Organization Overview

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research in the areas of U.S. politics and policy views; media and journalism; internet and technology; science and society; religion and public life; Hispanic trends; global attitudes and U.S. social and demographic trends. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. The Center’s work is carried out by a staff of about 140.

Position Summary

The Research Associate is a position within the Pew Research Center’s Journalism team which studies the state of news and information in a changing society, including how news is consumed, who is reporting it and how technology is shaping the information landscape. The responsibilities of this position concentrate on – but are not limited to – expertise in content analysis design (both human and machine) and media habits within various racial and ethnic populations in the U.S. This includes research on news media aimed at Hispanic, African-American and other communities, the impact of social media and mobile technology on news behaviors of different U.S. populations, the economics of ethnic media, news coverage of presidential politics and newsmakers as news providers.

The Journalism team employs a variety of empirical research methods to analyze whether people are getting the information they need for a functioning society. It publishes research on who is reporting the news and what new players are emerging; what is being reported on and what gaps in coverage exist; how news is consumed and how the economic models for news are changing. In addition to reports on these topics, the team produces the State of the News Media report, which examines key questions facing the industry. Its goal is to help the public and those in media, as well as other researchers and scholars, develop a better understanding of the revolution in the news and media landscape.

The Research Associate will contribute on all aspects of a wide range of its research projects. This includes development, original research, analysis and writing – and managing involvement in a number of different projects at once including regular participation in Journalism’s Daily Briefing report. This Research Associate will need to be familiar with a number of different research methods including but not limited to topic modeling (such as LDA), manual and computer-assisted news content analysis, and survey design. Additionally, the Associate should have experience pulling data from APIs and querying data in SQL databases, with a preference for candidates that have done research using social media data and have worked in Python and R.

The Research Associate will work integrally within and/or lead broader research teams to ensure that projects are designed and developed effectively, that data management and coding is carried out without errors, and that data analysis and reports make the maximum contribution and meet the highest standards of accuracy and impartiality. Individual oversight and judgment at all of these stages are critical.

In addition to the work within the Journalism team, the Research Associate will also be involved with broader Pew Research Center initiatives, which cover issues across a number of different subject areas. The Research Associate will also be expected to produce regular blog posts based on Pew Research data and to collaborate with the Data Labs team. This candidate, then, must be able to apply the above skills to a broader research agenda and contribute to the overall work of Pew Research Center.

Candidates with more extensive experience or exceptionally strong qualifications may be considered for appointment at the Senior Researcher level. Job responsibilities at the senior researcher level will involve more project design, management and writing or editing.

The successful researcher must be able to fulfill his or her primary responsibilities while meeting tight deadlines and balancing multiple accountabilities. The size of our organization, collaborative work environment, and relatively “flat” hierarchy mean that researchers often work directly with the senior staff on targeted research, communications or organizational projects, in addition to contributing to the broader research areas that make up the bulk of Pew Research Center’s activities. The Research Associate reports to the Director of Journalism Research.

Primary Responsibilities

Research design, implementation and data analysis (55%)

Writing and Communication (30%)

Other Project Needs (10%)

Cross-Center Collaborations (5%)


Knowledge, Skill and Workplace Requirements

FLSA Status: Exempt

Application Procedure

Applicant should send a résumé, cover letter (indicating where you learned of the opening) with salary expectations to Responses can also be mailed to:

Human Resources Department
Pew Research Center
1615 L Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC  20036

We are an equal opportunity employer.