Senior Research Associate

Location: Washington, D.C. or Remote

Division: Advocacy

Department: Research

Reports to:  Director of Research and Publications

Start Date: ASAP – position open until filled

Position type: Full-time, exempt



Founded in 2016, the Alliance for Safety and Justice (ASJ), a project of the Tides Center, is a multi-state organization that aims to win new safety priorities in large incarceration states across the country. At a time of immense opportunity, ASJ partners with leaders and advocates to advance state criminal justice reform through policy advocacy, coalition building, research, education and strategic communications. ASJ also brings together diverse crime survivors to advance policies that help communities most harmed by crime and violence. ASJ’s sister organization, Californians for Safety and Justice (CSJ), also a project of Tides Center, has been leading state advocacy efforts to replace over-incarceration in California with new safety priorities since its inception in 2012. With a substantial California staff and a strong track record, CSJ operates as ASJ’s flagship state advocacy effort. Additionally, the Alliance for Safety and Justice Action Fund, a project of Tides Advocacy, is the 501 (c) 4 arm of both ASJ and CSJ. Combined, ASJ and CSJ operate with over 70 staff.



The Senior Research Associate is a mid-level position whose core responsibilities are to advance the organization’s goals through research and crafting issue briefs and reports, to track and analyze data, best practices and other key issues in the criminal justice system and to respond to the organization’s dynamic and emergent research needs. The Senior Research Associate will collaborate with the Safe and Just team to support the organization’s mission and strategies. Reporting to the Director of Research and Publications, the position will help complete research assignments, and will work closely with the Managing Director of Advocacy, the Director of State Policy and the Senior Research Manager.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities


Research in criminal justice & the ability to explain analysis to a general audience (50%)

  • Conduct extensive research and writing on best practices in criminal justice and emerging trends related to ASJ’s policy agenda, which can include: sentencing, community supervision practices, incentives-based funding structures, best practices in prevention and health-based community safety strategies, crime survivor issues, issues affecting people with old criminal records,  and other major organization-related issues.
  • Provide rapid response research assistance to the organization’s communications and advocacy efforts. May include literature searches, fact checking, and quick analysis of publicly available or recently acquired data.
  • Work with the Director of Research and Publications, the Senior Research Manager, the Chief Communications Officer, Director of State Policy, Managing Director of Advocacy or their designees to provide information to support communications and legislative advocacy work. 
  • Track and monitor crime trends and changes in local public safety strategies, and the ability to represent these graphically for a general audience.  This work includes organizing and maintaining databases and preparing analyses, charts, tables and graphs.
  • Design and craft fact sheets, issue briefs, policy reports, and data reports on major issues in criminal justice reform and best practices.
  • Other duties as needed to achieve the mission of the organization.


Estimates of policy impact (25%) 

  • With guidance from the Senior Research Manager, develop estimates of the impacts of ASJ policy proposals to achieve advocacy, communications, development and campaign goals.
  • Regularly update estimates of policy impact, share and manage with key internal stakeholders. 


Larger scale, original research projects (25%)

  • With guidance from the Senior Research Manager, work with staff and consultants to support long-term research projects that leverage our expertise on a variety of issues.  


Education & Experience 

  • Masters Degree preferred with at least 3 years of professional experience in criminal justice research, health or related policy area to justice reform research.
  • Experience reviewing and translating research and data in criminal justice, crime prevention and health policy contexts. 
  • Demonstrated competencies in developing the types of research products generated by the organization. 
  • Preferred experience working in one or more of ASJ’s key states (AZ, CA, OH, MI, FL, IL, TX, GA, PA, and NY).
  • Some experience using the platforms used by the organization to analyze data (e.g. Tableau, SAS, STATA, Python, SPSS, or SQL orExcel). High proficiency with spreadsheets, data analysis, and academic databases. 



  • Ability to produce high-quality content and research under tight deadlines.  Self-starter, with the capacity to work effectively in a rapidly changing environment and be able to work quickly and cooperatively on several efforts at one time.
  • Ability to thrive in a busy, multi-tasking, and time-pressured campaign environment.
  • Impeccable attention to detail and extremely high standards for accuracy.
  • A methodical, detail-oriented and coordinated approach to investigating and acquiring data, information and knowledge.
  • An ability to communicate complex data, research and information collected to non-expert audiences, verbally and in written form, using ASJ’s frame. 
  • Experience with and enthusiasm for in-depth subject matter research.
  • The ability to clean and analyze large and complex data sets and convey findings to different audiences, both internal and external, including non-expert audiences. 
  • Ability to translate complex ideas, research results, and policy issues, distilling them  into accessible and compelling written content. 
  • A demonstrated history and commitment to social and racial justice. 

Working Conditions & Physical Demands

  • Work is normally performed in an interior office setting which does not subject the employee to any hazardous or unusual element 
  • Occasional travel may be required
  • Requires use of a desktop, laptop, or video display terminal
  • Requires routine physical movements with limited physical exertion
  • Ability to communicate, receive and understand information through oral and written communication and proofread and check documents for accuracy
  • Requires communicating information with co-workers, stakeholders and/or the public; reading correspondence, instructions and/or technical documents; writing correspondence and/or reports and filling in forms


Compensation and Benefits

Salary will be commensurate with experience. The Tides Center offers a competitive benefits package including health/vision/dental insurance, retirement 403b match benefit and paid sick, holiday and vacation leave.


To Apply 

Applications should be sent to our recruitment partner at Career in Nonprofits, Emily Schelle, at [email protected] Please send a cover letter indicating your interest in ASJ, the role, and your related experience, your resume, and 3-4 professional references.


Position open until filled. The Alliance for Safety and Justice, a project of Tides Center, is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage and seek applications from women, people of color, including bilingual and bicultural individuals, as well as members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities. Applicants shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, or medical conditions. Reasonable accommodations will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.


Last Updated: 7/7/21