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Employment Opportunity: Research Assistant

Updated: Nov 1, 2022


FULL-TIME/Regular/Non-Exempt (approx. 30 hours per week)

Start Date: September 2022


Urban Strategies Council seeks a Research Assistant to primarily support a multi-year evaluation of Oakland’s violence prevention initiatives. This search seeks a person with a strong background in social science and community-focused participatory research design and outreach. The Research Assistant will support senior-level staff in data-driven research projects, including making infographics and charts, tables, fact checking, co authoring, proofreading, editing reports, and other project-related activities. This position is a chance to demonstrate technical competence in applied social science data-driven research that creates change and to be part of a great team.

Intellectual curiosity, solution-driven, commitment to the organization’s mission, flexibility, and creativity within the position’s specifications are assets, as is knowledge of the Oakland or the San Francisco Bay Area. This position requires a combination of facilitation, research, analytical writing, and oral skills, communication skills, experience in database development/management, community engagement and outreach, and public speaking. Resource development and fundraising skills are integral to the Research Assistant position to secure sustainable funding. Applicants must have a solid ability to juggle multiple projects.


Founded in 1987, the Urban Strategies Council (Council) is a regional anchor organization dedicated to advancing economic, racial, and social equity in the Bay Area. Our mission is to eliminate persistent poverty in the San Francisco Bay area by working with partners to transform low-income neighborhoods into vibrant, healthy communities. To achieve this mission, we focus our work on increasing the knowledge, capacity, and strength of Black and Brown leaders and organizations in the Bay area and dismantling systemic barriers to opportunity for Black and Brown residents.

The Council works regionally and nationally to provide research, data and policy analysis, strategic planning, program development and evaluation, capacity building and advocacy in service of advancing equity. Our core competencies are research, community engagement, collective action (through collaboration building), community leadership development, and policy innovation/advocacy. Our work ranges from grassroots organizing support and

community leadership training programming, to local government consulting, community focused research, and advocacy on behalf of the communities we serve.

Our work specifically focuses on the region’s most vulnerable youth and young adults - young people who are at risk of being excluded from the region’s educational and economic opportunities. USC serves as the backbone organization for the Elevate Youth California youth leadership development program in Vallejo and Oakland; Oakland-Alameda County Opportunity Youth Initiative (OYI); Transformative Pathways youth employment program; Youth Opioid Response Program; and Oakland-Alameda Alliance for Boys and Young Men of Color.

The Council also does a significant amount of work addressing issues of community safety and justice. We are a founding member of and fiscal agent for the Justice Reinvestment Coalition of Alameda County ( and most recently, have worked on developing alternative to police response programs for Oakland and Antioch, CA. We led the community engagement and strategic planning effort for Oakland’s newly formed Dept. of Violence Prevention, and we partner with the Urban Institute on an evaluation of Oakland’s public funding for violence prevention initiatives.

The Council offers a dynamic, exciting environment to apply your skills and to further develop your experience in an organization with a strong reputation for quality research and collaboration. We offer a hands-on, collaborative, professional work environment with a team of passionate, experienced staff committed to their work and to our goals.


This position will primarily provide research support for the Council’s evaluation of Oakland’s Measure Z funding impact (for violence prevention programming in Oakland). Research support for additional Council programs will also be a part of this position. This position reports to the Council’s Director of Research.


1. Supporting the Research Director in evaluation program design and implementation, development of research methods/programs for Council initiatives and programs, data management, and administrative operations.

2. Design and implement research studies by using big and confidential data (10,000 or more records) and prepare user-friendly products and reports.

3. Collect, analyze, and interpret quantitative and qualitative data through statistical programs such as SPSS, or Excel.

4. Conduct data-driven research in areas of transition-age youth, housing, health, education, employment, and economic development, with a deeper focus on areas

of violence prevention, criminal justice, and community public health around policies impacting low-income communities of color.

5. Conduct a review of literature, policy papers, and online resources. 6. Support and co-design qualitative research studies.

7. Develop data-driven storytelling products such as blogging, social media. 8. Outreach to vulnerable communities (specifically communities impacted by violence),

9. Create resource development inventory for research projects,

10.Seek funding and support staff on grant writing and resource development, 11.Perform other duties as required,


Education Requirements

1. Bachelor's Degree in a relevant field of study, including Sociology, Public Health, Public Policy, Planning, Geography, GIS, Community Development, or other social sciences.

Required Experience

1. 3-5 years of relevant experience in social science research, urban planning, geographic information science, economic development, public policy analysis and advocacy, public health, or related field.

2. 3-5 years’ experience in research, data analysis, and interpretation, and report preparation.

3. 2-3 years of quantitative research methods using Excel functions, Access, Python, R, SPSS.

4. Experience in interactive/online data visualization through Carto, Tableau, Power BI, or others.

5. Experience in program evaluation design (including development of logic models, theory of change).

6. Excellent written and oral communications.

7. Data visualization techniques for varied audiences using Venngage or other software.

8. Use online ( databases for data entry, analysis, and reports. 9. Comfortable working with partners from diverse backgrounds (academia, policy, technology, civil society) and with people from diverse ethnic, linguistic, and economic backgrounds.

Desirable Experience

1. Working with GIS and mapping software.

2. Understanding of theories of social change.

3. Group facilitation, meeting management, and public presentations. 4. Facilitation, training, and research support for people without backgrounds in research.

5. Knowledge of Violence Prevention datasets, policies, and best practices is a plus. 6. Experience in creating and implementing work plans for projects, work groups. 7. Experience developing new relationships and partnerships and the ability to identify shared goals among a diverse group of stakeholders.

Desirable Characteristics:

1. Directly impacted by or from a community impacted by violence. Oakland/Alameda County residency preferred.

2. Knowledge and experience working with local programs and services for cross-over youth—those involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. 3. Experience working with diverse stakeholders including youth of color, their families and community-based organizations supporting their positive development. 4. Organized, self-motivated, with great attention to detail.

5. Team oriented – brings a collaborative spirit to a team focused on advancing equity outcomes and holding each other accountable.

6. Bi-lingual skills (written and oral) and/or bicultural competence a plus.


This position is full-time (30 hrs. week), non-exempt, and hybrid (remote and in-person). The compensation rate based on experience and education is approximately $35-40 per hour. This position includes excellent benefits, including 100% coverage of the employee’s medical, dental, and vision. Employee will receive the following paid holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans' Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving,

and Christmas Day. Employees accrue California-mandated sick time. An employee-funded retirement plan is also available. This position is funded through 6/25. Start date: September 2022.


Urban Strategies Council Is An Equal Opportunity Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, educational background, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic. Black, Indigenous, and people of color, LGBTQ identified people, undocumented people, formerly incarcerated people, or people with family members of currently or formerly incarcerated people are strongly encouraged to apply.


To apply for the Research Assistant position at the Urban Strategies Council, please send your cover letter and resume to Please put RESEARCH ASSISTANT in the email ‘Subject’ line. No phone inquiries please.

The Urban Strategies Council is an equal opportunity employer.

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