Research Associate

The Aspen Institute
Washington, DC
Closing date
Dec 5, 2022

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Job Description
The Aspen Institute

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.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

To achieve our mission of a more free, just, and equitable society, we commit to working proactively to advance the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion across our myriad endeavors such as the recruitment, compensation, training, and advancement of staff. The best people-serving institutions make this commitment, and we seek to be a leader in the ways that we do so and learn from others. Visit our website to learn more about our commitment and recent actions taken toward building and nurturing a diverse and inclusive environment.

The Economic Opportunities Program (EOP)
EOP advances strategies, policies, and ideas to help low- and moderate-income people thrive in a changing economy. We recognize that race, gender, and place intersect with and intensify the challenge of economic inequality and we address these dynamics by advancing an inclusive vision of economic justice. For over 25 years, EOP has focused on expanding individuals' opportunities to connect to quality work, start businesses, and build economic stability that provides the freedom to pursue opportunity.

We collaborate with national and local leaders across the United States - nonprofit leaders, policymakers, labor leaders, business leaders, educators, academics, and more - and we actively seek input and ideas from individuals and communities affected by proposed approaches to address economic opportunity challenges. Through our leadership and fellowship programs; applied research and evaluation; data and analysis; public events and dialogue with diverse stakeholders, we work at both local and national levels to build understanding and galvanize action to address the challenge of economic opportunity in America.

EOP focuses on two primary areas through which people access economic opportunity in the U.S. -jobs and entrepreneurship/business ownership. EOP's Business Ownership Initiative builds understanding of the role of business ownership as an economic opportunity strategy and EOP's Job Quality Center of Excellence is a new platform to drive improved job quality and economic dignity for workers through stakeholder engagement, idea generation, and resource sharing to prompt and support effective action toward a world of work that offers all working people economic stability, dignity and respect, and opportunities for mobility. The Job Quality Center of Excellence brings together the work of several long-standing initiatives including the Future of Work Initiative, Good Companies/Good Jobs, UpSkill America, and the Workforce Strategies Initiative.

About this Role
The Research Associate will support a variety of research and evaluation projects for the Economic Opportunities Program, including assisting with project planning, preparing and organizing research materials, and assisting with research analysis. If you are enthusiastic about learning and writing about issues related to economic opportunity and supporting different parts of the research process, we encourage you to apply.

This position is ideal for applicants who:
  • Care deeply about addressing economic inequality and improving opportunity for people in low-wage jobs
  • Are eager to learn how local organizations, businesses, and communities are working on these issues and what they can achieve
  • Enjoy building relationships with a variety of colleagues both within the Aspen Institute and with individuals working in a range of positions in organizations across the country
  • Have a keen attention to detail and can juggle multiple projects at once
  • Are interested in the connection between economic opportunity and racial and gender equity and are committed to learning, communicating about, and advancing racial and gender equity


Research and evaluation
  • Support original research and evaluation projects, including preparing interview and focus group materials, scheduling and follow-up with participants and partners, and summarizing activities
  • Conduct desk research, including literature reviews, using a range of academic, public, and government sources
  • Conduct basic analyses of qualitative and quantitative data
  • Summarize and share research findings with colleagues
  • Help prepare presentations, reports, and other materials, including tables, charts, data visualizations, and maps

Communications and events
  • Support virtual and in-person events and meetings, including contributing to agenda design, managing invitation lists, and coordinating logistics with colleagues
  • Support program outreach and communications through social media and other outlets

Administrative support
  • Take notes in meetings, events, and interviews
  • Provide administrative and operational support for the team, including but not limited to file management, event participant tracking, and scheduling assistance

Skills, Education and Experience

  • Strong interest in the work of the Economic Opportunities Program and economic/social/public policy research
  • Education or experience in economic/social policy, planning, social science, or business; experience conducting social science and/or policy research is a plus
  • Exceptional writing, editing, and analytic ability with strong verbal communication skills.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Flexibility to adapt to changing program priorities.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • Experience and/or interest in learning and communicating about issues related to racial and gender equity
  • Work, volunteer, or personal experience with people confronting barriers to opportunity is highly valued
  • Familiarity with any the following subjects or skillsets is valued but not required:
    • Knowledge or of experience with employee-owned companies or cooperatives, worker advocacy and labor organizations, and/or online platform work
    • Programming surveys or questionnaires in a platform such as SurveyMonkey
    • Extracting statistics from public agencies, such as the Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics
    • Using quantitative or qualitative data analysis software, such as Stata, R, Excel, Dedoose, or Atlas.TI
    • Creating data visualizations, PowerPoint presentations, and/or other graphic design skills
  • Ability to travel 10% of time based on project requirements
  • We recognize that there are multiple ways in which people develop competencies and build experience. Therefore, we do not require a specific education level for this position.

Principal Interactions
Works directly with EOP program staff and consultants. Has routine interaction with project partners and constituents, grantees, funders and other EOP and Aspen staff.

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

Salary Range:
The salary range for a Research Associate is $60,000 - $70,000, depending on experience and qualifications. Candidates with exceptional qualifications may apply to be considered at the Senior Research Associate level, which currently has a maximum salary of $84,000.

To Apply:
Please visit the Aspen Institute's career page and follow the instructions. Cover letter should highlight applicant's interest and specific qualifications for this position. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

The Aspen Institute offers a generous benefits package including health, dental, vision, and prescription benefits, retirement benefits, and paid leave.

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 .

Individuals needing an accommodation to complete the job application can contact or call (202) 736-1074.

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