Position Announcement: Senior Research Associate with Ethnographic Research Experience at Vera Institute of Justice



Center on Youth Justice
The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization that combines expertise in research, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to assist leaders in government and civil society, examine justice policy and practice, and improve the systems people rely on for justice and safety. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, and New Orleans, and its projects and reform initiatives, typically conducted in partnership with local, state, or national officials, are located across the United States and around the world. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace.

Vera’s Center on Youth Justice (CYJ) promotes the well-being and safety of youth, families, and communities by working with government to make juvenile justice systems equitable and humane in policy and practice. CYJ combines research, planning, and technical assistance with substantive expertise in juvenile justice to inform and facilitate the work of policymakers and practitioners nationwide.

Vera’s Center on Youth Justice seeks a Senior Research Associate to assume a leadership role in the management of upcoming projects.


Reporting directly to the Center’s Research Leadership, the Senior Research Associate will work initially on commencing a research project focused on the impact of policing policy on young people in New York City. The responsibilities in this project will include the following.

  • Conducting qualitative interviews with and collecting survey data from diverse populations in disadvantaged neighborhoods;
  • Frequent communication with project stakeholders;
  • Ethnographic research;
  • Supervision of staff conducting quantitative and qualitative analysis; and
  • Report writing and editing, with frequent presentation of research results to a range of project stakeholders.

The position also requires the Senior Research Associate to work closely with other Center staff to plan and build additional research projects around the Center’s core areas of work.


Candidates must possess the following.

  • Experience conducting applied research on juvenile and criminal justice issues;
  • Strong research design and methodological skills;
  • Prior field work/ethnography experience, especially with young people and diverse populations;
  • Knowledge in the field of policing;
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills, and the ability to work with a range of stakeholders, including staff at nonprofit community organizations, other researchers, and high-level government employees;
  • Project management and supervisory experience, preferably with multiple projects that have involved research with human subjects;
  • PhD in a social science with at least two years relevant work experience or a masters degree with at least five years relevant experience working in applied research settings; and
  • Interest in social justice, commitment to fairness, and a demonstrated knowledge of juvenile/criminal justice issues.


Commensurate with experience, excellent benefits.

To Apply

Please submit cover letter and resume.

Online submission is preferred.


However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:

ATTN: Human Resources / CYJ Senior Research Associate Recruitment

Vera Institute of Justice
233 Broadway, 12th Floor
New York, NY 10279
Fax: (212) 941-9407

Please use only one method of submission (online, mail, or fax). No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

The Vera Institute of Justice values diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.

For more information about Vera and the Center on Youth Justice visit our website at www.vera.org