TICAS is seeking a Research Associate or Senior Research Associate to play a key role on our research team. The research team, led by TICAS’ Research Director, leads our analytical work to make original contributions to the national debate over higher education policy and to shape and advance student-centered policies, nationally and in California. The post holder will conduct research and perform data analysis on issues related to financial aid, college affordability, and student success, with an eye towards informing federal and state policy. We are looking for a team player with impeccable attention to detail, strong quantitative analysis skills, an ability to communicate research findings clearly, and a commitment to promoting equal opportunity in higher education.

The post holder may be asked to manage temporary staff and interns.

Candidates willing to work from Oakland are strongly preferred, though candidates in Washington, D.C., area or other locations will also be considered. This position reports to TICAS’ Research Director, based in Oakland.

TICAS values diversity and inclusion in all facets of the organization’s work and strongly encourages applicants from diverse and historically underserved backgrounds to apply.

Key responsibilities/functions:

  • Lead the development, management, and execution of data processing, checking, and analysis tasks associated with research projects relating to financial aid, college affordability, and student success. Includes reviewing others’ research as well as conducting quantitative analysis using raw data sources.
  • Develop, document, and maintain Stata code to clean, merge, aggregate, manipulate, and format datasets, as well as manage data quality.
  • Contribute to the compilation of clear and persuasive reports, memos, briefs, and fact sheets to communicate findings and recommendations, drive media coverage and shape policy debates.
  • Maintain current knowledge of federal, state, institutional, and other data sources, as well as the software and web-based tools necessary to analyze that data. Includes maintaining technical documentation of methodology and results for data analyses.
  • Collaborate with external contractors and staff within TICAS on various projects and communicate valuable feedback to the Research Director and the Executive Team.
  • Manage yearly updates for TICAS’ higher education data tool, College Insight, and lead the data analysis associated with TICAS’ annual student debt report, both with guidance from the Research Director.
  • Distill and transform analyses into easily understandable summaries, using tables and charts as needed. Draft talking points for media interviews and conference presentations. Senior Research Associate may be asked to participate in interviews and presentations with supervision from the Research Director and Executive Team.
  • Provide analytical support to policy and data staff across the organization. Respond to data inquiries with limited supervision for the Senior Research Associate possible.


  • At least a bachelor’s degree and 2 years of experience in a role addressing higher education issues for the Research Associate position. At least a master’s degree and 2 to 6 years of experience conducting data analysis in education, preferably data analysis related to affordability, accountability, and equity in higher education, for the Senior Research Associate position.
  • Strong quantitative research and analysis skills and experience, as well as a desire to learn new skills and information.
    • Demonstrated proficiency in programming and statistical analysis using Stata and Microsoft Excel. Familiarity with additional data visualization tools such as Tableau and R is a plus.
    • Dexterity working with complex data and the ability to ascertain patterns within quantitative data.
  • Exceptional attention to detail and a demonstrated commitment to excellence. Enthusiastic, inquisitive, and passionate about higher education policy and research.
  • Ability to present complex information in an accurate, understandable, and compelling manner for various audiences, particularly non-technical readers.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks, respond to shifting priorities, and complete assigned tasks in a timely manner.
  • Experience and skill in managing projects with multiple components.
  • Comfort working both independently and as part of a team.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Familiarity with higher education policy and research issues. An in-depth knowledge of higher education policy and research issues, experience with federal datasets like College Scorecard, IPEDS and NPSAS, knowledge of social science research methods, and/or experience managing contractors would be required for the Senior Research Associate.

Application Process

Candidates should submit a cover letter and resume at https://airtable.com/shrpc0N13nTWc3zOq. In your cover letter, please include brief concise paragraph on:

  • Why you are passionate about TICAS’ mission and higher education policy
  • A recent and/or relevant research project

Candidates should also include two professional references with their cover letter.

No phone calls please. This position will remain open until filled.

TICAS strongly encourages applicants from diverse and historically underserved backgrounds to apply.