Work type



Capability Area

Research and Survey

Research Assistant, Communications - Public Health Research

Apply now Job no: 497217 Work type: Regular Full-Time Location: Chicago – 55 East Monroe Street, IL Capability Area: Public Health


NORC at the University of Chicago is seeking a Research Assistant, Communications to support the Public Health Department. The Public Health Research team conducts work on some of today’s most pressing public health and health communication topics including vaccination, mental and behavioral health, maternal mortality, HIV, violence prevention, chronic disease prevention, rural health, health disparities, health care delivery, and social determinants of health.

Due to COVID-19, this position will initially be remote, but preferably applicants will be based in either our Chicago, IL, Atlanta, GA, or Bethesda, MD office when it is safe to resume office work.


The Public Health Research team conducts work on vital public health and health communication topics including vaccination, mental and behavioral health, maternal mortality, HIV, violence prevention, chronic disease prevention, rural health, health disparities, health care delivery, and social determinants of health. Our team includes prominent health communication experts; digital and social media strategists, nationally recognized public health researchers with general and specialized expertise in areas such as health equity, rural health, and tribal issues; skilled methodologists; and leaders in the field of survey design and implementation. Our staff also brings expertise in populations of special interest and the intersection of public health and health care delivery. We offer broad, multidisciplinary experiences spanning public health, communication, epidemiology, statistics, policy, developmental psychology, social marketing and behavior change, economics, sociology, social work, and political science.


• Provide general support related to public health research and health communication projects
• Collect digital and communication activity metrics and analyze and report out on them
• Conduct reviews of grey and published literature; use new technology to analyze and visualize findings, under supervision of senior health communication staff
• Under supervision of senior health communication staff, conduct social listening to capture online public conversations to better understand volume, frequency, sentiment, among other characteristics, of key public health topics across social, digital and news media
• Develop content for social media handles, including graphics and other visuals, and help monitor their performance and prepare analytics reports.
• Support the setup of digital and social media ads on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Google; support monitoring and pulling of performance data.
• Take notes at meetings and prepare initial draft of minutes. Take notes at telephone/in-person interviews for communication-related research projects.
• Develop project materials, such as report outlines, visual exhibits for reports, and serving as an editor for deliverables.
• Support business development efforts through coordination of document preparation and reproduction.
• Under the direction of senior staff, support the development of new business by conducting background research on programs, award history, and agency goals and objectives.
• Perform other duties as assigned.

  • Bachelor’s degree in the social sciences; degree in a communication or health communication-related field is ideal
  • Basic knowledge or and/or experience working on communication-related projects through school-based projects and/or experience in the field
  • Basic knowledge of the principles, processes, and methods of qualitative and quantitative research through reading literature and experience in the field; basic understanding of routine sampling procedures and of quantitative analysis is ideal
  • Problem solving skills.
  • Ability to work on multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Strong proficiency with MS Office software.


  • Proficiency in social listening skills, e.g., Meltwater, Talkwalker, a plus.
  • Experience collecting and analyzing digital metrics.
  • Experience developing content for social media handles preferred including experience designing graphics and other visual content, e.g, Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, a plus



  • Occasional travel for site visits and meetings.
  • Qualified applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S. We regret that we are unable to offer visa sponsorship for this position.

NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, our teams have conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with us to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.


For over 75 years, NORC has evolved in many ways, moving the needle with research methods, technical applications and groundbreaking research findings. But our tradition of excellence, passion for innovation, and commitment to collegiality have remained constant components of who we are as a brand, and who each of us is as a member of the NORC team. With world-class benefits, a business casual environment, and an emphasis on continuous learning, NORC is a place where people join for the stellar research and analysis work for which we’re known, and stay for the relationships they form with their colleagues who take pride in the impact their work is making on a global scale.


NORC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. NORC evaluates qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other legally- protected characteristics.


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