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Senior Research Manager (Justice Policy Center) at The Urban Institute

Posted in Science 30+ days ago.

This job brought to you by eQuest

Type: Full-Time
Location: Washington, Washington DC

Job Description:

Who we are:

At the nonprofit Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. Our employees are empowered to open minds, shape decisions and offer solutions. We encourage intellectual honesty, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect, and our analysis elevates the debate, wherever it takes place.

Urban’s greatest asset is our people. We strive to attract and cultivate a vibrant, creative, and diverse community. Our employees drive Urban’s mission through entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership, effective communication, results-orientation, and relationship cultivation. Our success depends on engaging individuals who possess and value these attributes. 

The Justice Policy Center (JPC) conducts research, policy analyses, and evaluations to improve justice policy and practice at the national, state, and local levels.  The center conducts rigorous evaluations and in-depth data analyses—and gives context to the data through interviews with individuals involved in the justice system at all levels. JPC produces reports and provides technical assistance that translates complex research into actionable strategies to enhance the safety and well-being of individuals and communities. The Justice Policy Center is seeking a senior research manager to lead a new and exciting initiative to shine a bright light on the conditions of prisons in the United States and use data and evidence to improve them.

People from communities that are overrepresented in the criminal justice system and people with direct experience with the criminal justice system are encouraged to apply.

How you’ll contribute:

The senior research manager will be the day-to-day manager of this ambitious, multi-site initiative, supervising project staff, coordinating with state/prison partners, interfacing with funders, and coordinating convenings with national experts and advisory board members. Through stakeholder engagement, technical assistance, and support of selected state/prison/local research partner teams, this initiative is designed to increase transparency and accountability in state prisons, promote more humane conditions and more conducive environments for rehabilitation behind bars, spur innovations through rigorously evaluated pilots, and support state-level policies to improve prison environments.


  • Manage large-scale, multi-site prison reform initiative

  • Lead a team of research and policy staff, including assigning roles and responsibilities; managing team performance; monitoring project progress, budget and schedule; assisting with designing and implementing strategy, and overseeing quantitative and/or qualitative research/evaluation data collection and analysis

  • Oversee quality control activities for the initiative, including ensuring progress on and compliance with data management, analysis, and reporting

  • Interface with national experts and critical state policy, advocacy, community, and corrections stakeholders

  • Supervise staff and provide guidance and mentorship as necessary

  • Support JPC operational efforts as part of JPC leadership team as necessary

  • Contribute to strategic discussions about related business development opportunities

What you’ll bring:

The successful candidate will:

  • Possess the academic background and professional experience necessary to successfully execute the duties listed above; be recognized as an expert within Urban as well as externally in the fields of criminal justice, prisons and prison reform

  • Display strong project and people management skills, including experience managing complex projects and coaching staff and teams to desired outcomes

  • Exhibit high-level oral and written communication skills, along with the ability to relate effectively within and across teams and with various stakeholders including researchers, practitioners, and other senior leaders the field

  • Demonstrate expertise in institutional corrections research, policy, or practice through professional and/or lived experience

  • Be conversant in the data and research evidence on prisons and prison reform opportunities

What you’ll experience:

Working in the Nation’s Capital, the epicenter of public policy among a network of policy experts, you can expect to have an impact on policy areas you care about and work with great colleagues who are smart, mission-driven, and collaborative. You will blend academic rigor with on-the-ground collaboration, be encouraged and supported to fulfill your potential through meaningful work that matters, and enjoy a welcoming workplace free from harassment, discrimination and intolerance.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes: medical, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage. Competitive paid time off allowance, and eligibility to participate in a generous retirement savings plan and reimbursable commuting expense program.  

The Urban Institute is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity without regard for race, ethnicity, gender, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected status under applicable law.

The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.