Research Analyst, Policing and Substance Use and Mental Health Programs

Vera Institute of Justice | New York, New York


The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization that combines expertise in research, technical assistance, and demonstration projects to build and improve justice systems that ensure fairness, promote safety, and strengthen communities. We work with others who share our vision to tackle the most pressing injustices of our day—from mass deportations, racial disparities, and the loss of public trust in law enforcement to the unmet needs of the vulnerable, the marginalized, and those harmed by crime and violence. Vera has offices in New York City, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans, and its projects and reform initiatives, typically conducted in partnership with local, state, or national officials, are located across the United States and around the world. Vera is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity in the workplace.

Job Summary

Vera seeks a smart, flexible, and enthusiastic research analyst to join its Policing Program and Substance Use and Mental Health Program. This is an exciting opportunity to join two programs at Vera, both with discrete and collaborative research tasks between the two programs.

Vera's policing work focuses broadly on increasing police legitimacy and public trust in law enforcement. . Our work in policing includes developing tools to improve trust, accountability, and community involvement for local police leaders and communities to collaboratively implement, providing technical assistance to police and community partners, and developing, administering, and analyzing research instruments. While Vera has undertaken policing projects since our inception, the Policing Program is Vera's newest independent program and as such, the position offers the opportunity to be involved in the growth of this important portfolio of work.

Vera's Substance Use and Mental Health program (SUMH) conducts applied research and provides technical assistance to help public officials and community organizations develop empirically driven responses to the substance use and mental health needs of people involved in justice systems. SUMH staff collect and analyze data to examine the interaction between public health and justice systems and evaluate existing programs in order to understand the experiences of those affected by psychiatric disorders or substance use and the polices that prolong their involvement in the justice system. Recent projects include the launch and process evaluation of a pre-arraignment screening unit in Manhattan Criminal Court, a process evaluation of New York State's overdose prevention and naloxone distribution program in state prisons, and a study to understand how working on restrictive housing units impact correctional officer well-being.


The Research Analyst will assist with all aspects of day-to-day support of the Policing and SUMH programs and will work with program and research staff within both programs. The primary responsibilities of the Research Analyst will include research relating to policing, the intersection of substance use, mental health, and criminal justice, and other relevant topics. Detailed responsibilities will be assigned at the time of appointment and/or during the interview process, but may generally include:

  • Conducting desk research and literature reviews on relevant policing topics;
  • Assisting with writing reports, memoranda, proposals and policy briefs;
  • Collecting and analyzing data;
  • Researching potential funders and funding priorities;
  • Assisting with planning, preparing for, and taking notes at meetings, webinars, site visits, and conferences;
  • Contributing to fieldwork and data collection and to producing descriptive reports;
  • Working with other program staff on project planning;
  • Managing budgets, grant adjustments, and invoicing;
  • Developing program materials;
  • Supporting advisory board meetings and convenings;
  • Managing the administrative needs of the program; and
  • Additional duties, as needed. 


The ideal candidate will have a broad interest in and knowledge of social sciences, social work, public policy, policing, and/or public health. An interest in working on issues related to policing, substance use, mental illness, and the criminal justice system are essential, and previous relevant experience is ideal. In addition, Vera is looking for applicants with some combination of the following:

  • A Bachelor's degree in the social sciences, social work, public policy or related fields, with two years of work experience, or a Master’s degree;
  • Experience managing and analyzing data and program outcomes;
  • Experience with statistical software packages (e.g., SPSS, STATA, R, or others);
  • Experience and/or interest in survey research design, administration, and analysis;
  • Interest and/or previous experience working on data visualization tools; Experience managing budgets and invoicing;
  • Experience conducting literature reviews;
  • An understanding of police policies and practices as well as the mental health and substance use needs of diverse populations;
  • Commitment to Vera’s mission and demonstrated interest in and knowledge of current criminal justice issues;
  • Demonstrated experience and skill in conducting quantitative and qualitative research;
  • Ability to show initiative, flexibility, and willingness to work on a variety of tasks and adapt to changing priorities;
  • Strong organizational and time-management skills, and reliable attention to detail;
  • Ability to work individually as well as part of a team;
  • Strong writing skills; and
  • Strong work ethic, interpersonal and communications skills.


$40-45k commensurate with experience, plus excellent benefits.

How to Apply

Please submit cover letter, resume, and a professional writing sample. Online submission in PDF format is preferred.

However, if necessary, materials may be mailed or faxed to:

ATTN: Human Resources / SUMH & Policing Research Analyst Recruitment

Vera Institute of Justice

233 Broadway, 12th Floor

New York, NY 10279

Fax: (212) 941-9407

Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.

No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission.

Vera Institute of Justice