Criminal Justice Research Associate

About the California Policy Lab
The California Policy Lab creates data-driven insights for the public good. Our mission is to partner with California’s state and local governments to generate scientific evidence that solves California’s most urgent problems, including homelessness, poverty, crime, and education inequality. We facilitate close partnerships between policymakers and researchers at UC Berkeley and UCLA to help evaluate and improve public programs through empirical research and technical assistance.

CPL recognizes the value of having a diverse staff at all levels of the organization. We are looking for equity-minded applicants who represent and understand the diverse racial and ethnic, gender identity, sexual orientation, educational, socioeconomic, cultural, and disability backgrounds present in California. When you join our team, you can expect to be part of an inclusive and equity-focused community.

This position presents an exciting opportunity to transform the criminal legal system in California. CPL is the research partner for the Committee on the Revision of the Penal Code. The Committee is a new state entity that studies and recommends changes to all aspects of California’s criminal laws — from policing to sentencing to reentry and more. The Committee’s recommendations, based on CPL’s research, will likely serve as the basis for legislation that could dramatically revamp California’s entire criminal legal system.

This position will be based at CPL, in the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at UC Berkeley.

The position
CPL Research Associates are responsible for preparing and analyzing large administrative datasets; helping design and implement rigorous research designs, including randomized control trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental studies; preparing graphs, tables, and other displays of research results; preparing reports and presentations; and developing other policy-relevant deliverables.

This position will work closely with the CPL research team and the leadership of the Committee on the Revision of the Penal Code to analyze data from state and local criminal justice agencies. The Research Associate will apply a variety of statistical modeling approaches to large datasets in real-world settings. The Research Associate will clean data from multiple sources, collaborate in research design and model development, and implement studies via advanced data analysis, all while working on multiple research projects concurrently. The ideal candidate has a proven track record working with data from criminal justice agencies and knowledge of criminal justice policy. We seek applicants who are confident bridging the gap between academic researchers and government policymakers, and who would be comfortable carrying out joint research agendas with CPL partners.

The main responsibilities of the Research Associate include:
• Analyzes sensitive individual-level administrative data from criminal justice agencies; prepares and summarizes information; recommends and implements statistical approaches.
• Cleans and prepares data sets, primarily from state and local criminal justice agencies, for analysis, using STATA.
• Manages projects and relationships with our government partners.
• Collaborates on the design, documentation, testing and implementation of research studies, largely using quantitative methods and methods designed to assess causal impact.
• Prepares graphs, tables, and other displays of the results of research and analysis. Assists with preparation of manuscripts and presentations, including gathering references, copyediting, and confirming internal consistency.
• Researches and summarizes academic and applied research.
• Assists the Executive Director and Research Director with administration and execution of the Lab’s and the Committee’s other activities.

Required Qualifications
• Bachelor’s degree in economics, sociology, public policy, or other relevant social/mathematical science field or equivalent experience/training.
• Demonstrated quantitative skills, knowledge, and experience in data/statistical analysis, including analyzing large governmental data sets.
• STATA programming skills or knowledge of another, similar language (e.g., SAS, R, SPSS, Python) with commitment to learning STATA.
• Ability to take initiative and manage projects with minimal supervision, including strong time management skills and ability to meet tight deadlines.
• Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including exceptional writing skills.
• Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.
• Ability to multi-task with demanding timeframes.
• Ability to work both independently and as a team member.
• Ability to work discreetly with sensitive and confidential data.
• Experience working with large and complex datasets, including criminal justice system data.

Preferred Qualifications
• Master’s degree in public policy, economics, statistics, or a related field.
• Three or more years of professional experience, including two or more years of relevant post-baccalaureate research experience.
• A commitment to advancing racial equity and inclusion through research as well CPL’s internal and external relationships.

Salary & Benefits
This position is full-time, and will start as a two-year contract. Hourly pay for this role will be commensurate with experience within the range of $29.12 – $41.67.

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University visit:

How to Apply
Go to and click “External Applicants” (or “Internal” if you’re a current UC Berkeley employee) and then search for keyword “14875”, which is the job ID. Use the system to submit your cover letter and resume as a single attachment.

This is a designated position requiring fingerprinting and a background check due to the nature of the job responsibilities. Berkeley does hire people with conviction histories and reviews information received in the context of the job responsibilities. The University reserves the right to make employment contingent upon successful completion of the background check.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant see:

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Criminal Justice Research Associate PDF

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