Graduate Student Researcher

The Organization

The California Policy Lab (CPL) creates data-driven insights for the public good. Our mission is to
improve the lives of Californians by generating evidence that transforms public policy. We do this by
forming lasting partnerships between government and California’s flagship public universities to
harness the power of research and administrative data. We work on California’s most urgent
problems, including homelessness, poverty, crime, and education inequality. We facilitate close
working partnerships between policymakers and researchers at UC to help evaluate and improve
public programs through rigorous empirical research and technical assistance.

The Role

The California Policy Lab seeks a graduate student researcher interested in working with
state and federal tax microdata on Californians. The GSR would be embedded at the
Franchise Tax Board in Rancho Cordova (near Sacramento) for at least two days per week
(travel expenses paid), and will be jointly supervised by Professor Jesse Rothstein and by
Franchise Tax Board research staff.

The GSR would have the opportunity to work on several important pending projects,
including randomized trials to increase uptake of the Earned Income Tax Credit, behavioral
nudges on California tax filers, and in-depth analysis of independent contracting and the
“gig economy.” The GSR would also be in a position to propose potential projects of his/her
own choosing using the tax data, with the additional possibility of linking tax data to other
local or California state data sources to which CPL has existing partnerships.

The primary tasks for the GSR would include data wrangling, data cleaning and analysis, and
partnership relationship management.

CPL is seeking PhD candidates who are strongly quantitative and have a background in
programming, data manipulation, and database queries. The principal language used on site
is SAS. Candidates should have experience coding in SAS, SQL, Stata, R, Python, or other
similar language; experience with SAS or SQL is a plus. Ability to travel to Rancho Cordova
at least twice weekly is required.

We seek a GSR who could work at least 50% time, and up to 100% time over the summer.
We prefer candidates who will also be available for the fall and the spring, as we expect this
work to be ongoing. Semester appointments would be at 50% with fee remission.

To apply, please send a CV and short statement of interest to by Friday, April 3rd. Please be sure to indicate (a) when you could start, (b) how
many days per week you’d be available, and (c) your statistical programming experience.
Feel free to contact CPL faculty director Jesse Rothstein ( or CPL
executive director Evan White ( with any questions.

Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
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, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

Job Location
Rancho Cordova, CA

Graduate Student Researcher PDF

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