Research Associate

The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) is seeking a talented Research Associate to join our team. Based in Oakland, CA with an office in Washington, DC, we are a national nonprofit, nonpartisan research and policy organization widely respected for our expertise on financial aid and student debt issues. Our mission is to make higher education more available and affordable for people of all backgrounds, nationally and in California, so that more students can complete meaningful college credentials without burdensome debt. 

Position Summary

The Research Associate conducts research and data analysis on issues related to financial aid, college affordability, and student success, with an eye towards informing federal and state policy. We are looking for a team player with a love of numbers, strong quantitative data skills using Stata and Excel, and exceptional attention to detail. The position reports to TICAS’ Associate Research Director in Oakland. Oakland-based candidates are preferred, though candidates in DC will also be considered.

Key responsibilities/functions:

  • Gather, compile, interpret, and analyze research and data relating to financial aid, college affordability, and student success. Includes reviewing others’ research as well as conducting quantitative analysis using raw data sources.
  • Develop, document, and maintain Stata code to clean, merge, aggregate, manipulate, and format datasets, as well as manage data quality.
  • Maintain current knowledge of federal, state, institutional, and other data sources, as well as the software and web-based tools necessary to analyze that data.
  • Assist with the development, management, and execution of data processing, checking, and analysis tasks associated with research projects. This may include proposing new methods, models, and questions for research.
  • Maintain technical documentation of methodology and results for data analyses.
  • Distill and transform analyses into easily understandable summaries, using tables and charts as needed.
  • Assist with writing reports, memos, briefs, and fact sheets to communicate findings and recommendations.


  • A bachelor's degree.
  • Strong quantitative research and analysis skills and experience, as well as a desire to learn new skills and information.
    • Demonstrated proficiency in programming and statistical analysis using Stata and Microsoft Excel.
    • Dexterity working with complex data and the ability to ascertain patterns within quantitative data.
  • Exceptional attention to detail.
  • Ability to present complex information in an accurate, understandable, and compelling manner for various audiences, particularly non-technical readers.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks, respond to shifting priorities, and complete assigned tasks in a timely manner.
  • Experience and skill in managing projects with multiple components.
  • Comfort working both independently and collaboratively.
  • Optimal but not required: knowledge of higher education policy and research issues, experience with federal datasets like IPEDS and NPSAS, knowledge of social science research methods, experience managing contractors.

Full benefits provided; compensation and title commensurate with experience and qualifications. TICAS is an equal opportunity employer. Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to with “Research Associate” in the subject line. No phone calls please. This position will remain open until filled.