Job Posting: Senior Research Associate (Metropolitan Housing and Communities Center)

Senior Research Associate (Metropolitan Housing and Communities Center)
Who we are:

At the nonprofit Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities. Public policies work best when they are rooted in facts, and our research sparks solutions in programs and practice. Our analyses and recommendations help expand opportunities for all people, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the fiscal health and effectiveness of government.

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.

How you’ll contribute:

The Metropolitan Housing and Communities Center is seeking a talented senior research associate who can lead teams and work collaboratively with researchers across Urban.

The ideal candidate will bring a solid track record of studying solutions to prevent and end homelessness, eviction, and residential instability, at the program, state, and federal level; and an understanding of homeless management information systems, housing data sets, and other potential data assets in the field. Projects will focus on issues including the intersection of structural racism and poor housing outcomes; and a range of populations that experience homelessness and housing instability, including youth, families, non-chronic and chronically homeless single adults.

This position will be expected to support ongoing work, contribute to business development to further build the research portfolio, and serve as project director, principal investigator, or task lead for future studies.

Expertise in predictive analytics or cost studies is a plus.


  • Conceptualize, develop, and lead research and evaluation studies related to homelessness and housing.
  • Provide intellectual leadership in project development
  • Lead the development of proposals, responses to solicitations, and other meaningful business cultivation activities. This includes leading proposal efforts and managing proposal teams, as well as possessing the skills and qualifications crucial to the performance of proposed work
  • Support effective project management, including assigning roles and responsibilities; managing project team performance; monitoring project progress, budget and schedule; and designing and implementing analysis strategies
  • Oversee quality control and ensure accuracy of data management and analysis
  • Mentor and supervise research staff
  • Author research reports, briefs, and presentations for external audiences
  • Represent both Urban and the policy center’s work to the public, policymakers, funders, and the press
What you’ll bring:

The successful candidate will

  • Possess a combination of the quantitative, analytical, and writing skills, relevant substantive knowledge, and social policy research experience needed to perform the duties described above, and the academic knowledge of and research experience in a discipline that is generally associated with the attainment of a MA, MPP, or PhD in addition to 5-10 years of related professional and project management  experience
  • Demonstrate relevant substantive knowledge, a solid understanding of various research methods and qualitative and quantitative analytic approaches, and the writing skills needed to perform the duties described above
  • Serve as an expert on homelessness and housing and exhibit high-level oral and written communication skills
  • Exhibit high ability in leading and contributing to research agendas and successful business development efforts
  • Display strong management skills, including experience supervising staff and managing project teams to achieve desired outcomes
  • Exhibit outstanding writing ability as well as strong presentation skills
  • Highlight exemplary organizational skills and the ability to work effectively on multiple projects at once
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.

More information