Skip to content

Researcher in Applied Microeconomics and Quantitative Public Policy

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 focus our work in six policy areas: education, criminal justice reform, poverty and the social safety net, labor and employment, health, and homelessness and high needs populations. 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. CPL recognizes the value of having a diverse staff at all levels of the organization.

The Position

This is an exciting role for an early- or mid-career researcher who wants to design and conduct policy-relevant research with administrative data in California. The data includes roughly two decades worth of linked employer-employee earnings and unemployment insurance (UI) claims microdata for the universe of UI-covered jobs in California. The ideal candidate has expertise in labor economics, workforce development, or the social safety net. The Researcher conducts independent quantitative research, including conceptualizing research questions and designs; overseeing the requesting, receiving, and cleaning of data files; creating and overseeing the implementation of analysis plans; conducting quality assurance reviews; summarizing results in documents for both academic and policy audiences; and generating replicability documentation. The Researcher can implement and defend multiple causal research designs, including randomized control trials, quasi- experimental designs, and non-experimental designs. The Researcher will write grant proposals to support research tasks and contribute to grant reporting. The Researcher will also supervise junior staff. A successful candidate has demonstrated experience managing research projects and assigning and supervising tasks.

The position will report to the Faculty Director, and will work directly with leading social policy researchers at UC and beyond, state and local government agency staff, and CPL’s
leadership team. Researcher job title and campus title will be based on experience and qualifications.

Required Qualifications

  • Training and experience that clearly demonstrates qualifications.
  • Ph.D. in economics, public policy, or related social science field, or equivalent experience.
  • Fluency in data-analysis packages from commonly used programming languages like Python, R, Stata, and SQL.
  • Experience overseeing research deliverables.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Record of independent research, including leading research design and analysis and writing for both academic and policy audiences.
  • Experience managing research projects, including supervising and assigning tasks to project staff.
  • Experience writing grant proposals, communicating with funders, and managing grant reporting.
  • Expertise in labor economics.
  • Experience working with large and complex datasets, including administrative datasets.
  • Knowledge of data management systems, practices, and standards.
  • Ability to work discreetly with sensitive and confidential data.
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills and ability to work both independently and as a team member.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail and ability to multi-task with demanding timeframes.
  • Experience collaborating with government agency partners.

Salary & Benefits

This position is full-time, and will start as a two-year contract. Salary will be commensurate with experience. The hiring range for this position is $100 – 150,000 per year. Salary is commensurate with experience.

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

How to apply

Go to and then search for job posting JPF09282

Diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging are core values at UCLA. Our excellence can only be fully realized by faculty, students, and academic and non-academic staff who share our commitment to these values. Successful candidates for our academic positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, and belonging.

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:


Researcher in Applied Microeconomics and Quantitative Public Policy PDF

Stay Informed