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Research Assistant/Associate

About the California Policy Lab

The California Policy Lab (CPL) generates research insights for government impact. Through hands-on partnerships with government agencies, CPL performs rigorous research across issue silos and builds the data infrastructure necessary to improve programs and policies that millions of Californians rely on every day. We work on California’s most urgent issues, including homelessness, poverty, criminal justice reform, and education inequality. CPL recognizes the value of having a diverse staff at all levels of the organization.

CPL-Berkeley is a center within the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE).

The Position

The Research Assistant/Associate is a critical member of CPL research teams working on policy issues such as criminal justice, education, employment, health, and the social safety net. The Research Assistant/Associate will apply a variety of data analysis and statistical modeling approaches to large datasets in real-world settings. They will collect, clean, and prepare data for analysis, collaborate in research design and model development, and implement studies via advanced data analysis, all while working on multiple research projects concurrently. Specifically, the Research Assistant/Associate will be responsible for preparing and analyzing large administrative datasets; helping to 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. The Research Assistant/Associate will contribute to a growing practice of advanced analytical solutions to provide data-driven research and technical assistance to governmental partners. We seek applicants who are confident bridging the gap between academic researchers and government policymakers, and who want to carry out joint research agendas with CPL partners.

We may potentially be hiring more than one Research Assistant/Associate, and value applicants with experience analyzing administrative data in one or more of the policy areas we focus on. In your application, please specifically highlight any administrative data analysis experience and policy areas of interest/expertise.

The position works directly with leading social policy researchers at UC Berkeley and UCLA, state and local government agency staff, as well as the leadership team at CPL. The position is located in our Berkeley site and may require occasional travel to Sacramento or elsewhere in California. The Assistant/Associate title will be based on relevant experience.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Analyzes sensitive individual-level administrative data; prepares and summarizes information; recommends and implements statistical approaches.
  • Cleans, links, and prepares data sets, primarily from government sources, for analysis, using STATA or another, similar language (e.g., SAS, R, SPSS, Python).
  • Communicates with government partners about data requests and other data issues.
  • 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 other activities.

Required Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, economics, sociology, public policy, or other relevant social/mathematical science field or equivalent training.
  • Demonstrated quantitative skills, knowledge, and experience in data/statistical analysis, including analyzing large governmental datasets.
  • STATA programming skills or knowledge of another, similar language (e.g., SAS, R, SPSS, Python).
  • Solid interpersonal and communication skills, including exceptional writing skills.
  • 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.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Graduate degree in a related field.
  • Experience working with large and complex datasets.
  • Experience working on randomized controlled trials.
  • Experience managing projects and client relationships.
  • Proficiency with additional statistical or programming languages such as R, Python, or SAS.

Salary & Benefits

Salary is commensurate with experience. This position is full-time, and will start as a two-year contract. This is a hybrid position, eligible for 40% remote capability. The hiring range for this position is $70,100 – 95,000 per year.

For information on the comprehensive benefits package offered by the University, please visit the University of California’s Compensation & Benefits website.

Under California law, the University of California, Berkeley is required to provide a reasonable estimate of the compensation range for this role and should not offer a salary outside of the range posted in this job announcement. This range takes into account the wide range of factors that are considered in making compensation decisions including but not limited to experience, skills, knowledge, abilities, education, licensure and certifications, analysis of internal equity, and other business and organizational needs. It is not typical for an individual to be offered a salary at or near the top of the range for a position. Salary offers are determined based on final candidate qualifications and experience.

How to apply

Go to and click “External Applicants” (or “Internal” if you’re a current UC Berkeley employee) and then search for keyword “65975” 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.

Equal Employment Opportunity

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:


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