Student Research Assistant

About the California Policy Lab

The California Policy Lab creates data-driven insights for the public good. Our mission is to partner with California’s state and local governments to generate scientific evidence that solves California’s most urgent problems, including homelessness, poverty, crime, and education inequality. We facilitate close working partnerships between policymakers and researchers at UCLA and UC Berkeley to help evaluate and improve public programs through empirical research and technical assistance.

The role

The California Policy Lab is seeking a part-time student research assistant (RA) to join our quantitatively focused data and analytics team. The RA will have the opportunity to work with large confidential administrative datasets on original projects related to policing and homelessness. In addition to supporting established research projects, the RA will help provide data-driven technical assistance to governmental and non-profit partners.

The successful candidate will have experience in applying a variety of statistical modeling approaches to large datasets in real-world settings and have strong coding skills in at least one of the software packages used at CPL. This position requires an individual who is able to work as a part of small research teams running multiple projects concurrently.

The student Research Assistant will report to the Director of Data and Analytics and work collaboratively with other CPL researchers, staff, and partner agencies.

The position begins at the start of the spring term, with an expectation of 15-20 hours per week for the duration of the term. The position can be extended through the summer.

Education and experience required

Applicants must be currently enrolled in public policy, economics, statistics, mathematics, computer science, or other relevant field at UCLA. Preference will be given to students in graduate programs with research experience. Exceptional third and fourth year undergraduate candidates are encouraged to apply as well.

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.


Create or add to existing data codebooks that support CPL’s research projects.

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.


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 required.

Excellent verbal and written communication skills required.

Attention to detail and ability to organize and document workflow required.
Ability to work independently and as part of a team required.

Strong interpersonal skills required.

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.


Student Research Assistant PDF

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