Work at MPI
The Migration Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to improve immigration and integration policies through authoritative research and analysis, opportunities for learning and dialogue, and the development of new ideas to address complex policy questions.
MPI is committed to recruiting, hiring, retaining, and developing staff at all levels who reflect the breadth of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives in the countries where we work. This encourages diversity of thought that enriches and adds greater credibility to our work. As such, we are committed to making sure that staff members of all backgrounds work in an inclusive environment with equity and access for all.
Research Assistant – Human Services Initiative
What if the next step in your career was to join a team of migration experts who focus on immigration issues affecting children and families, humanitarian populations, and intersections between immigration and health and human services policies and programs? We are a dynamic team of researchers who value supporting and learning from each other and generating research directly relevant to key policy issues relating to migration and human services in the United States. We are looking for an integral team member to help us in MPI’s mission of promoting better understanding of migration, thus supporting evidence-informed and effective policymaking that works for all elements of society.
As a Research Assistant, you will be expected to quickly achieve proficiency across the range of projects that MPI’s Human Services Initiative is engaged in and provide critical project management, administrative support, and logistical planning to advance MPI’s mission. As a member of the team, you will also be expected to bolster the brainpower of the team through your strong analytical and writing skills. This means you will need to rapidly come to understand the law, policy, and programmatic issues across the range of areas in which we work. Private and public events are also a big component of what the Initiative does to foster critical discussions. You will have the opportunity to manage the appropriate event functions, from drafting invitations to following up with potential speakers. If you are organized, proactive, curious, an avid reader, have strong research and writing skills in English, with Spanish also preferred, and want to be in an organization where you can grow, MPI is the place for you.
About MPI and the Human Services Initiative
The Migration Policy Institute (MPI) is an independent, nonpartisan think tank that seeks to improve immigration and integration policies through authoritative research and analysis, opportunities for learning and dialogue, and the development of new ideas to address complex policy questions. MPI is committed to recruiting, hiring, retaining, and developing staff at all levels who reflect the breadth of experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives in the countries where we work. This encourages diversity of thought that enriches and adds greater credibility to our work. As such, we are committed to making sure that staff members of all backgrounds work in an inclusive environment with equity and access for all.
MPI’s Human Services Initiative is an interdisciplinary policy laboratory developing innovative, evidence-based, and politically feasible solutions to address a broad range of immigration issues affecting children and families, humanitarian populations, and intersections between immigration and health and human services programs. We do extensive work concerning refugee resettlement in the United States, with particular attention to children and youth; linkages to services and benefits for asylum seekers and asylees; the needs of unaccompanied children in and after leaving federal custody; understanding the extent and implications of restrictions on public benefits eligibility for immigrants; the crucial role of digital equity efforts; and intersections between immigration and the child welfare system. Our work is strongly policy focused and draws on both research and relationships with federal, state, and local officials, program providers, and other stakeholders. We seek to emphasize attention to racial equity across our work.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Support the design, management, and execution of research projects in MPI’s Human Services Initiative.
- Conduct literature reviews; assist with quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis, including fieldwork and key interviews; and contribute to analytical research products, ensuring timeliness and accuracy.
- Contribute to and/or co-author explanatory and analytical reports, policy briefs, and other research materials, under the supervision of senior staff.
- Support the Initiative with project and team management, procurement, and other administrative tasks where necessary.
- Plan site visits, focus groups, key interviews, and other research activities through in-person visits, as conditions allow, and virtual platforms.
- Assist in the organization of public and private roundtables and events (e.g., developing event agendas, drafting invitations, and coordinating with speakers) under the supervision of senior staff and coordinating with MPI’s Senior Events Manager.
- Support the Human Services Initiative with conceptualizing and contributing to funding proposals and reports to key donors and partners in support of MPI’s projects.
- Participate actively as a member of MPI’s staff in institutional planning and internal meetings and discussions.
- Actively monitor current migration and human services debates and developments in the United States.
- Excellent English writing skills and speaking fluency. Spanish fluency preferred but not required.
- High motivation and initiative; ability to handle multiple assignments, prioritize, and meet deadlines in a fast-paced, changing environment.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and work both independently and as part of a team.
- Proven research, organization, and project management skills.
- Ability to understand and succinctly synthesize complex policy decisions.
- Knowledge of governmental and nongovernmental institutions, legislation, key migration and health and human service policy issues, and socioeconomic context for the work of the Human Services Initiative.
- Academic and/or professional background in migration policy or related field.
- At least one year of prior professional experience in direct service or public policy involving refugees, unaccompanied children, or other humanitarian populations.
- Prior experience conducting policy analysis, qualitative field research, and/or quantitative research in academia, a think tank, international organization, international development program, and/or in the governmental sector.
- Excellent ability to convey complex issues to a nonspecialist audience, verbally and in writing.
- Knowledge of SPSS, STATA, and/or Tableau.
Salary and Benefits
The selected candidate will begin as soon as possible and will be offered a permanent position. This position comes with a competitive salary, commensurate with experience, and a generous benefits package.
The Research Assistant will be part of MPI’s Human Services Initiative and will report to the Director of the Human Services Initiative. The job is ideally based in Washington, DC, but qualified candidates requesting remote work options will be considered.
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, and an unedited, sole-authored writing sample to [email protected]. Please reference “Research Assistant Human Services” in the subject line and include a sentence telling us how you heard about this position. When attaching your resume, the saved title should be "[Name] Human Services Application."
Applications are due by close of business on August 9, 2021, but interested individuals are encouraged to apply as soon as possible as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.
The Migration Policy Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual or gender orientation, religion, or physical ability. We value a diverse work environment and welcome applications from all candidates who meet the requirements for the position.
View job openings in the MPI Europe office in Brussels.