Do you know what gets us up in the morning? Justice. (We literally have that phrase plastered on our coffee mugs. That's how zealous we are). We envision a society that respects the dignity of every single person and are fighting to realize this every day. To tackle the most pressing injustices of our day. To explicitly, pointedly and effectively reduce the burdens of the justice system on people of color. To secure equal justice, end mass incarceration, and strengthen families and communities around the country.
The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, envisions a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone. Vera is committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities.
- We study problems that impede human dignity and justice.
- We pilot solutions that are at once transformative and achievable.
- We engage diverse communities in informed debate.
- We harness the power of evidence to drive effective policy and practice.
We work with others who share our vision to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day—from mass incarceration, 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. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace—specifically, we value diverse experiences with regard to educational background and justice system contact. We hire employees that reflect our values: respect, independence, collaboration, and commitment.
Vera’s research department includes a staff of 40 researchers, working across the institute’s centers and programs; sentencing and correction, immigration, youth justice, and policing. Vera researchers are conducting studies on a wide array of topics, including the effectiveness of new models of legal representation for people in immigration detention, the impact of bail reform legislation, the experiences of transgender people who are involved in the criminal legal system, and trends in arrests in the United States. Vera researchers work closely with the institute’s communication department to ensure that study findings are accessible to a wide audience and inform public debates relating to our institutional priorities.
Vera seeks an enthusiastic and motivated individual to work as a Special Assistant in support of Vera’s Research Director and Vice President and all aspects of day to day management and administration of the Research Department. This ideal candidate is an enthusiastic self-starter, with an interest in supporting applied research on some of the most pressing justice issues of our time.
What you’ll do
Reporting directly to the Research Director and Vice President, the Special Assistant will support researchers based in each of Vera’s centers and programs, provide administrative support to the Research Director, assist with management and operations of the research department, and help coordinate special initiatives and projects such as the department’s Research Speaker Series. The special assistant may also provide research assistantship across the department as needed.
Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:
- Planning and organizing speaker events and internal and external meetings
- Providing scheduling support for the Research Director and assisting with hiring and consultant contracting for the department
- Administering support of Vera’s Institutional Review Board
- Provide administrative support in fundraising and grant management initiative, including the preparation of federal and foundation grant proposals
- Monitoring and ensuring department policies and practices are followed, inclusive of quality control protocols, human subjects training, and the onboarding of new Vera researchers
- Coordinating training and professional development opportunities for researchers
- Maintaining regular communications with Research Leadership Team and other departments
- Coordinating Vera’s external fellowships with local universities
- Assisting the Research Director in executing strategic initiatives
Who you are
You take initiative, and thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment. In everything you do, you exhibit a core commitment to racial justice. You have excellent writing, organizational, and communication skills and an interest in working on research in the criminal legal and/or immigration systems.
The successful candidate will bring the following skills and experience:
- Deep commitment to race equity and experience engaging in conversations about race, equity, diversity, and inclusion
- A demonstrated interest in and knowledge of racial justice, criminal justice, immigration, public policy, or social justice topics
- Minimum of 2 years of professional experience
- A Bachelor's degree in the social sciences, law, or related fields preferred
- Excellent writing and communication skills
- Excellent organizational and time-management skills
- Outstanding, problem-solving skills with the ability to work on multiple projects collaboratively, effectively and efficiently
- Ability to take initiative in executing special initiatives and projects
- Proficiency with Microsoft Office software, including Word, Outlook, and Excel
- Familiarity with social science research methods preferred.
Based on experience and including excellent benefits. Vera believes in compensating its staff members at or above market.
How to apply
Please submit a cover letter and resume. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Online submission in PDF format is preferred. However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:
ATTN: Human Resources / Research, Special Assistant
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
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.