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Research Fellow, Center for Guaranteed Income Research
United Way in Tacoma, Washington
Date Posted 05/07/2021
Employment Type Part Time
Application Deadline Open until filled

Position Context: Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a coalition of 50 mayors across the country, has partnered with the Center for Guaranteed Income Research at the University of Pennsylvania. Led by Drs. Stacia Martin-West and Amy Castro Baker, this Center will conduct a multi-city evaluation of emerging guaranteed income pilots. The Center will build on the existing body of cash-transfer literature to build an evidence rich pilot to policy pipeline. This fellow will report to Research and Program Officer at the Center for Guaranteed Income Research.

Under the leadership of Mayor Victoria Woodards, a founding member of Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, and through a partnership with United Way Pierce County, Tacoma has been planning a guaranteed income demonstration that will launch in late Summer 2021. Growing Resilience In Tacoma (GRIT) is a first-of-its-kind Guaranteed Income demonstration in Tacoma. Participants will receive $500 a month for 12 months as a supplement to their income and other benefits.

Position Description: The Center for Guaranteed Income Research is searching for a highly motivated individual to serve as the Research Fellow, in Tacoma, WA. The Research Fellow will be the primary person interfacing with guaranteed income recipients, establishing trust, facilitating data collection, ensuring participant retention, and executing on operational priorities. Research fellows running the pilots will also be provided a research affiliation with Penn through the center providing them access to Penn’s resources, standardized indirect costs, and streamlined research support under the Center Directors.

Research Fellows, who reside in the pilot city and have been appointed by pilot leadership, will receive a $20,000 stipend from the Center to execute the research design in their city. Akin to the logic behind guaranteed income, pilot researchers will be free to leverage the funds for research however they see fit to provide maximum flexibility for their local context and community-based stakeholders.

Responsibilities include:

Participant Liaison and Engagement

  • Provide potential participants, recipients, and control groups with accurate and updated information through 1-1 relationships and produced materials;
  • Coordinate interactions between potential participants, recipients, and control groups and outside organizations and interested parties;
  • Ensure participant retention in both treatment and control groups in a community based setting;
  • Field inquiries from potential participants, recipients, and control groups;
  • Coordinate research compensation payments and troubleshoot issues.

Data Collection and Management

  • Contribute to the development of research designs, data collection methods, and strategies for data management in concert with other team members;
  • Manage day-to-day logistics of data collection activities, such as troubleshooting around Qualtrics survey completion;
  • Troubleshoot with participants when issues with surveys arise, including issuing reminders around survey completion deadlines;
  • Coordinate day-to-day qualitative research-related activities for participants (e.g. schedule and complete one-on-one qualitative interviews, meetings and other events);
  • Implement quality control processes throughout.
  • Write and format reports for external distribution.
  • Create presentations for stakeholder meetings as requested. Represent research fidelity and integrity at stakeholder meetings.
  • Perform other duties as assigned


The ideal candidate will have a basic understanding of qualitative and quantitative research design and methods, strong computer skills, and be able to work independently. Prior research assistant leadership experience is strongly preferred. The job is ideal for someone with an enthusiasm for empirical research, and the ability and interest to learn new skills and take initiative as a project develops. Candidates must be comfortable with community-based field research, and have some experience working in a collaborative model with multiple stakeholders in and outside of government.

  • Master’s degree in social work, sociology, public policy, public health or a related field required;
  • Experience coordinating large groups of people and tracking sensitive data
  • Passion for highlighting the lived experiences of those experiencing financial insecurity
  • Confident leadership, writing, communication, and organizational skills
  • Ability to manage and adapt in a constantly evolving and changing environment; comfort working with ambiguity
  • Proven success in managing multiple projects and timelines
  • Understanding the strength of diversity, and the need for solutions to support all regardless of race, religion, gender, immigration status, or ethnicity
  • Mission-Focused: Catalyze others’ commitment to mission to create real social change that leads to better lives and healthier communities. This drives their performance and professional motivations.
  • Relationship-Oriented: Understands that people come before process and is astute in cultivating and managing relationships toward a common goal.
  • Collaborator: understands the roles and contributions of all sectors of the community and can mobilize resources (financial and human) through meaningful engagement.
  • Results-Driven: Dedicated to shared and measurable goals for the common good; creating, resourcing, scaling, and leveraging strategies and innovations for broad investment and impact.
  • Brand Steward: Steward of the brand and understands his/her role in growing and protecting the reputation and results of the greater network.
*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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