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Senior Research Associate

Washington, D.C
Closing date
Nov 26, 2023

The duties of this position include but are not limited to:
  • Independently managing and directing large-scale research projects from inception to final project completion including:
    • Participating in the design of new data coding instruments, making data coding decisions, and evaluating the reliability of data collection projects;
    • Overseeing research design and data collection;
    • Providing technical guidance and project direction to research associates;
    • Conducting quantitative and qualitative analysis; and
    • Interpreting the findings for use by Commission staff, Congress, the criminal justice community, and the public.
  • Providing technical advice to other ORD staff on methodological approaches to research projects (e.g., research design, analytical techniques, etc.).
  • Providing expert briefings on research findings to the Commission, Commission staff, at national conferences, to judges, and to other key stakeholders.
  • Participating in Commission staff policy teams and working groups, including analyzing data to support policy team memos and briefings, participating in team meetings, assisting in preparing memoranda to the Commission, attending and presenting data at Commission meetings, and reviewing the work of other ORD staff assigned to the policy team.
  • Writing, editing, and supervising the editorial process of Commission research reports to be published for public dissemination.
  • Reviewing reports and findings by Commission staff outside ORD to assure accuracy in terms of guideline application, data use, and technical precision.
  • Mentoring and assisting in the training and development of research associates.
  • Assisting the Director and Deputy Directors of ORD in: (a) managing Commission contracts, (b) coordinating and allocating resources, and (c) providing input regarding ORD staff job performance.
  • Performing other duties as assigned by the Director or Deputy Directors of ORD.


Conditions of Employment


Applicants must have a Ph.D. in criminology or a closely related social science field, and a minimum of five years of work experience in the criminal justice field.

One (1) year of specialized work experience equivalent to the previous level in the federal service is required. For example, one (1) year of specialized experience at the GS-13 level is required to qualify for appointment at the GS-14 level. Specialized experience is defined as progressively responsible work experience that has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities that will enable the individual to successfully perform the duties of this position, and that is typically in or related to the work of this position.

  • Ability to conduct and lead large scale criminal justice research projects.
  • Advanced knowledge of SAS, R, or SPSS
  • Knowledge of advanced statistical techniques.
  • Ability to produce high-quality written research reports for several audiences including Commissioners, Congress, the Federal Judiciary, academia, and the public.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills and an ability to serve as a representative for the agency at professional conferences and meetings with other government officials.
  • Ability to work well in a demanding environment, meet tight deadlines, and manage multiple assignments.
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team, and to maintain effective working relationships with agency staff at all levels and with key individuals in other federal government organizations and interest groups.
  • Experience with extracting data from databases (e.g., Oracle).

The Commission participates in the following federal benefits:
  • The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program
  • The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)
  • The Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program
  • Federal Retirement
  • Thrift Savings Plan (TSP)
  • The Federal Leave Program
In addition, the Commission participates in the Judiciary's Flexible Spending Program for dependent care, health care, and commuter reimbursement, the government-wide Long Term Care Insurance Program, unemployment, and workers' compensation benefits.

The Commission is conveniently located next to Union Station on Capitol Hill, and is easily accessible by public transportation, including the Metro, and the MARC and VRE commuter trains. In addition to the federal benefits package, the Commission's location in the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building offers various amenities such as a health unit, credit union, day care center, cafeteria, and free on-site fitness center.

The Commission offers a monthly transit subsidy to employees who use mass transit to commute to and from work, subject to the availability of funds. The Commission offers alternative work schedules (AWS), which are fixed work schedules that enable full-time employees to complete the basic 80-hour biweekly work requirement in less than 10 workdays.

The Commission offers regular telework (not full-time) to employees in positions deemed eligible by the staff director and who meet the requirements of an approved telework arrangement in which an employee performs official duties at home or at an approved telework site.

The Commission also offers training opportunities to employees through LinkedIn Learning, and the Judiciary's Online University, which offers academic credit and professional credit programs through web-based learning. These training tools assist Commission employees with taking online courses in a flexible way, by offering training courses in the areas of: staff training and development; credit toward undergraduate degree programs; continuing education and non-credit certificate programs; executive education; contract training; credit credentials courses for continuing professional education and credit for individuals who hold credentials and achieve certifications associated with several globally-recognized sponsored organizations.


Applicants must have a Ph.D. in criminology or a closely-related social science field.

Additional information

  • This position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of positions in the competitive Civil Service.
  • All information is subject to verification. Applicants are advised that false answers or omissions of information on application materials or inability to meet the following conditions may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after being employed.
  • Selection for this position is contingent upon completion of OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment during the pre-employment process and proof of U.S. citizenship or, for noncitizens, proof of authorization to work in the United States and proof of entitlement to receive compensation. Additional information on the employment of non-citizens can be found at: . For a list of documents that may be used to provide proof of citizenship or authorization to work in the United States, please refer to .
  • The Commission participates in E-Verify and will confirm your authorization to work in the United States.
  • A background security investigation is required for all selectees. Appointment will be subject to a selectee's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements may be grounds for appropriate personnel action. A background security reinvestigation or supplemental investigation may be required at a later time.
  • All new Commission employees must identify a financial institution for direct deposit of pay before appointment, mandated by the Federal Compensation Act.
  • All new Commission employees, those converted from a temporary appointment to a permanent appointment, and all rehired former Commission employees are required to serve a one-year probationary period. The probationary period begins on the effective date of the employee's appointment, conversion, or rehire.
  • The selected applicant must relocate to the Washington DC Metropolitan area.

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