Research Associate

  • Full Time
  • US
  • Applications have closed

Website Data for Black Lives


Research Associate

Position Description:

Data for Black Lives is a movement of activists, organizers, and mathematicians committed to the mission of using data science to create concrete and measurable change in the lives of Black people. Since the advent of computing, big data and algorithms have penetrated virtually every aspect of our social and economic lives. These new data systems have tremendous potential to empower communities of color. Tools like statistical modeling, data visualization, and crowd-sourcing, in the right hands, are powerful instruments for fighting bias, building progressive movements, and promoting civic engagement.

But history tells a different story, one in which data is too often wielded as an instrument of oppression, reinforcing inequality and perpetuating injustice. Redlining was a data-driven enterprise that resulted in the systematic exclusion of Black communities from key financial services. More recent trends like predictive policing, risk-based sentencing, and predatory lending are troubling variations on the same theme. Today, discrimination is a high-tech enterprise.

The Research Associate is a crucial member of the Data for Black Lives research team and will be responsible for assisting with the coordination of programs and initiatives outlined in the research agenda. This is a full-time position, reporting directly to the Director of Research. The Research Associate will support the Director of Research by managing the administration and facilitation of programs and engagement projects that enable the public and aspiring data leaders to become change agents in the Data for Black Lives movement. The Research Associate will utilize strong attention to detail and a confident ability to effectively communicate with various stakeholders in order to deliver an approach to research that centers Black communities at every stage.

Start Date (proposed): October 1, 2020

Primary Responsibilities:

Research Operations and Project Management

  • Assist in project management of D4BL research initiatives. This involves creating a schedule and timeline for execution of goals, scheduling regular meetings with appropriate team members, outlining the scope of work for volunteer involvement, onboarding volunteers and producing project status update reports for the Director of Research and D4BL leadership team.
  • Work closely with the Director of Research to support the establishment of a set of research initiatives (data collection and analysis tool kit, network curriculum, and public education products on data literacy and data access)
  • Provide project updates on a consistent basis to various stakeholders about strategy, adjustments, and progress
  • Contribute feedback on appropriate materials, research studies and/or reports that position Data for Black Lives as a leader in the fields of algorithmic racism and accountability
  • Develop and manage a detailed project schedule and work plan for projects or campaigns
  • With support of the Director of Research and Director of Operations, manage the technical volunteers recruited to execute research projects or campaigns, ensuring project goals are effectively reached
  • Coordinate logistics for Data for Black Lives research events, such as working groups or convenings and assist with prep for research presentations
  • Support team processes and operations, working closely with the Director of Research to manage overall workflow of the research agenda


  • Excellent time management and ability to manage complex projects
  • Excellent communicator, communicating clearly and often
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and responsibilities at the same time
  • Expert organizational skills
  • Experience managing volunteers or leading community projects that bring together community members with diverse backgrounds towards a specific goal
  • Familiarity or willingness to learn technical skills
  • Experience coordinating events and managing the logistics of publicly facing virtual/in-person engagement opportunities

Compensation: 50 – 60k +Benefits

To apply: please email a cover letter (citing PCDN as the source of the posting) and CV to

Data for Black Lives is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer and actively recruits Black people, people of color, women, individuals with disabilities and members of the  LGBTIQAA+ community.

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