Local recruitment: Research Associate via Idealist

Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP)

Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸

Denver, CO, USA 🇺🇸

Research Associate Announcement

Reports to: Senior Manager of Research

Location: Remote, DC Office, or in Denver, CO

Posting Date: April 21st, 2022

Application Deadline: May 12th, 2022

Anticipated Start Date: June 13th, 2022

Organization Description: The Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) is a national network of nonprofit partners that works to ensure that rural and tribal communities across the United States have access to safe drinking water, wastewater treatment, and solid waste disposal, and economic prosperity through direct technical assistance, training, and financial assistance in the smallest communities across the country, many of which are economically disadvantaged. RCAP works to build capacity at the local level, while raising the voice of rural and tribal communities through advocacy, storytelling, research and strategic partnerships. Last year, RCAP served more than 3.4 million rural and tribal residents, with a median household income of just over $38,000, approximately half of the national average.

RCAP is an Equal Opportunity Employer: We welcome and encourage applications from candidates who can contribute to the diversity of our workforce across a range of dimensions. Individuals who come from rural areas; who identify as Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, or other People of Color; who are queer, trans, non-binary, or two-spirit; people with disabilities; people who are immigrants; people from poor and working-class backgrounds; and people who are/have been system-impacted are strongly encouraged to apply.

We expect all our employees to share a commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, and always seek ways to improve how well we live these values. If we can make the application process easier

through accommodation in the recruitment process, please let us know. Once you have applied, we welcome your feedback on how you have experienced our values around diversity, equity, and inclusion in the recruitment process.

Position Description: RCAP is hiring a Research Associate to implement and grow RCAP’s research who listens, understands, and communicates the needs and solutions facing small, rural, and tribal

communities across the country. The Research Associate has a passion for improving quality of life, public health, and environmental health in rural America. Some of the research questions the Associate will help with by gathering and analyzing data, and creating and helping people use information include: ·      

Which research methods create the most accurate and empowering stories around what rural communities see for their future? What are the unique needs of rural communities that can be lifted up by looking at qualitative stories and interviews in combination with quantitative and financial data? What are the solutions rural communities define for themselves, and how can those solutions best be woven into and implemented in new approaches to policy, funding, and community engagement?

Hours: Exempt Full-Time

Salary Range: $55,000-$65,000

Specific Duties/Responsibilities:

Project management and teamwork ·       

Support the Senior Manager of Research with: ·       

Extremely good organizational skills; someone who can help the team keep on track with deadlines and communications. Methodical, clear documentation of research processes (e.g. tracking citations and metadata).

Interact with internal and external partners professionally and with minimal supervision once relationships have been developed.  Interest in contributing to RCAP’s research work in a broad range of topics which are important to rural communities, including community and economic

development, broadband access, drinking water quality, access, and affordability, and climate impacts on frontline communities and their access to high quality and affordable water and wastewater utility services.        

Assists with events and other activities to support RCAP’s goals, such as conferences, Fly-Ins, site visits, and meetings. Assist the Senior Manager of Research and the Programs team with research grant administration, including needs assessment and data gathering to support funding proposals. Working with the Senior Manager of Research, develop and grow skills in project management and strategy.

Data gathering and analysis

Willingness to dive deep into research on a topic, such as by performing literature reviews, internet or news searches; compiling, organizing, and tracking information; synthesizing data clearly for team members within RCAP and externally. Quickly pick up on nuances of new topics, while being comfortable asking for help and asking questions. Gathers, cleans, and analyzes qualitative and quantitative data and identifies trends and patterns within that data. Keeps track of publicly available data of importance to RCAP, identifies where gaps may exist, and suggests solutions for how to fill those gaps as appropriate. Helps provide data points, visualizations, quality control, and edits for RCAP reports, grant applications, and publications, including for the Annual Report. Conducts research on environmental justice topics in rural communities.

Information synthesis and communications

Leads and collaborates on publications including white papers, blogs, and research reports. Strong writing skills and communication skills. Interest in learning from RCAP’s network of technical assistance providers (TAPs), cultivating relationships with TAPs and partner organizations.  Ability to understand basic premises of data presentation and visualization; while a background in data analytics is not required, comfort with interpreting and sharing data and numbers is helpful. Knowing what to ask for/look for is extremely helpful.  Develops and submits abstracts with the Research team and speaks at conferences to advance strategic priorities. 

Required Qualifications:

Degree or equivalent experience doing research in public policy; economics; public health; data science; environmental policy, science, or management; community development; law; public administration; or other field relevant to rural, the environment and community development. Experience with interviewing, focus groups, or other qualitative research methods. Prior research or data science experience and/or experience or interest in rural community development; economic development; drinking water, wastewater or solid waste issues. Strong written and verbal communication skills are essential. Substantial knowledge of the Microsoft Office suite of products, especially Excel, is necessary. Attention to detail is a must. Ability to meet deadlines, often simultaneously and/or in rapid succession and hold other team members and partners accountable. Ability to work independently but also be successful in a remote team setting.

Desired Qualifications:

Some experience with statistics, econometrics, GIS, or other forms of quantitative analysis are preferred. Familiarity with web-based data collection systems is helpful. Familiarity with R, Stata, Python, or SQL is helpful, but not required. Familiarity with and a passion for rural issues including but not limited to infrastructure and community and economic development a plus. Familiarity with community-based participatory research methods or passion for bottom-up approaches and justice-oriented knowledge gathering is helpful.

How to Apply: To apply please submit a letter of interest and resume/CV to [email protected]. The application process will close on May 12th.

The Selection Process: In an effort to be as transparent as possible in our selection process as well as to help expedite bringing new staff on board, below is a timeline of key events:

Review of Resumes: Applications will be reviewed as they come in. All initial reviews will be completed May 16th

Initial Screening Interviews (via phone): By May 20th

Full Interviews (via Zoom): By May 25th 

Reference checks: May 26-27

Extend offer: May 30th

While we will proactively communicate these dates and any changes to you throughout the process, please consider placing tentative holds on your calendars for the initial screening and face-to-face interviews.

COVID-19 Response: RCAP recognizes these are unprecedented times and wants to remove any carriers that would prevent anyone disproportionately affected by the pandemic from applying. RCAP has a vaccine requirement in place with exemptions allowed for medical or religious reasons. RCAP receives a significant amount of funding from federal sources, and must comply with federal guidelines related to vaccine requirements, masks, and other local and federal public health guidelines.