchers are harnessing data across disciplines, disentangling the effects of race, class, and gender, and shifting from documenting racial and ethnic disparities to exposing injustices and informing solutions. In this new era, the Urban Institute’s Office of Race and Equity Research seeks to remedy structural inequities and foster prosperity and opportunity for all people.  The Office provides research, advisory services, thought partnership, and technical assistance for a wide range of changemakers, including front-line practitioners, advocacy partners, and public officials at all levels of government. The Office also develops catalytic initiatives and builds capacity at Urban and across the field for race and equity research that meets high standards for excellence, accessibility, and policy relevance. To this end, the Office of Race and Equity Research helps researchers partner with communities to elevate lived experience as a vital source of knowledge and authority; draw on innovations in data science to measure equity, design more equitable policies and evaluate their impact; and hold institutions accountable for achieving equity goals.

Housed within the Office, the Racial Equity Analytics Lab (REAL) is a collaborative team of researchers and data scientists who equip today’s change agents with data and analyses to advance social and economic policies that help remedy persistent structural racism. The REAL team operates at the intersection of data science, social science, and public policy to produce data tools and evidence-informed analysis that respond to real-world needs and near-term policy choices, like the Spatial Equity Data Tool.

The Racial Equity Analytics Lab (REAL) is looking to bring on a research associate to help advance our research agenda focused on innovative research and policy solutions to advance racial equity.

What you’ll do:

  • Contribute to policy solutions and the development of new bodies of work by understanding, collecting, and translating complex research and policy content on race and equity related research.

  • Analyze data and synthesize research findings to identify and recommend best practices in program or policy interventions and equip changemakers with guidance in the form of templates, reports, presentations, toolkits, blogs, data tools, features, and other accessible products.

  • Serve as a resource that can embed an equity-focused perspective in proposed and developed projects

  • Act as core connection between data science teams and research teams (internal or external) by translating statistical or data science concepts into accessible language for a variety of stakeholders.

  • Lead data management and analysis activities including supervising other data analysts at varying levels.

  • Develop and manage project workplans to ensure the timely completion and release of research reports, data tools and other deliverables in collaboration with senior staff and colleagues in the center and across Urban.

  • Coach, guide, and mentor early career staff to support their growth and development along Urban’s career pathways.

  • Contribute to the conceptualization of business development and support the development of proposals, responses to solicitations, and other business cultivation activities.

  • Work in a collaborative and dynamic environment and can adapt to changing needs and opportunities as they emerge.

Who you are:

The successful candidate will possess:

  • A master’s degree in public policy, public administration, economics, data science, political science, sociology, ethnic studies or a related field.

  • Approximately 3 to 5 years of relevant experience demonstrating progressively increasing responsibility, preferably in positions with high exposure to quantitative policy research and/or with experience advancing equity in race, gender, income, ability or other dimensions through policymaking.

  • Experience researching or developing evidence-based strategies to address structural racism and remedy its effects.

  • A background in evidence-based policymaking and the capacity to collect, understand, and analyze data, and the ability to translate research and policy data and content into clear, comprehensible products that are accessible to non-technical audiences for use in policy development and practice.

  • Experience with mixed-methods research approaches, with exposure to both quantitative and qualitative research

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills with an ability to communicate effectively with diverse internal and external audiences. Experience delivering presentations and engaging and facilitating communications with external clients and stakeholders.

  • A demonstrated ability to initiate, lead, and effectively manage projects and the ability to juggle multiple priorities while maintaining attention to detail and project timelines.

  • A demonstrated ability to supervise and mentor junior staff

  • An ability to adapt to changes in work assignments, deadlines, and project management styles.

  • A willingness to learn and take initiative to suggest improvements or innovations for tasks and project responsibilities to ensure quality control.

  • Strong interpersonal skills and comfort working both independently and in team environments supporting collaborative projects.

The successful candidate might possess:

  • Experience leading qualitative research activities such as key informant interviews, research on data needs for equity analysis, or design and user-experience research to inform the design of data tools.

  • Exposure to or interest in emerging data science techniques.

Please include a cover letter with your application. 

What you’ll experience

No matter your role with Urban, you will contribute to meaningful work that makes a difference for people and communities across the country. And whether you call the Washington, DC area or elsewhere home, you can expect to be part of a welcoming and hybrid workplace. We are committed to cultivating a community and working in a manner defined by collaboration, equity, inclusivity, independence, and integrity.

Urban’s greatest asset is our people.

We are committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical and/or mental disabilities. If you have a physical and/or mental disability and are interested in applying for employment and need special accommodations to use our website to apply for a position, please contact Human Resources at [email protected]. Reasonable accommodation requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.


The Urban Institute is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity without regard for race, ethnicity, gender, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected status under applicable law. The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.