Program/Research Assistant

Washington D.C.
Starting salary is commensurate with experience.
Jan 14, 2021
Feb 13, 2021
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level
Willingness to Travel
up to 25%
Experience Level

The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) is a national, nonprofit public policy, research and technical assistance organization headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in New York City and Los Angeles. CSSP works to achieve a racially, socially, and economically just society in which all children, youth, and families thrive.

CSSP strives to accomplish its mission by developing and advancing effective public policy; helping to transform public systems to be more preventive, results-oriented, accountable, and caring; and supporting local leaders to create the community opportunities, supports, services and environments in which all children and families can thrive. CSSP works in partnership with other national organizations, foundations, and governmental and community leaders to test new ideas and approaches, provide technical assistance, generate new evidence, and support networks of innovators. All our work reflects a long-standing organizational commitment to equity and social justice.

Job Description

CSSP seeks a Program/Research Assistant (PRA) in the Washington, DC office (working virtually until after the pandemic).  The PRA will support several areas of CSSP’s work including EC-LINC (Early Childhood Learning and Innovation Network for Communities) Parent Leader Network (PLN); Expectant and Parenting Youth (EPY); training and technical assistance for grantees of the U.S. Department of Education’s Promise Neighborhoods Program; and others.  Specifically, the work will include promoting families as agents of change by assisting with the PLN Learning and Action Agenda to increase constituent influence and power sharing; building youth protective factors and multi-generational strategies to support well-being; assisting with the Virtual Resource Center (VRC) that provides technical assistance and strategic support to improve policies and practices related to EPY; and assisting with Promise Neighborhood activities including outreach, delivery, and follow-up for leadership development trainings and mini-courses for grantees on topics such as racial equity and building and sustaining cradle-to-career pipelines for children and youth.  We are looking for a highly motivated individual to work collaboratively across CSSP’s cross-disciplinary teams.  Commitment to anti-racist, intersectional policy work focused on better serving families of color, people who identify as LGBTQ+, and immigrant families is essential.

A Program/Research Assistant provides a combination of team support and program support functions, including conducting program and policy research related to young children and their families, contributing to the design and preparation of newsletters, papers, presentations, and technical assistance tools, and helping to schedule and support meetings, webinars and workshops. This position is ideal for individuals starting a career in public policy, system reform or community change.

Specific Duties & Responsibilities

  • Assist with the development and preparation of policy and practice materials, newsletter articles, research papers, PowerPoint presentations, blog posts, social media posts, website content and other written products.
  • Conduct policy and program research, including literature reviews, key informant interviews and other research.
  • Help maintain ongoing communications with partners and in communities across the country.
  • Assist with planning and execution of conferences and webinars, taking responsibility for the effective use of support technology.
  • Analyze data, particularly data that illuminate the nature and root causes of disparities and possible solutions to promote equity.
  • Prepare notes on meeting proceedings for distribution to participants.
  • Provide administrative support by scheduling team meetings, coordinating travel, responding to correspondence, and preparing expense reports.
  • Attend briefings and meetings, and prepare summaries for CSSP teams.
  • Organize and maintain electronic and hard-copy project materials.
  • Serve as back-up to the CSSP receptionist with general office management, including answering phones, greeting visitors, receiving incoming faxes and mail, sending packages, filing and ordering supplies.
  • Support other work as assigned.

Required Qualifications, Skills and Experience

  • Strong interest in social policy as it relates to children and families, with particular focus on creating pathways out of poverty; enhancing pediatric practice; and elevating parent, youth, and community voice as a core strategy to reforming health, early education and human service systems, and revitalizing neighborhoods.
  • Commitment to equity and reducing disparities based on race, ethnicity, immigration status, sovereignty, gender, sexual orientation/gender identity and socioeconomics.
  • Bachelor’s Degree required, with one to two years of relevant professional experience preferred, including experience working to support team functions. Candidates ideally have an interest in pursuing a graduate degree in early childhood, maternal and child health, public health, public administration, public policy, law, social work or related fields.
  • Outstanding written and oral communications skills.
  • Excellent attention to detail, deadlines and organizational and time management skills.
  • Strong analytical and research skills.
  • Familiarity with social media, newsletter, blog and website platforms.
  • Knowledge of computers and technology – in particular, proficient in MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, audio/visual and conference calling technology.
  • Motivated, self-starter who works well independently and as an engaged team member.
  • Flexibility and an ability to work in a dynamic and fast-paced environment.
  • Curiosity and commitment to learning.
  • Ability and willingness to travel (when safe to do so).

Compensation and Benefits

Starting salary is commensurate with experience.  Excellent benefits provided including short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, health insurance, retirement benefits, generous vacation, sick and holiday leave.  CSSP is an equal opportunity employer and strongly believes that our organization and our work benefit from the experiences and perspectives of a diverse staff.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants should send cover letter with salary requirements, resume and writing sample to (subject: Your Name - Program/Research Assistant).  In your cover letter, please be sure to indicate where you found this position announcement.

Applicants accepted until February 15, 2021 or until position is filled.

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