Research Associate, Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education
Council for Opportunity in Education

Job Info


The Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education seeks a highly motivated and detail-oriented Research Associate to join our team. The successful candidate will work with a team of researchers supporting the Institute's mission to explore how higher education can be a more effective engine of opportunity and social mobility for first-generation and low-income students. In collaboration with the Director of the Pell Institute, the Research Associate will lead pre-college and college access research projects within the Pell Institute. The candidate should demonstrate strong project management and research skills and have extensive expertise on pre-college and college access topics and issues affecting historically marginalized students within U.S. education (e.g., first-generation college students and students from low-income backgrounds).

This position requires the ability to design and implement research projects from conceptualization to final deliverables. The candidate needs to have in-depth knowledge of education theory and research methodology, particularly as it pertains to pre-college/college access, strong communication skills, and a commitment to and affinity for delivering high-level research. The ideal candidate will have experience with federal TRIO programs as a researcher, a TRIO alum, or working with TRIO students.

Specific Responsibilities:

  • Support ongoing research projects within the Pell Institute
  • Lead pre-college and college access research (from design to deliverable) both independently and collaboratively
  • Assist in the design, implementation, and analysis of grant-funded research projects
  • Build capacity within pre-college TRIO programs (e.g., Upward Bound and Talent Search)
  • Seek grant opportunities and support the preparation of grant applications with the Vice President of Research / Director of the Pell Institute
  • Influence national conversations about pre-college and college access issues
  • Research new data sources and analytical tools to position Pell as a leading resource for pre-college and college access discussions for historically marginalized students.
  • Write and contribute to reports, blogs, policy briefs, and peer-reviewed publications.
  • Present research to diverse audiences, including TRIO professionals, policymakers, state leaders, and other research communities.
  • Assist the Director of the Pell Institute with other tasks and duties as assigned.

Position Requirements:

  • Ph.D. or EdD in a related field
  • Passion for the mission of the Pell Institute and a commitment to promoting opportunity and equity in higher education
  • At least five years of experience in research related to low-income, first-generation, underrepresented students or students with disabilities Demonstrate strong proficiency with quantitative or qualitative research methods (mixed methods expertise preferred)
  • Hands-on practitioner experience or collaboration with practitioners in the field of college access
  • Strong communication skills, both written and spoken
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team, manage multiple projects and priorities, and meet deadlines
  • Grant writing experience
  • Ability to travel as needed

Salary Range:

$95,000 - $105,000

Reports to:

Vice President of Research / Director of Pell Institute


The Pell Institute is located in Washington, D.C. This position is not remote.

Application Process:

Submit your application material by email to: using "Pell Research Associate - [Your Full Name]" as the subject of your email. This position is in Washington, D.C., and is not remote.

The application materials should include the following:

  • Cover letter with qualifications, interest, and availability Current CV Three references with current contact information Links to example(s) of applicable written materials

This description describes the general nature and level of work for individuals assigned to this classification. Examples of duties or responsibilities are not exhaustive lists describing the duties or responsibilities required of personnel so classified. COE does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, or veteran status. The Council for Opportunity in Education is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and complies with all federal and District of Columbia laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding employment.

This job has expired.

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