Research Assistant

Location: Washington, DC
Timing: This position was posted on August 1, 2018. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.


About Upturn

Upturn promotes equity and justice in the design, governance, and use of digital technology. Our research and advocacy combines technical fluency and creative policy thinking to confront patterns of inequity, especially those rooted in race and poverty.

We work in partnership with many of the nation’s leading civil rights and public interest organizations. Our most notable work includes:

  • Challenging the development of real-time face recognition on police body-worn cameras;
  • Persuading Google to ban online payday loan ads, together with financial justice advocates;
  • Spurring Facebook to take steps to prevent racial discrimination by online advertisers;
  • Scrutinizing the role of automated risk assessment tools in the movement to end cash bail; and
  • Developing the landmark Civil Rights Principles for the Era of Big Data.

We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Washington, DC.


About the Position

This entry-level research position is ideal for someone who is excited about timely, interdisciplinary research on a range of topics related to technology, policy, and equity. You will:

  • Research and write policy memos, in collaboration with other members of the team;
  • Help prepare public reports, op-eds, blog posts, and our weekly newsletter;
  • Track and analyze current policy developments across all of our priority issues; and
  • Attend external meetings, workshops, and other events.

You will be joining a small and growing organization that is collaborative, energetic, and fun. We will actively support your professional development in the field.

  • We provide a competitive salary, and a generous and comprehensive benefits package;
  • We seek to invest in your professional growth, through training, feedback, and support;
  • We are actively committed to building an inclusive, flexible and welcoming workplace; and
  • We have a transparent culture and strive to include our entire staff when making strategic decisions.

We strongly encourage people of color, women, and LGBTQ applicants to apply.

About You

We welcome applicants from a broad range of disciplines, with a bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience. More specifically, we’re looking for someone who is:

  • Committed to advancing racial and economic justice;
  • Comfortable understanding and explaining the nuts and bolts of digital technologies;
  • A clear written and verbal communicator;
  • An organized, detailed-oriented, and instinctively curious researcher;
  • Dedicated to building collaborative relationships across communities, especially in communities of color; and
  • Passionate about understanding the growing impact of technology on people’s lives.


How to Apply

Email with:

  • A cover letter that tells us why you want to work at Upturn;
  • A resume;
  • Three samples of your work. Writing samples are preferred, but you can show us other relevant skills too;
  • Three references, including a description of how each knows you. We’ll talk to you before we talk to them; and
  • Your full name and “Research Assistant” in the subject line.

Get the newsletter