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Research Associate I

Apply now Job no: 510165
Position type: Staff
Location: New York
Categories: Research

Position Summary:
The Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University, studies community colleges because they provide critical access to postsecondary education and are uniquely positioned to promote equity and social mobility in the United States. Our mission is to conduct research that helps these institutions strengthen opportunities and improve outcomes for their students, particularly those from underserved populations.

CCRC conducts its work in partnership with states and institutions across the U.S. and actively disseminates its research to policymakers, practitioners, and other audiences interested in community colleges and higher education reform. We offer a collaborative work environment in a university setting that includes robust communications and grants management teams, access to rich administrative data sets, and skilled graduate students who are preparing for careers in higher education research and teaching.
CCRC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We believe that our diversity is essential to our success, and we aim to cultivate a respectful and inclusive environment where all employees are empowered to do their best work. For information about CCRC’s current research activities, mission, and values, please visit ccrc.tc.columbia.edu.

Job Summary/Basic Function:
CCRC is seeking a Research Associate to conduct quantitative analysis with a goal of catalyzing and informing student success reforms advancing educational equity and economic opportunity for community college students. The Research Associate will work collaboratively on mixed-methods teams of applied researchers working closely with community college leaders and state agencies to build knowledge and tools to support the field of reformers aiming to improving outcomes and equity for community college students. Using quantitative methodologies (e.g., data mining, descriptive analysis, econometrics), the successful candidate will conduct analyses, develop, and co-author highly-visible publications and data tools that will be broadly disseminated and adapted by partner organizations that coach and train the next generation of college leaders.

The Research Associate should have a master’s degree or advanced training and several years of relevant work experience. We are looking for skilled programmers (e.g., Stata, R, SAS, SQL, Tableau) with prior experience working with relational databases and in related areas such as institutional research, data management, data science, analytics, or data visualization.

The position is based in New York City and will require some travel. Please include with your application a cover letter, resume or CV, and one artifact demonstrating relevant skills or experience (e.g., code sample, webpage/Tableau visualization, writing sample as lead or sole author).

Characteristic Duties & Responsibilities:

Research planning and management:

  • Co-lead aspects of design of existing research projects
  • Draft and revise research-related documents, including study prospectus and data collection materials
  • Maintain records related to the progress of research and activities
  • Assist with the organization and execution of research team meetings (e.g., draft agendas, organize formal note-taking and task-setting)
  • Develop subject matter expertise within postsecondary education and meaningfully contribute in meaningful ways to new project development
  • Independently respond to internal and external requests for information
  • Participate in project updates for funders

Data management, collection, and analysis:

  • Lead or co-lead aspects of data collection activities
  • Lead or co-lead data cleaning and coding
  • Use data analysis software or data organizing techniques to manage and analyze data
  • Lead or co-lead data analysis
  • Extrapolate research findings from data analysis
  • Ensure data documentation, organization, and security

Writing, dissemination and field engagement:

  • Draft and revise analytic memos and reports
  • Contribute to the development of report storylines
  • Co-author study reports and other written products
  • Participate in the CCRC internal paper review process
  • Present research findings at meetings and conferences

CCRC service:

  • Participate in Center events and professional development activities
  • As requested, serve on working groups to support CCRC’s equity mission.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or advanced training in education, economics, sociology, statistics, data science, or a related field, as well as at least 4 years of relevant experience.
  • Advanced proficiency with statistical and data management software (e.g., Stata, R, or SAS), and excellent knowledge of Microsoft Excel (e.g., pivot tables, formulas, macros).
  • Experience drafting and revising research papers and articles, either independently or as part of a team.
  • Excellent organizational and analytical skills.
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills.
  • Track record of delivering high-quality work product under deadline.
  • Good judgment, reliability, ability to work effectively independently and as part of a team.

Commitment to CCRC’s mission of conducting applied research to support community colleges and success and equity for their students.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of community colleges, higher education, and issues of access, success, and equity in postsecondary.
  • Advanced coursework, training, and/or experience using data science, analytics, and data visualization.
  • Experience managing and working with large administrative and/or relational databases (e.g., student data from K12 schools or postsecondary institutions).


We encourage you to apply even if you meet some, but not all, of the requirements listed.

CCRC at Teachers College is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. CCRC does not discriminate, and all qualified applications will receive consideration without regard to race; color; national origin; religion; creed; sex or gender (including sex stereotyping and gender identity or expression); sexual orientation; citizenship status; pregnancy; disability; age; military or veteran status; marital or partnership status; genetic information, genetic predisposition, or carrier status; prior unemployment status; consumer credit history; status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offenses, or stalking; or any other category protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws. Legal work authorization is required.

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In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Teachers College has decided to require COVID-19 vaccination for all employees who are physically reporting to campus on or after August 1, 2021. In accordance with New York state laws, the College will consider exemption requests from this vaccine mandate for religious and medical reasons, unless they cause Teachers College undue hardship (i.e. significant difficulty or expense), or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others. For additional details on this policy and information on how to apply for a religious or medical exemption if selected for a position, please discuss with the hiring manager.

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