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Senior Research and Evaluation Associate, Acacia Center for Justice (Remote)

Vera Institute of Justice
New York City, NY
Closing date
Jun 24, 2022

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Job Description
Who we are:

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a non-profit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country's legal systems. Vera is an "inside" lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice. Vera is committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities.

About Acacia Center for Justice:

The Acacia Center for Justice is a new non-profit created through a collaboration between the Vera Institute of Justice ("Vera") and the Capital Area Immigrants' Rights ("CAIR") Coalition. The CAIR Coalition is a non-profit organization in the focused on providing legal assistance to adult and child immigrants detained by the government in the Capital Region. CAIR adheres to the fundamental belief that all people - no matter their story - deserve to be free, safe, supported, and have access to a just legal system.

The objective of the Acacia Center for Justice ("Acacia") is to expand on Vera's work over the past twenty years in providing legal support and representation to immigrants facing deportation through the development and management of national networks of legal services providers serving immigrants across the country. Acacia's goals are two-fold: to help non-profit service providers provide exceptional legal services to immigrants and to advocate for the expansion of these programs and the infrastructure critical to guaranteeing immigrants access to justice, fairness, and freedom. Acacia will focus the collective power of both Vera and CAIR Coalition on delivering accountable, independent, zealous and person-centered legal services and representation to protect the rights of all immigrants at risk of deportation.

Please note: This career opportunity will begin as a position with the Vera Institute of Justice that will transition to Acacia Center for Justice on or before July 1, 2022.

Who you are:

The Senior Research and Evaluation Associate functions as a social scientist who works with the Senior Data Scientist to supervise and implement mandated and ad hoc research, evaluation, and data analytics across programs solving complex problems using sophisticated analytical thought to exercise judgement and identify innovative solutions. They are responsible for developing and overseeing performance monitoring, evaluation, and social science approaches necessary to satisfy contract and ad hoc reporting and evaluation requests. They work in close collaboration with other teams to ensure constant feedback loops necessary for program management and contract compliance. They ensure Acacia's race equity and inclusion priorities are a core aspect of research, including in methodological approaches, publications, hiring and staffing, and external and internal research communications.

The Senior Research and Evaluation Associate serves as day-to-day point on Research. They provide supervision, support and mentorship to members of their team as well as advice, methodological guidance, and peer review to researchers working on other projects and initiatives across the organization.

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Research Design and Review
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of Vera's measurement, evaluation, and learning metrics/KPIs ;
  • Partner with the Director of Research and Evaluation and other research leadership to establish a longer-term research agenda in support of the team's work ;
  • Maintain fluency in federal contract requirements as they relate to research and data reporting to ensure that deliverables are responsive ;
  • Ensure research deliverables, including data collection and reporting, are compliant and responsive to the contract ;
  • Review contracts for research-related requirements both for Vera and for subcontractors ;
  • Conduct peer-review of research designs and analysis plans ;
  • Develop research proposals in support of fundraising led by initiative and research leadership ;
  • Develop and present IRB applications and ensure that research is conducted to the highest ethical standards.

Data management and analysis
  • Lead and manage rigorous performance outcomes measurement and data analytics in support of federal contracts in partnership with other senior research staff, senior data science staff, senior programs staff, and external partners;
  • Lead and develop discrete analyses, and train and supervise others on both quantitative and qualitative analyses.

Application of research insights
  • Maintain an in-depth understanding of developments in program support, program administration, and federal policy in order to strategically guide research in support of the contract and program goals;
  • Communicate findings from research and data analysis, including representing the work in communication with federal government stakeholders, fielding questions and addressing requests for additional information;
  • Manage integration of insights gained from performance evaluation metrics and statistical data reporting into program planning and implementation, collaborating closely with senior program staff and a nationwide network of service providers.

Team leadership, mentorship, and development
  • Supervise, support, and mentor a team of researchers across methodologies and levels;
  • Strategize and build opportunities for professional growth, development, and skill building among supervisees;
  • Support recruitment and hiring for the research team.

What qualifications do you need?

  • Commitment to using research and analysis to address and undo racism and inequity in the immigration legal system required; lived experience preferred
  • Advanced quantitative skills, including hands-on experience with administrative and relational datasets and both predictive and causal analyses; ability to think creatively about how to use statistical methods to address pressing policy questions
  • Fluency in data management
  • Experience leading in a project management role
  • Experience in a supervision or informal supervision role
  • Exceptional written and oral communications skills, including authoring and editing research reports in written and visual formats accessible to a broader audiences, and translating and presenting research findings to external stakeholders
  • Advanced quantitative skills, including hands-on experience with administrative data and relational databases and both predictive and causal analyses; ability to think creatively about how to use statistical methods to address pressing policy questions
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs, including Excel and Word
  • Fluency in at least one analytical programming language (e.g. R, Python, Stata), R preferred; ability to learn R while in the role required

  • Bachelors degree + 4-7 years of relevant experience in applied research, equivalent applied experience, social science or other related disciplines. In lieu degree requirement, applicable work or life experience may be considered.
  • PhD or Master's Degree
  • Experience in the fields of economics, quantitative sociology, computational social science, statistics, measurement, epidemiology, computer science, or a related field or experience working on evaluation and measurement on federal contracts
  • Ability to work collaboratively using Git/GitHub or ability to quickly learn for code review
  • Fluency in a language other than English spoken by people impacted by immigration enforcement in the United States

Additional Eligibility Requirements:
  • In accordance with federal contracts, a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) check is required for this position. While this is not a current hiring requirement, this position may require Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) security clearance in the future (for additional information:

Compensation and Benefits

The compensation range for this position is $97,800 - $104,100. Actual salaries will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. The salary range listed is just one component of Vera Institute's total compensation package for employees. As an employer of choice in our field, supporting Vera staff-both personally and professionally-is a priority. To do this, we invest in the well-being of our staff through other rewards including merit pay, generous paid time off, a comprehensive health insurance plan, student loan repayment benefits, professional development training opportunities and up to $2,000 annual for education costs and fees relevant to Vera work, employer-funded retirement plan, and flexible time and remote work schedules. To learn more about Vera's benefits offerings, click here.

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: People Resources / Senior Research and Evaluation Associate, Acacia Center for Justice
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

As a federal contractor, and in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

For more information about Vera, please visit

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