Research Assistant- Child Welfare and Justice Research

Westat | Washington DC

About Job

Westat is an employee-owned corporation providing research services to agencies of the U.S. Government, as well as businesses, foundations, and state and local governments. Westat’s research, technical, and administrative staff of more than 2,000 is located at our headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, near Washington, DC.

Job Summary

Westat is seeking a research assistant to join a multidisciplinary team of researchers and program evaluators focused on child welfare, criminal justice, and victimization studies. The child welfare work includes evaluations and research studies of system reforms and other programs focused on improving outcomes for child-welfare involved children and families. The justice work includes surveys of victim service providers, unwanted behaviors among jail inmates, and the incidence of sexual assault and interpersonal violence among youth and young adults.

The position requires: (1) engaging in close collaboration with project leadership and team members to support qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation tasks; (2) providing technical assistance to professionals in the field of interest who participate in research projects; and (3) assisting in all aspects of the project life cycle, from conceptualizing the design, to implementing data collection activities, to conducting basic analyses, to contributing to reports and other dissemination products.

This position is based in our office in Rockville with flexibility for partial telework/hybrid arrangement.

Supporting Project Teams By

Job Responsibilities:

  • Assisting to coordinate and schedule project tasks (e.g., meetings, data collection plans, IRB submissions, report schedules).
  • Assisting to conduct literature reviews for projects and proposals.
  • Assisting to develop and test survey instruments, as well as interview and focus group guides.
  • Assisting to develop study recruitment materials, including factsheets and invitation and reminder letters.
  • Assisting to conduct basic quantitative (e.g., descriptive analyses, crosstabs) and qualitative (e.g., coding data) analyses.
  • Assisting to develop project materials for submission to OMB and IRB.
  • Coordinating work with other groups (e.g., systems, library, facilities), as needed, to support project tasks.
  • Managing the storage and inventory of project materials.
  • Supporting proposal work, as needed (e.g., literature reviews, coordinating resumes across staff, identifying relevant projects).

Basic Qualifications

  • A Bachelor’s degree, preferably in psychology, sociology, criminology, social science or a related field.
  • At least 1 year of experience is required.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Work collaboratively with individuals at all levels.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously within a team environment.
  • Strong computer skills (Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Proactively anticipate project needs; willingness to learn new skills and apply them to the work.
  • Able to adapt quickly to changes in assignments, projects, and responsibilities.