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Research Analyst, Center on Education Data and Policy

Urban Institute

Urban Institute

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Friday, June 7, 2024

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 Center on Education Data and Policy (EDP) undertakes policy-relevant research on issues from prekindergarten through postsecondary education and creates tools such as Urban’s Education Data Portal. We believe that education policy informed by hard data and rigorous research rather than personal experience and ideology is crucial to realizing the education system’s potential to increase socioeconomic mobility and address growing inequality.

A core part of EDP’s strategy is democratizing data for a range of stakeholders working to improve outcomes for students. The Education Data Portal, built in collaboration with Urban’s data science and communications teams, brings all major national datasets on schools, districts, and colleges under one roof, standardizing the information so it is easy to access data, measure change over time, and make connections across datasets.

How you’ll contribute:

The Center on Education Data and Policy is seeking an experienced data analyst to work on the Education Data Portal and other projects that involve complex data manipulation and management.

The successful candidate will spend most of his or her time organizing and cleaning education datasets for inclusion in the Education Data Portal, including the following types of tasks:

  • Standardize variable definitions to create panel datasets on schools, school districts, and colleges.
  • Manipulate data into the format required by the Portal.
  • Write computer programs to efficiently clean and update education datasets.
  • Review data and code for accuracy.
  • Write documentation and create metadata for education datasets.
  • Collaborate with Urban’s Technology & Data Science and Communications teams to ensure that data and metadata are accurately uploaded to the Portal.
  • Help manage the data update process and provide input on the future direction of the Portal, including the development of new tools.
  • Serve as a resource to other staff on education data sources and programming questions.

The successful candidate will also contribute to data cleaning and data analysis tasks on other education policy research projects, such as preparing complex student-level datasets for analysis, conducting analyses, and reporting on findings. Data analysis and reporting may be a component of some projects, but this role is focused on understanding, manipulating, and managing education datasets.

What you’ll bring:

We are looking for an experienced data analyst who is passionate about working with education data. The successful candidate will have:

  • Completed a master’s degree in a quantitative field (e.g. economics, statistics, computer science, data science, or any quantitative social science) or have an equivalent level of experience and education (e.g., a bachelor’s degree with at least two years of experience working with data).
  • Experience working with complex databases, including programming in Stata, R, or other languages.
  • Experience working on education policy research projects.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • An ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously to successful completion.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Comfort working independently and as part of a team.
  • Basic knowledge of education policy in the U.S. (specific knowledge of education datasets is a plus).
  • A demonstrated interest in education policy and share Urban’s belief that “power through knowledge” can help all people thrive in a fast-changing world.

What You’ll Experience:

No matter your role with Urban, you will contribute to meaningful work that makes a difference for people and communities across the country. And whether you call the Washington, DC area or elsewhere home, you can expect to be part of a welcoming and hybrid workplace. We are committed to cultivating a community and working in a manner defined by collaboration, equity, inclusivity, independence, and integrity.

Urban’s greatest asset is our people.

The salary range for this position is Min $52,112 – Mid $69,247 – Max $85,672. Salary offered is commensurate with experience and considers internal equity. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Salaries are just one component of Urban Institute’s total compensation package. Urban is committed to supporting our staff’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being through a robust benefits package for yourself, eligible dependents, and domestic partners.

It includes generous paid time off, including nine federal holidays, medical (including prescription), dental and vision insurance, and transit benefits. Urban is unique in that we offer 403(b) retirement plan participation immediately after you’re hired and a generous employer contribution after six months of service and 500 hours, with immediate vesting. You’ll also have access to a health advocate, personal finance coaching, an Employee Assistance Program, and educational assistance for undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

Employees who are working onsite may request exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement based on a medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief that prevents them from being vaccinated. Where such an exemption is approved, Urban will discuss potential accommodation with the employee. These guidelines do not apply to employees who are teleworking or other offsite staff.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by the people assigned. This posting is not an exhaustive list of all duties, responsibilities, and requirements. Urban management reserves the right to amend and change duties, responsibilities, and requirements to meet business and organizational needs as necessary.

The Urban Institute is an equal-opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender or gender identity, age, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, veteran status, pregnancy or family responsibilities, matriculation, disability, political affiliation, or any other protected status under applicable law. The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.

We are committed to equal employment opportunity and providing reasonable accommodations to applicants with physical and/or mental disabilities. If you have a physical and/or mental disability and are interested in applying for employment and need special accommodations to use our website to apply for a position, please contact Human Resources at urbancareers@urban.org. Reasonable accommodation requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Urban Institute has formally recognized the Urban Institute Employees’ Union, which is part of the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union (NPEU). Urban management and the Union work together in good faith and are motivated by a shared commitment to this institution. This position is included in the Union-represented collective bargaining unit, and specific employment terms and conditions are subject to collective bargaining negotiations.