Research Associate

Washington, D.C
Jan 26, 2021
Jan 28, 2021
Analyst, Research
Full Time


The Research Associate (RA) assists research staff in the preparation and analysis of data for monitoring the application of the federal sentencing guidelines and for other related Commission or criminal justice research. The RA may also assist in the work of Commission policy teams or congressional report projects by generating tables and graphics, assisting with designing coding instruments, and writing SAS programs for both data quality control and data analysis of data produced by the team.
Learn more about this agency


The incumbent will work with research staff to:
  • Review existing data for errors and perform edits and data cleaning of research data files.
  • Assist in the production of sentencing statistics.
  • Compile, organize, and document research-related data files and assist in the preparation of data file documentation, statistical tables, and graphic displays and presentations.
  • Analyze qualitative and quantitative data and contribute to reports and publications based on that data.
  • Assist in the preparation of reports assessing the sentencing impact of judicial and/or congressional sentencing modifications to the guideline structure and process.
  • Assist in the preparation of databases, writing and executing computer program code and working with large data files.
  • Research, review, and analyze social science research literature.
  • Perform support or administrative tasks as needed.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

In order to be considered for this position, applicants must address the following KSAs in the questionnaire on USAJOBS as a separate submission from the resume and cover letter:
  • Experience in collecting, entering, documenting, or editing original data.
  • Experience with manipulating, and analyzing quantitative data such as subsetting datafiles, creating collapsed or dummy variables, and matching or merging datafiles.
  • Experience with quantitative analyses techniques, such as descriptive and inferential statistics.
  • Proficiency using Microsoft Word, or comparable word processing software, specifically editing text as well as creating and/or inserting tables, charts, and other objects into text.
  • Experience using EXCEL or a comparable spreadsheet software program, specifically creating or editing tables and charts and using formulas.
  • Experience using PowerPoint to make presentations which include data graphics.
  • Describe experience with any statistical software packages (i.e., SAS, SPSS, or STATA), specifically including any experience writing syntax code.
  • Ability to work well in a team setting.


  • Applicants must have a minimum of one year of experience in quantitative research as either an intern or a paid employee.
  • Satisfactory completion of course work in statistics and research methodology is required.
  • Experience programming with statistical software packages (i.e., SAS, SPSS, or STATA) is also required.

Preference will be given to applicants with one or more of the following areas of experience:
  • Experience performing data analysis using criminal justice related data.
  • Advanced SAS programming experience (e.g., working with macros and/or using SAS datafiles to auto-fill tables in Excel or Word).


Applicants must have a master's degree from an accredited university or college in criminology, sociology, or a related empirical social science.

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
  • 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.
  • If appointed to a temporary position, management may have the discretion of converting the position to permanent depending upon funding and staffing allocation.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

The Commission evaluates applicants through a structured interview. Applicants may also be screened for some jobs through a narrative/application review, and/or a preliminary telephone interview. Applicants who do not address the qualification requirements (mandatory and preferred) in his or her application materials as stated in the vacancy announcement are automatically disqualified from consideration and must re-apply before the closing date to be considered for employment.

The Office of Human Resources:
  • Reviews the applicant's application to ensure the proper materials are submitted.
  • Ensures that the application addresses all of the qualification requirements (mandatory and preferred) as stated in the vacancy announcement.
  • Determines whether the applicant meets the qualification requirements for the particular position and notifies the applicant about the status of his or her application.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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