Research Analyst, SUMH

Location: New York, NY

Department: Substance Use and Mental Health Program

Type: Full Time

Min. Experience: Mid Level

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization that combines expertise in research, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to build and improve justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities. We work with others who share our vision to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day—from mass deportations, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement to the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, and those harmed by crime and violence. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. Its projects and reform initiatives, typically conducted in partnership with local, state, or national officials, are located across the United States and around the world. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace.

Vera’s Substance Use and Mental Health program (SUMH) conducts applied research and provides technical assistance to help government and community partners develop empirically driven responses to the substance use and mental health needs of people involved in justice systems. Our current work includes a project on information sharing across public health and criminal justice systems in Washington, D.C. to gauge rates of behavioral health problems among people arrested in the city; a study to develop a sentinel events based approach to jail suicide and self-harm; and an expanding line of work around criminal justice responses to the opioid epidemic. We are also launching a national training and technical assistance initiative with Vera’s Policing Program to improve police based responses to people with mental illnesses and intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Vera seeks a curious, flexible, and enthusiastic research analyst to join SUMH. The relatively small size of the SUMH team offers an exciting opportunity for a research analyst to be involved in a range of projects and a growing portfolio of work. This is a full time position based in New York City.



The Research Analyst will assist with all aspects of day-to-day support of the SUMH programs and will work with research and program staff. The responsibilities of the Research Analyst will be located at the intersection of substance use, mental health, and criminal justice, along with other relevant topics. Specific areas of responsibility will be determined at the time of appointment and/or during the interview process, but may generally include:

  • Conducting literature reviews on relevant topics;
  • Collecting and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data;
  • Cleaning, restructuring, and managing large administrative datasets;
  • Constructing and administering surveys
  • Assisting with writing reports, memoranda, proposals and policy briefs;
  • Assisting with planning, preparing for, facilitating, and taking notes at meetings, webinars, site visits, and conferences;
  • Contributing to fieldwork and data collection and to producing descriptive reports;
  • Working with program staff on project planning and management, including managing grant reporting;
  • Contributing to grant proposal development;
  • Managing administrative needs of the program; and
  • Additional duties, as needed.



The ideal candidate will have a broad interest in and knowledge of public health, social sciences, social work, and/or public policy. An interest in working on issues related to substance use, mental illness, and the criminal justice system are essential, and previous relevant experience is ideal. In addition, Vera is looking for applicants with the following:

  • A Bachelor's degree in the social sciences, social work, public policy or related fields, with two years of work experience, or a Master’s degree;
  • Demonstrated experience and skill in conducting quantitative and qualitative research;
  • Experience in program and policy evaluation
  • Experience cleaning, restructuring and managing data
  • Experience analyzing data with statistical software packages (e.g., SPSS, STATA, R, or others);
  • Interest and/or previous experience working with data visualization tools;
  • An understanding of as the mental health and substance use conditions and barriers to service use among diverse populations;
  • Experience working in the criminal justice  and/or mental health systems;
  • Ability to show initiative, flexibility, and willingness to work on a variety of tasks and adapt to changing priorities;
  • Aptitude for, and openness to, learning new research methods and analytic tools;
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills
  • Strong writing skills;
  • Willingness to travel; and
  • Commitment to Vera’s mission and demonstrated interest in and knowledge of current criminal justice issues.



$40-50K commensurate with experience, plus excellent benefits.


How to apply

Please submit cover letter, resume, and a professional writing sample. Online submission in PDF format is preferred.

However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:

ATTN: Human Resources / SUMH Research Analyst Recruitment

Vera Institute of Justice

233 Broadway, 12th Floor

New York, NY 10279

Fax: (212) 941-9407

Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.

No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.


For more information about Vera’s work, please visit

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