Careers at Public Agenda

Public Agendaís nonpartisan mission, to help build a democracy that works for everyone, has never been more important to America and its future. We pursue our mission through projects that employ research, public engagement, and communications to:

  • Help the public better understand the challenges facing their communities, such as education, health care, police-community relations and climate change.
  • Help leaders better understand and respond to the publicís views, values and concerns.
  • Give those affected by a problem a voice and role in forging solutions.

Founded in 1975, Public Agenda is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in New York City. Our offices are a fun and comfortable (flexible seating like couches and private phone booths) open-layout WeWork office located in the heart of Brooklyn Heights near the Jay St Metrotech A, C, F and Borough Hall 2, 3, 4, 5, R trains.

Research Associate

We seek a highly motivated, collaborative, experienced research associate who is interested in joining our team in New York City. This position reports to the director of research.

Key Responsibilities:

As part of a collaborative research team, the research associate will be involved in all phases of our public opinion research and other research projects. His/her primary responsibilities will be to significantly contribute to and occasionally lead: background research and policy reviews; the development of research instruments, including surveys, focus group moderator guides and interview guides; fieldwork, quantitative and qualitative data analysis, and drafting and production of reports and briefs for varied audiences.

Required Skills and Abilities:

  • Masterís degree in the social sciences, public policy or a related discipline, with a minimum of 4 years of full-time experience conducting applied social science research, including both quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • Ability to conduct a range of descriptive and some advanced statistical analyses. Comfortable using SPSS or similar statistical software programs.
  • At least 2 years of significant focus group research experience, including moderating groups and analyzing qualitative data.
  • Ability to effectively engage individuals of diverse backgrounds and industries in interviews and focus group discussions.
  • Experience developing survey questions, ideally for policy-relevant research, and a strong interest overall in working on public policy issues. Significant experience in one or more of the following areas is a plus: K-12 education, postsecondary education, health care, civic engagement, democracy reform.
  • Willingness to collaborate with team to translate research findings into key insights, implications and actionable solutions for internal and external audiences.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including report writing, editing and presentation skills. Writing effectively for non-academic leadership audiences is a very strong plus, as is grant writing.
  • Strong Excel skills, experience creating charts and graphs, and interest in data visualization is a plus.
  • Intellectual curiosity, a sense of humor and ability to work with a diverse team on diverse projects.
  • Highly organized, able to coordinate multiple schedules and project logistics on an ongoing basis.
  • A strong interest in Public Agendaís mission and a comfort level working in a nonpartisan (as opposed to an advocacy) organization.

Please send your resume, cover letter and a writing sample (as one PDF) to Roslyn Beck at Applications without writing samples will not be considered.

Public Agenda is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity. Minorities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin. We are a national organization based in New York City (Brooklyn Heights), and offer a competitive salary, excellent benefits, and room to grow.


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