Research Assistant



Do you get excited about diving deep into data, insights, and research?

Do you aspire to conduct research aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable individuals, children, and families?

Do you like working on collaborative teams to drive social change?

The Team

MEF Associates is a well-established social policy research firm specializing in rigorous research that influences and shapes social programs that serve millions of Americans each year.

For the last decade, we have worked at all levels of government and with various non-profits focused on bettering policy related to child and family well-being, workforce development, income security, and early childhood education. We combine diverse work experiences and expertise to deliver meaningful, data-driven solutions.

The Culture

Our staff come to MEF because of our ability to make a difference through research. Each one of us brings a unique perspective, diversity of approach, and uncompromising commitment to research excellence. We believe that what we do impacts the effectiveness and efficiency of public policy and programs. Through this work, we realize our mission to improve the lives of vulnerable individuals, children, and families. We strive to use inclusive research methods that promote collaboration with the programs and communities with whom we work.

We value a diverse workforce and the benefits that come from research being conducted by individuals with varied backgrounds and life experiences.

As a relatively small firm, we value close collaboration and a supportive work culture. We are committed to the growth and professional development of our staff.

The Opportunity

We have room on our team for a Research Assistant in either our Seattle, Washington or Alexandria, Virginia office. In this role, you will support our ongoing work on an array of research and evaluation projects. The work you do will represent a mix of qualitative and quantitative research on projects dealing with issues such as: employment and training, welfare, food assistance, child welfare, child support enforcement, early childhood education, and disability. Your role as Research Assistant represents a unique opportunity to join a growing business and to work on a wide variety of large-scale policy research and evaluation efforts.

While each project can be vastly different, the work you do could look something like:

  • Conducting literature reviews
  • Assisting with field research including the development of protocols, organizing meetings and site visits, note taking, and preparing transcripts and/or summaries
  • Contributing to reports, proposals, and presentations
  • Manipulating data and assist in conducting data analysis using MS Excel and/or statistical packages
  • Assisting with the design and implementation of surveys and focus groups
  • Contributing to the company website, marketing, and proposal development

While our team has varied backgrounds filled with valuable experiences, we look for a consistent set of things that we believe contribute to success. They include:

  • BA/BS in a social science or a related field with an exemplary academic record
  • Demonstrated excellence in writing and verbal communication
  • Effective project management skills with ability to multi-task and prioritize a varied workload in a fast-paced environment
  • Commitment to details and accuracy
  • Proficient in interpersonal skills and collaborating with others in a respectful way
  • Effective experience in qualitative or quantitative research and documentation, with preference for public or social policy.

While not requirements, we feel the following skills would be beneficial:

  • Fluency in Spanish, written and verbal
  • Familiarity with supporting research in an academic field (such as a professor or senior researcher)
  • Working knowledge of statistical or qualitative software package (e.g., Stata, R, SAS)
  • Ability to travel domestically on occasion

If this sounds like the kind of work you long to do and the kind of team you see yourself in, we invite you to reach out to start the conversation.

Please submit required application materials (cover letter, resume, writing sample, and academic transcript) using this form, which includes two short written prompts, to apply.

MEF is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages people of color, women, people with disabilities, and veterans to apply. Legal work authorization is required.