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Quantitative Researcher

The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that seeks to improve our systems of democracy and justice. We work to hold our political institutions and laws accountable to the twin American ideals of democracy and equal justice for all. Among our core priorities, we fight to protect voting rights, end mass incarceration, strengthen checks and balances, and preserve Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part public interest law center, part cutting-edge communications hub, we are known for our rigorous research. We craft innovative policies and strategies, and we fight for them — in the courts, in Congress and the states, and in the court of public opinion.

Position: The Brennan Center is seeking a social scientist for the full-time position of “Researcher” to perform qualitative and quantitative analysis and conduct qualitative and quantitative research relating to voting rights, election administration, redistricting, money and politics, and the courts. The projects will be of varying time durations (quick turn-around and longer term), and will include research that is for internal use, as well as projects that will be outward facing and provide publishing opportunities. The candidate must have experience and knowledge of empirical research methods, as well as experience with, and an instinct for, using statistics and empirical findings to support real-time advocacy. The ideal candidate will have a master’s degree in political science, statistics, public policy, economics, sociology or another relevant field. Outstanding candidates with bachelor’s or PhDs will be given full-consideration. 

The Researcher will use social science techniques to support on-going advocacy and campaigns, in the run-up to the 2018 and 2020 federal elections. The Researcher will be based primarily in the Voting Rights and Elections project, but may be assigned to other projects in the Democracy Program. The Voting Rights and Elections project works to ensure that voting is free, fair, and accessible for all citizens of the United States. The Researcher will work closely with a team of lawyers, research and program associates, and communications staff to support the advocacy projects of the Voting Rights & Elections project and the other projects in the Democracy Program. The Researcher must be interested in and able to perform top-flight analysis and research in a fast-paced environment with numerous deadlines. 


  • Performing original research – including empirical and quantitative research on the impact of laws and policies on access to the polls, collection and analysis of public data, and interviews of public officials and private individuals – and supervision of research. 
  • Analyzing policies and data. 
  • Drafting and editing publications, policy reports, op-eds, blog posts, and other public communications. 
  • Proposing visuals such as graphs, charts, and graphics that enhance the impact of the research. 
  • Working with attorneys, fellows, communications and development professionals, editors, allies, clients, and organizational leadership. 
  • Developing strong research designs. 
  • Proposing research ideas that will advance Brennan Center advocacy objectives. 
  • Applying data and analysis to real-world problems and identifying ways in which social science research and analysis can advance Brennan Center organizational interests. 


  • Excellent writing skills, including the ability to write for audiences ranging from courts to the general public in a timely manner. 
  • Strong interviewing skills, including the ability to build rapport with interview subjects. 
  • Strong public speaking and communication skills in front of a variety of audiences, including legislators, academics, and the media. 
  • Familiarity with qualitative data analysis software, such as NVIVO or Atlas.ti 
  • Strong and proven quantitative skills, including quasi-experimental study design.
  • Ease working with data and statistics, including advanced regression techniques. 
  • Experience working with statistics software, such as STATA or R. 
  • Experience working with large data sets and familiarity with SQL or Access. 
  • Experience working in GIS and familiarity with ArcMap or QGIS 
  • The ability to work effectively in a team-based and deadline-driven environment. 
  • Openness to receiving and implementing constructive feedback from a variety of stakeholders. 
  • Creativity in ferreting out information. 
  • Attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines. 
  • Sincere interest in democracy advocacy and reform. 
  • An entrepreneurial and independently motivated personality; a self-starter. 
  • Ability and confidence to work with a diverse group of allies, public officials, reporters, and members of the public. 

Ideal candidates will have: 

  • Experience working with elections data sets, such as ANES, CCES or administrative data. 
  • Experience working with Qualtrics or other survey software.
  • Familiarity with statistical modeling as it applies to voting behavior, especially pertaining to knowledge of non-parametric modeling, Bayesian data analysis and associated challenges working with aggregate elections data. 
  • Experience and knowledge of data visualization techniques and platforms, such as Tableau or relevant R tools, such as ggplot. 
  • Experience in strategic campaign research, within an advocacy or political setting, such as a candidate campaign, labor union or thinktank. 
  • Strong ties to academics who perform research in the areas of voting, election administration, and other democracy issues.

Salary: The salary is highly competitive in the field and commensurate with experience. A generous benefits package is available as well. 

Applications: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until a qualified candidate is identified, but the preference is to bring someone on board before March 2018. To apply, please visit and upload the following application materials (preferably in pdf format): a cover letter (copy and paste), a resume, two writing samples (up to 10 pages each), and contact information for three references. If you have difficulty with the online system, you may send your application by e-mail to: with “Researcher” in the subject line, after registering in the online system. 

As an equal opportunity affirmative action employer, the Brennan Center is strongly committed to diversity and welcomes applicants of all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexual orientations, and applicants who have been previously incarcerated.

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