Sacramento-Based Graduate Student Researcher

About the California Policy Lab

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 the University of California to help evaluate and improve public programs through rigorous empirical research and technical assistance.

The role

The California Policy Lab is seeking a part-time graduate student research assistant (GSR) to join our quantitatively focused data and analytics team embedded in state agencies in Sacramento. The GSR will have the opportunity to work with large administrative datasets on original projects related to a range of topics, potentially including labor, social services, education, or criminal justice. In addition to supporting established research projects, the GSR will help provide data-driven technical assistance to governmental agencies and potentially develop his or her own research topics.The primary tasks for the GSR include data cleaning, manipulation, and analysis, as well as relationship management with external research partners. Ability to travel to Sacramento two days per week is required.

Education and experience required
Applicants must be currently enrolled in graduate studies in public policy, economics, statistics, mathematics, computer science, or other relevant field. Preference will be given to students with research experience.
The successful candidate will have experience cleaning, merging, and modeling large administrative databases, have strong data visualization aesthetics and excellent written communication skills, and have a passion for using data to find innovative solutions to the problems facing California policymakers and citizens. Strong candidates will have experience applying a variety of data modeling approaches to large datasets and have strong programming skills in SAS or Stata. Experience coding in SAS and writing SQL queries is strongly preferred but not required; training will be provided if needed.

• Clean, manipulate, and merge data from large administrative databases with thoroughly documented and reproducible code.
• Assist in specifying, testing, and interpreting a variety of statistical models.
• Prepare results in creative and visually appealing ways for memos and presentations targeting both policymakers and academic researchers.
• Communicate regularly with host agency and CPL on research progress.

• Knowledge of quantitative research methods and applied statistics required.
• Proficiency manipulating and modeling data in Stata, SAS, or R required.
• Strong initiative and a resourceful approach to problem-solving
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills
• Attention to detail and ability to organize and document workflow
• Ability to work independently and as part of a team
• Strong interpersonal skills

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:

Please see the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion’s Statement FAQs here:

To apply
Please send your CV, transcripts, and a cover letter to Incomplete applications will not be considered. Candidates who pass an initial resume review will be contacted for additional pre-interview screening.

Sacramento-Based Graduate Research Assistant PDF