Senior Research Associate

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 issues, including homelessness, poverty, criminal justice reform, and education inequality. We facilitate close working partnerships between policymakers and researchers at UC Berkeley and UCLA to help evaluate and improve public programs through rigorous empirical research and technical assistance. CPL recognizes the value of having a diverse staff at all levels of the organization.

CPL-Berkeley is being incubated in the UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE). The mission of the Institute is to promote policy-relevant research in the fields of labor and employment at Berkeley and throughout the University of California. IRLE is headed by a Faculty Director.

The position
The Senior Research Associate will be responsible for preparing and analyzing large administrative datasets; designing and implementing rigorous research designs, including randomized control trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental studies; preparing graphs, tables, and other displays of research results; drafting reports and presentations; and developing other policy-relevant deliverables. The Senior Research Associate will contribute to a growing practice of advanced analytical solutions to provide data-driven research and technical assistance to governmental partners. The Senior Research Associate will report to a Research Director at our Berkeley site.

The Senior Research Associate will apply a variety of statistical modeling approaches to large datasets in real-world settings. The Senior Research Associate will collect and clean data, collaborate in research design and model development, and implement studies via advanced data analysis, all while working on multiple research projects concurrently. The Senior Research Associate will lead specific project tasks, oversee staff in small teams on specific tasks, and may co-lead smaller projects. The Senior Research Associate contributes to the design and development of research proposals and the organizational quality assurance process. 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 will require occasional travel to Sacramento or elsewhere in California.

The main responsibilities of the Senior Research Associate include:
● Planning long-term statistical studies, including the preparation of proposals, power calculations, and determining research designs.
● Gathering, analyzing, preparing and summarizing the collection of information and data; recommending statistical approaches, trends, sources and uses.
● Managing projects and relationships with our government partners.
● Assisting with preparation of manuscripts and presentations, including drafting text, creating tables and graphs, gathering references, copyediting, and confirming internal consistency.
● Assisting the Executive Director with administration and execution of the Lab’s other activities.
● Developing systems for organizing data to analyze, identify and report trends; analyzing sensitive individual-level administrative data, leading code review.
● May supervise data entry, database management and research analysis of students, support staff and / or lower level analysts.

Required qualifications
● Bachelor’s degree in economics, sociology, public policy, or other relevant social/mathematical science field or equivalent experience/training.
● Statistical analysis and systems programming skills, including analyzing large governmental data sets.
● Strong STATA programming skills or knowledge of another, similar language (e.g., SAS, R, Python) with commitment to learning STATA.
● Skills to communicate complex information in a clear and concise manner both verbally and in writing
● Research skills at a level to evaluate alternate solutions and develop recommendations.
● Working knowledge of research design, including quasi-experimental designs and randomized controlled trials.
● Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including exceptional writing and presentation skills.
● Organizational skills and attention to detail required. 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 public policy, economics, statistics, or a related field.
● Experience working with large and complex datasets.
● Experience with research design, including quasi-experimental designs and randomized controlled trials.
● In addition to strong skills in one language, proficiency with additional statistical or programming languages such as R, Python, STATA, or SAS.
● Professional experience in a research setting, preferably managing projects and working with government partners.
● A commitment to advancing racial equity and inclusion through research as well CPL’s internal and external relationships.

Salary & Benefits
Salary is commensurate with experience. This position is full-time, and will start as a two-year contract. The hiring range for this position is $77,300 – $94,000 per year.

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 “21946”, 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:

Senior Research Associate PDF

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