Work type



Capability Area

Research and Survey

Graduate Research Assistant

Apply now Job no: 497329 Work type: Intermittent Location: Chicago – 55 East Monroe Street, IL Capability Area: Education and Child Development


NORC at the University of Chicago currently seeks several Graduate Research Assistants to support an on-going, innovative research project in Education and Child Development.


For more than 40 years, NORC has been committed to conducting high quality education research. The Education and Child Development Department is a leader in conducting research and evaluations as well as large national surveys.  We conduct both formative and summative studies using extensive qualitative, quantitative, and quasi-experimental methods, conduct sophisticated analyses utilizing data science techniques, and provide comprehensive technical assistance to education decision makers and practitioners.

The study of interest will address racial equity in higher education by looking at how a mix of institutions confront structural barriers inhibiting graduation. By leveraging a large-scale, systematic effort known as the Illinois Equity in Attainment Initiative (ILEA), we investigate participating Illinois colleges and universities who have publicly committed to improving Black and Latinx graduation outcomes.

  • Collection, analysis, and coding of interview and observation data from ILEA partner institutions
  • Use and manipulation of databases, spreadsheets, and qualitative coding software
  • Preparation of memos, field notes, and tables
  • Administrative and other tasks as needed
  • May also include analysis of primary and secondary data, including data coding and cleaning
  • May also assist in preparation and writing of reports to funders and institutions
  • Must be currently enrolled in a graduate program, sociology or higher education policy preferred
  • Must have reliable internet access because the graduate research assistant will work remotely
  • Must be able to host video conferencing on own existing technology
  • Must have outstanding interpersonal, critical reasoning, analytic, and writing skills
  • Must demonstrate strong problem solving capability
  • Must have the ability and time to conduct interviews, draft field notes and analytic memos, and attend team meetings
  • Must be able to work both independently and in project teams
  • Strong proficiency conducting interviews using semi-structured protocols and taking qualitative field notes
  • Strong proficiency with MS Office software
  • Experience with qualitative data analysis (managing, coding, etc.) and software
  • Must have ability to commute to Chicago-based and suburban Chicago study sites
  • Must be vaccinated and willing to attend in-person interviews and observations should study sites allow it
  • Must be available during the following semesters: Fall 2021, Spring 2022, and Fall 2022
  • Opportunities to publish will be discussed on a case-by-case basis
  • The hourly rate of the graduate research assistant will be $21/hour
  • Must be able to work flexible hours. Timing will vary based on interview and observation schedule. At least 10-15 hours per week on average; the site visit structure means hours will be variable week by week. For example, project may require up to 24 hours one week and 4 the next; possibility exists for additional hours
  • Day time availability is required for interviews, observations, and team meetings. Some administrative time can be done in the evenings
  • The project is currently funded through November 2023 and current expectation is participation through December 2022. This assignment could wrap up earlier or be extended depending on the necessity of support
  • Resume or CV emphasizing qualitative research experience and interest/experience in racial equity and/or higher education
  • Brief Cover Letter or Writing Sample. During application step titled, “Document Uploads,” click the “Upload File” button that corresponds to attaching a cover letter

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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