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Senior Researcher

(Hybrid Full-Time Position, Oakland, CA preferred) 

Who We Are 

Impact Justice advances safety, justice, and opportunity through boundary-breaking work that honors and empowers people and is changing expectations about what we can accomplish together. We imagine, build, and scale innovations, leverage research and other knowledge to connect the desire for change with informed action, and work to shift the narrative so that decision-makers and the public understand what’s at stake and what’s possible. 

Specifically, we work to reduce the number of people caught up in harmful legal systems by creating alternatives that are responsive, restorative, fair, and effective; to improve living conditions and life outcomes and safeguard fundamental human rights for the millions of people still subject to mass incarceration; and to expand opportunities for formerly incarcerated and other system-involved people to heal, fully participate in community life, and reach their potential. We operate from the understanding that the struggle for justice takes place in a context of historic, systemic, and pervasive racism. 

We are a diverse and allied staff of reformers, transformers, abolitionists, and dreamers who bring a wide range of knowledge, skill, and life experience to the challenging work we undertake together. We’re committed to living our values and to creating the kinds of equitable and inclusive team environments internally that we fight to help create in our broader communities. This includes providing opportunities to all job applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national origin, age, criminal history, disability, or genetics. The organization strongly encourages people of color, individuals who identify as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer communities, and individuals impacted by the legal system to join the team. A majority of individuals on our current executive team identify as BIPOC and/or LGBTQ. We are committed to workplace diversity and providing equal employment opportunities. 

Research & Action Center 

The Research and Action Center at Impact Justice partners with individuals, organizations, and communities to better understand overlapping problems of injustice and evaluate promising solutions, especially from the perspectives of those most impacted. Our studies, which are grounded in the ethics and practices of participatory research, are geared to connect the desire for change with informed action and to be useful to a wide array of stakeholders who have a role to play in meaningful and lasting change. We do this by collecting and analyzing data, and collaborating with public and private agencies and community based organizations. We center and uplift the experience and knowledge of formerly incarcerated people and others affected by harmful legal systems who are increasingly on the frontlines of change, supporting their work through research, evaluation, and technical assistance. 

Who You Are 

Senior Researchers are expected to manage multiple projects, supervise Research Analysts, and assist with team grant & report writing. Senior Researchers serve as the primary point person for project partners and participate in project communications and meetings. They are responsible for ensuring that assigned projects are completed on time. Senior Researchers are expected to lead project planning, including the development of logic models, research and evaluation plans, work plans, and timelines. They are expected to supervise Research Analysts: delegating effectively, providing constructive feedback, and providing support in goal setting and problem solving. Senior Researchers report to the Associate Director. 

That said, we know there are great candidates who may not think they fit into what we’ve described above or who have important skills we haven’t thought of. If that is you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself! And if you’re a formerly incarcerated individual, someone who has a family member who is or has been incarcerated, or otherwise have direct experience with the criminal legal or juvenile legal systems, we will be particularly excited to hear from you. 

What You Will Do 

You will report to the Associate Director. You’ll be the owner of your assigned projects, and your core responsibilities will be: 

  1. Project Management

o Manage multiple projects concurrently, ensuring that the team meets internal & external deadlines for deliverables; execute the work plan & evaluation plan as developed; communicate and coordinate with both internal and external partners to ensure tasks are completed in a timely fashion; serve as the senior point person for projects 

  1. Supervise Research Analysts

o Conduct regular & consistent team check-ins with all supervisees; conduct regular & consistent one-on-one check-ins with supervisees; provide ongoing feedback on work products & progress; support in goal-setting & problem solving; support in the development of professional & technical skills; complete Impact Justice-required quarterly and annual reviews on time; provide guidance to supervisees in developing their annual goals 

  1. Develop Data Collection Tools & Protocols

o Finalize & prepare IRB submissions; develop surveys with both externally and internally validated measures; develop interview protocols; ensure that data collection tools correspond with appropriate logic models and relevant research questions; train in the administration of surveys, etc., if needed 

  1. Collect & Analyze Data (as needed)

o Able to support data collection of any kind for projects; conduct, interpret, and summarize more complex data analysis as needed, including multiple forms of regression; able to contribute significantly to the research design elements of projects, including matching control group samples, sample design, etc. 

  1. Report & Grant Writing

o Identify relevant organizations & sources for ongoing or upcoming projects; finalize reports & report-associated posts for the Impact Justice website; write & finalize grant proposals; contribute significantly to the team “idea bank” (i.e. produces actionable ideas for LOIs, grant proposals, & concept papers) 

Required Qualifications 

  • Experience managing projects and people 
  • Expertise in data collection, management, and analysis 
  • Expertise in multiple forms of quantitative &/or qualitative research methods 
  • High level expertise in at least one particular method is preferred 
  • Able to develop collaborative logic models/theories of change 
  • Positive, solutions-oriented approach to problems 
  • Excellent written & verbal communication skills 
  • Excellent attention to detail 
  • Excellent personal time management skills – ability to manage & prioritize many tasks across multiple projects 
  • Extreme reliability & ability to maintain confidentiality
  • Expertise in one or more areas of the criminal/juvenile justice systems 
  • Highly skilled in presenting data & findings visually, through charts, graphs, etc. 
  • Commitment to employing an intersectional lens during all tasks & projects 

Required Experience, Training, &/or Education 

  • 5-6 years of professional training/education and/or closely-related experience (includes higher education)
  • At least 5 years of experience in an advanced research role, preferably with project leadership experience 
  • At least 3 years of project management experience, preferably in a non-profit or similar setting

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Lived experience in the criminal/juvenile justice system Member of a system-impacted community 
  • Bilingual 
  • Experience leading a diverse team 
  • Successful grant writing experience 


The position will be paid $83,000 – $100,000 annually. The benefits that come with working at Impact Justice include medical, dental, and FSA plans, significant vacation and wellness leave, and immediate vesting in our 401K with a generous match. This is a full-time, salaried position. We would prefer that the candidate be located in our Oakland, CA office, but we would be open to other office locations (Los Angeles, CA or Washington DC), and will be working under a hybrid in-office/remote schedule. 

We ARE NOT considering fully remote staff for this position. 

COVID-19 Vaccination is a condition of employment for all employees (office-based and remote). We require employees to be fully vaccinated and up to date per the CDC guidance. 

If this sounds like a good fit for you, please send your resume and a cover letter explaining why you are particularly interested in the role and why we should be particularly interested in you! You can send this to Please have the subject line of the email read “[Your Last Name], [Your First Name] Application for Senior Researcher. 

Please Note: We will not review incomplete applications. Applications must include a resume and a cover letter (can be longer than one page). Ideally, the cover letter would articulate: why you, your skills, and experience are a good fit for this position; what brings you to this

work (including any lived experience); and elaborate on your areas of expertise in terms of field of study and methodology. Please also discuss your approach to and experience with project and people management. 

We plan on making decisions on a rolling basis, so the earlier you apply the better. 

Hiring Process 

Elements of the Impact Justice hiring process may include phone screen interviews, candidate exercises (written or presentations), Zoom interviews, in-person interviews, and reference checks. Candidates are welcome to ask for alternative arrangements or accommodations in the process if needed (for example, conducting an interview via phone rather than Zoom), Impact Justice will do our best to accommodate reasonable requests. Please communicate any alternative arrangements requested via the hiring email listed above.