View Our Website View All Jobs

Special Assistant, Research (Brooklyn)

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.

Position Overview


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.

Read More

Apply for this position

Apply with
We've received your resume. Click here to update it.
Attach resume as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, or .rtf (limit 5MB) or Paste resume

Paste your resume here or Attach resume file

To comply with government Equal Employment Opportunity / Affirmative Action reporting regulations, we are requesting (but NOT requiring) that you enter this personal data. This information will not be used in connection with any employment decisions, and will be used solely as permitted by state and federal law. Your voluntary cooperation would be appreciated. Learn more.

Invitation for Job Applicants to Self-Identify as a U.S. Veteran
  • A “disabled veteran” is one of the following:
    • a veteran of the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service who is entitled to compensation (or who but for the receipt of military retired pay would be entitled to compensation) under laws administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; or
    • a person who was discharged or released from active duty because of a service-connected disability.
  • A “recently separated veteran” means any veteran during the three-year period beginning on the date of such veteran's discharge or release from active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval, or air service.
  • An “active duty wartime or campaign badge veteran” means a veteran who served on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service during a war, or in a campaign or expedition for which a campaign badge has been authorized under the laws administered by the Department of Defense.
  • An “Armed forces service medal veteran” means a veteran who, while serving on active duty in the U.S. military, ground, naval or air service, participated in a United States military operation for which an Armed Forces service medal was awarded pursuant to Executive Order 12985.
Veteran status

Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability
Voluntary Self-Identification of Disability Form CC-305
OMB Control Number 1250-0005
Expires 5/31/2023
Why are you being asked to complete this form?

We are a federal contractor or subcontractor required by law to provide equal employment opportunity to qualified people with disabilities. We are also required to measure our progress toward having at least 7% of our workforce be individuals with disabilities. To do this, we must ask applicants and employees if they have a disability or have ever had a disability. Because a person may become disabled at any time, we ask all of our employees to update their information at least every five years.

Identifying yourself as an individual with a disability is voluntary, and we hope that you will choose to do so. Your answer will be maintained confidentially and not be seen by selecting officials or anyone else involved in making personnel decisions. Completing the form will not negatively impact you in any way, regardless of whether you have self-identified in the past. For more information about this form or the equal employment obligations of federal contractors under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, visit the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) website at

How do you know if you have a disability?

You are considered to have a disability if you have a physical or mental impairment or medical condition that substantially limits a major life activity, or if you have a history or record of such an impairment or medical condition. Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Autism
  • Autoimmune disorder, for example, lupus, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, or HIV/AIDS
  • Blind or low vision
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular or heart disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Deaf or hard of hearing
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, for example, Crohn's Disease, or irritable bowel syndrome
  • Intellectual disability
  • Missing limbs or partially missing limbs
  • Nervous system condition for example, migraine headaches, Parkinson's disease, or Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Psychiatric condition, for example, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD, or major depression
Please check one of the boxes below:

PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENT: According to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 no persons are required to respond to a collection of information unless such collection displays a valid OMB control number. This survey should take about 5 minutes to complete.

You must enter your name and date
Your Name Today's Date