Mixed-Methods Research Associate at MDRC

Full Time
Senior Manager/Supervisor

 About MDRC  

MDRC’s mission is to conduct primary research to identify public policies and programs that improve the lives of individuals and families with low incomes. MDRC designs promising new interventions, studies existing programs, and provides technical assistance to help practitioners build better programs. With an annual budget of about $66 million, a staff of more than 300 people, and offices in New York City, Oakland, Washington, and Los Angeles, MDRC seeks to provide reliable, nonpartisan evidence to its partners in the public and private sectors. 

MDRC’s Center for Criminal Justice Research (CCJR), which is housed in the Youth Development, Criminal Justice, and Employment (YCE) Policy Area, develops and incubates the policy area’s criminal justice portfolio. The CCJR is dedicated to developing, evaluating, and disseminating actionable models for justice reform that improve efficacy, mitigate harm, and center those directly impacted by the criminal legal system. To learn more about CCJR’s work, please visit MDRC’s website

About the Opportunity  

MDRC is seeking a Mixed-Methods Research Associate who is familiar with research approaches that weave together qualitative and quantitative designs in the service of holistic knowledge-building. Candidates should have expertise and documented experience applying qualitative and quantitative research designs to program and policy evaluation and the translation of these findings to diverse audiences via writing, oral presentation, or multimedia approaches. The ideal candidate will have existing subject matter expertise in one or more of the following areas related to criminal justice policy: pretrial justice, policing, community-based responses to violence, alternatives to incarceration, and reentry. The ability to lead and manage research projects involving diverse internal teams and external partners, including communities served or affected by the research, is strongly desired. Finally, candidates should demonstrate a commitment to developing and sharing rigorous, nonpartisan, and actionable evidence regarding programs and policies affecting people with justice system involvement, as well as to reducing inequities and promoting anti-racist policy and practice in the criminal justice system.

Areas of Leadership

Mixed-Methods Research: Play a leadership role on existing CCJR research projects, including overseeing the work of a team of researchers, contributing to qualitative and quantitative analytic plans, and making real -time course corrections in research designs or workplans. Collaborate with others on research teams to analyze data, synthesize findings, and disseminate results to research participants, communities, policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and funders.  

  • Key Qualifications: 
    • Experience/strong familiarity with a range or qualitative research designs, such as implementation research, case studies, and ethnographic and participatory approaches.
    • Experience/strong familiarity with a range of quantitative research designs, including exploratory data analysis, descriptive data summary and visualization, and experimental/quasi-experimental impact strategies. 
    • Documented experience combining a range of these approaches in the context of program or policy evaluation, or in the context of pure research designed to contribute to a specific area in the criminal justice field.
    • Track record of designing rigorous research, collecting data, analyzing data, and managing quality assurance with respect to deliverables.
    • The ideal candidate will have a graduate degree in the social sciences, public policy, criminal justice, or another related field, and full-time work experience relevant to the role (excluding volunteer, fellowship, or internship experience). Qualified applicants with a master’s degree will have 4-11 years of relevant work experience and qualified applicants with a doctoral degree will have 1-4 years.

Project and Team Management: Oversee research and evaluation projects through the planning, implementation, and dissemination stages. Work with other CCJR management staff to ensure the timely completion of project-level activities within budget constraints. Mentor and/or supervise junior staff assigned to your projects. Complete required progress reports and engage with project funders and MDRC fiscal and legal departments to resolve problems and course correct at the project level. Engage with other senior staff in the Center for Criminal Justice Research and YCE to develop effective project- and policy-area level management structures and practices. 

  • Key Qualifications: 
    • Documented experience managing grant-funded research projects in a nonprofit, university, or governmental agency. 
    • ​​E​xperience with managing people through complex projects and process flows.
    • Highly collaborative and team oriented, with a track record of working across differences in terms of discipline, skill set, working style, seniority, and identity.
    • Experience with centering equity and employing strengths-based approaches to team management. 

Project Development: Work with staff in the CCJR to develop new projects that are in alignment with the mission of the CCJR and MDRC. Contribute to strategic planning and setting a research agenda, in collaboration with other Center staff. When possible, contribute to development synergies between CCJR and YCE, as well as CCJR and other MDRC policy areas.

  • Key Qualifications:
    • Prior experience working with others to develop funding proposals to federal and/or private agencies.
    • Excellent written communication skills.
    • Subject matter expertise in one or more of the CCJR focus areas listed above.
    • Attention to detail.


Location: The position is ideally based in MDRC’s New York City, Oakland and Los Angeles, California, or Washington, DC, offices. MDRC is also open to remote work. Some travel will be required, including quarterly trips to NYC and occasional travel to partner sites for the purposes of fieldwork.


Compensation and Benefits: Salary range is $85K - $120K and will be commensurate with degree and experience. Comprehensive benefits and relocation assistance offered. Some on-the-job training will be provided. 


MDRC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. No qualified applicant, employee, intern, volunteer, or apprenticeship trainee will be discriminated against on the basis of his, her, or their race (including traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and protective hairstyles), color, national origin (including physical, cultural or linguistic characteristics), marriage to or association with persons of a national origin group, tribal affiliation, membership in or association with an organization identified with or seeking to promote the interests of a national origin group, name that is associated with a national origin group, accent, language use, immigration status, citizenship, possession of a driver’s license issued to persons unable to prove their lawful presence in the United States, and other definitions under California or other states’ laws, ancestry, creed, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices), age, citizenship, veteran and/or military status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity (including transgender status), gender expression, gender transitioning or perceived gender transitioning, marital status or civil partnership/union status, physical or mental disability (actual or perceived), medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), genetic information, protected medical leaves (requesting or being approved for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act) or similar state family medical leave laws, domestic violence victim status, political affiliation, or any other basis prohibited by applicable federal, state or local law. Legal work authorization is required. To request a reasonable accommodation during any stage of MDRC's employment process due to a disability, please contact [email protected]

MDRC’s dedication to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion exceeds compliance requirements. We believe that recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce of all backgrounds and perspectives improves the quality and relevance of our research, as well as the daily experiences of our staff. By fostering an equitable culture of inclusivity and belonging, we seek an environment in which staff feel welcomed, valued, and engaged in their work. 


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