28 days old

Senior Research Associate, EOP

The Aspen Institute
Washington, DC 20037
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The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Since its founding in 1949, the Institute has been driving change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most critical challenges facing communities in the United States and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.

About our Program

The Economic Opportunities Program (EOP) is a policy program at the Aspen Institute. We focus on research, strategic communications, and leadership development to help people connect to quality work, start businesses, build economic stability, and advance in their careers. Our Workforce Strategies Initiative (WSI) conducts research, learning-focused evaluation, leadership and organizational capacity-building, and public communications to build understanding of the barriers individuals face in connecting to quality jobs and to advance local strategies that connect people to better work. We value diversity, equity, and inclusion and aim to advance economic and racial equity through our work.

About this Role

The Senior Research Associate will work with a small team in the planning, management and implementation of a variety of research and evaluation projects that cross all bodies of EOP's work but are concentrated in the Workforce Strategies Initiative. This position will include research and analysis; external relationship-building; support for meetings and events; and communications and administrative support. If you are enthusiastic about conducting participatory research with workers, employers, workforce development nonprofits, and other practitioners, as well as analyzing data and communicating findings to influence policy and practice, we encourage you to apply.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Support WSI research and learning-focused evaluation using a variety of research techniques, including secondary research, structured interviews, surveys, and focus groups. Independently and collaboratively with colleagues document work with detailed notes, and organize, analyze and interpret data and information to identify key findings and lessons.
  • Design and contribute to the design of research tools such as interview protocols, focus group protocols, and online survey instruments.
  • Conduct data analysis of primary and secondary datasets, including preparation of charts and graphs in MS Excel.
  • Participate in project site visits, including planning visits, leading interviews and focus groups with a range of stakeholders (leadership and staff from nonprofit organizations, community colleges, employers, workers, students, public agency representatives, leaders from philanthropy, etc.)
  • Contribute to the writing of final research reports, publications and program profiles, as well as web content, such as blogs, social media, and e-blasts.
  • Communicate with team members regarding progress of work and key findings.
  • Assist in the design, preparation and support of meetings and public events.
  • Participate at meetings, conferences, roundtables and other events that focus on workforce development, job quality, and related issues, and brief team members on information gathered through those events.

Skills, Education and Experience:

We know that many qualified candidates will not have all these experiences and skills. We encourage you to apply if you meet many of these criteria and are eager to contribute to EOP's work.

  • Strong interest in the work of the Economic Opportunities Program and in particular areas such as strategies for improving job quality, reducing barriers to skills development, improving racial equity in hiring and retention and other related areas of economic and social policy research
  • Bachelor's degree
  • Education of various types would be valued, for example coursework or professional development training in areas such as survey research methods, conducting focus groups, survey question design, and project management
  • At least 3 years' experience conducting research such as survey design and fielding, conducting interviews and focus groups, planning and conducting site visits, developing case studies, facilitating learning groups, and supporting production and dissemination of communications products
  • Organizational skills and attention to detail, with emphasis on time management and the ability to plan, organize, and carry out multiple activities
  • Experience synthesizing and communicating research findings verbally and in writing
  • Ability to design surveys and conduct basic quantitative data analysis, knowledge of SPSS statistical software and SurveyMonkey is preferred but not required
  • Team player who enjoys collaborating, but can also work individually and be a self-starter
  • Spanish language proficiency including the ability to lead focus groups in Spanish and translate surveys is preferred but not required
  • Experience in learning and communicating about issues related to racial equity
  • Experience working/volunteering with people confronting barriers to opportunity is highly valued

Principal Interactions

Works directly with EOP program staff and consultants. Has routine interaction with project partners and constituents, staff from other research and policy organizations, funders and other EOP and Aspen staff.


Position requires travel. Amount of travel varies depending on time of year and requirements of specific projects.

Position Details

This is a full-time, exempt position based in our Washington, D.C. office. We value the safety of our staff. During the pandemic, staff can expect to work remotely and will have the option to work onsite once the building safely reopens. We offer competitive salaries and benefits with the goal of attracting and retaining exceptional staff. For information about our benefits package, please visit our Benefits page.

Note: At this time, we are unable to provide work sponsorship for this position.

To Apply

Please visit the Aspen Institute's career page and follow the instructions to submit a cover letter and resume. The cover letter is an opportunity for applicants to demonstrate their writing skills. The cover letter should describe the applicant's interest in the Economic Opportunities Programs' work and this particular position, and it should highlight relevant qualifications and experiences. Please name each document you upload using this format: [First Name_Last Name_Cover Letter; First Name_Last Name_Resume]. Applications without cover letters will not be reviewed. Please note that candidates who advance to the interview stage will be asked to submit a writing sample or respond to a writing prompt.

The Aspen Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and complies with all District and federal laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or protected veteran or disabled status and will not be discriminated against.

Candidate must have the ability to work under pressure and handle stress. Candidate must also be able to comply with the regular attendance policy of the Aspen Institute.


Posted: 2021-05-17 Expires: 2021-06-18

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Senior Research Associate, EOP

The Aspen Institute
Washington, DC 20037

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