Research Associate (Water Policy)

Public Policy Institute of California

San Francisco, CA, US


This position provides foundational research support to advance PPIC’s water and natural resource research agenda. Research associates work as part of research teams and under the direction of a senior research colleague, who provides guidance, review, and mentorship. Responsibilities include assembling, coding, and analyzing both quantitative and qualitative data, conducting literature searches, abstracting source materials, providing project management support.

This position is expected to start on or after July 15, 2020, and is based in PPIC’s San Francisco office.


  • Construct and manage large data sets
  • Analyze and code quantitative and qualitative data
  • Provide assistance in drafting research reports, including developing narrative, data charts, graphs, tables, and GIS maps
  • Perform literature searches, prepare and annotate bibliographies and abstract data source materials
  • Contact government agencies and other organizations to request data and other program information
  • Interact with internal and external stakeholders
  • Perform project management and administrative tasks as required
  • Present research results. May include preparing written reports or blogs as well as presenting results in seminars and other forums

Research associates are integral members of PPIC’s research team. As their expertise develops, so do the opportunities to expand their level of responsibility regarding the stewardship of project-related work, the intellectual contribution to their projects, or both.


  • Bachelors or Master’s degree in economics, environmental science, political science, public policy, sociology or a related field, or equivalent experience.
  • Solid computer skills:
    • Knowledge of STATA, R, or another statistical package is required.
    • Knowledge of GIS software required
    • Familiarity with Adobe Illustrator or another graphics software is desirable
  • Experience working with large data sets and data visualization
  • Experience in quantitative and qualitative analysis
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and responsibilities at the same time, with a high-level of organization and professionalism
  • Must be comfortable taking initiative, paying attention to detail, delivering high quality output in a timely manner, and working in an ever-evolving policy environment
  • Demonstrated interest in applied policy research and water and natural resource issues is required; experience or interest in other policy areas is a plus

PPIC values the wide variety of backgrounds and experiences of our research staff, and key elements in the consideration of qualified candidates include excellence; diversity of talents, backgrounds, and viewpoints; and a strong fit with the institute’s mission, values, and goals.

To Apply

Applications will be considered as they are received, and the position will remain posted until filled. Please tailor your cover letter to highlight how your credentials meet the qualifications listed above.

PPIC is committed to excellence through diversity. Our work is rooted in objective, data-driven policy analysis. We welcome and encourage applicants who reflect the full diversity of California. The expertise of our staff members is essential to the success of PPIC’s mission, and we assist career and personal growth through robust support of skill development at all levels of the organization. We also provide a competitive package of benefits and financial compensation.

Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records. AA/EEO/Veterans/Disabled employer.





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