Senior Research Specialist

Requisition # 2024-19119
Date Posted 2 months ago(5/29/2024 10:59 AM)
Schl of Public & Int'l Affairs
Research and Laboratory
Job Type


About BDI


The Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) is a non-partisan research initiative that tracks and mitigates political violence in the United States. BDI supports efforts to grow and build local community resilience through elections and other periods of heightened risk, laying the groundwork for longer-term to bridge the divides we face as a nation.


We do this by 1) producing action-oriented and responsive research to fill existing gaps and empower local leaders; 2) enabling cross-sector collaboration, so individuals and organizations are better prepared to mitigate risk and respond to crisis when it does arise; and 3) helping to drive the policy and community response. Over the past three years, BDI played an essential role in supporting a wide range of actors preparing for and responding to political violence and democratic crisis. Our data, analysis, and tools continue to help a diverse coalition of national and local decision-makers better target their interventions. BDI is based at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), co-hosted by the Empirical Studies of Conflict (ESOC). 


For more information, please visit our website:


Position Overview


BDI seeks a full-time Senior Research Specialist (SRS). The SRS will work closely with other members of BDI’s core team to review and analyze project data, create customized visuals, briefings, memos, and public-facing reports, and provide real-time, custom analysis to local leaders working to address political violence, including in both short-term response and long-term research and community support work. 


This is a full-time, fully remote position, with an option to be based on Princeton’s campus. The role is envisioned as a one-year minimum engagement, with opportunities for renewal.  



  • Work closely with other members of BDI’s core team to support a broad range of data-driven research programming, including tracking political violence trends and actors, threats and harassment to local officials, understanding regional and local geographic dynamics, and ensuring holistic high-quality data design, analysis, and communication. 
  • Oversee data collection, coding, cleaning, visualization, and analysis for a variety of long and short-term research projects, focused on making data and analysis accessible and actionable for community partners and the general public. 
  • Provide support to BDI leadership in targeted outreach to data partners, civil society, or others key to advance BDI’s objectives and communicate tools/resources to communities broadly.
  • Provide research, writing, and editing for BDI’s bi-weekly reporting on trends and events and other written analytic briefs, occasionally written in partnership with other organizations. 
  • Provide real-time support to BDI’s research and collaboration teams to deliver custom analysis and quick, accurate answers to pressing questions and concerns from community partners, drawing on BDI’s growing library of quantitative and qualitative data sources 



  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field.
  • Interest in and commitment to supporting civil society efforts to address political violence in the US, including work with partner organizations across diverse political affiliations, geographies, and sectors.
  • Experience in data analysis via programs such as Tableau or R, including demonstrated experience in data visualization creation (skills will be assessed in a technical exercise for all short-listed candidates)
  • Facility with, and interest in, producing timely data, including gathering data, constructing and managing databases, conducting data analyses, and improving data quality. 
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively around data, including identifying new/emerging trends, gaps, and alternative analysis methods. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively on a fast-paced team.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, including proactivity and agility in response to potential early warning indicators
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, and the ability to engage with a multidisciplinary team and collaborators, including a wide array of partners from diverse backgrounds and in a remote work setting. 
  • Detail-oriented, self-directed, and able to independently work on multiple small projects at the same time.
  • Demonstrated ability to write clearly and concisely using a variety of quantitative and qualitative inputs. 
  • 2-3+ years of experience in research, policy, community engagement, or related role.



  • Master’s degree in relevant fields.
  • Past experience writing policy-focused memos, recommendations, or reports.
  • Interest and ability to translate research findings to policy and practitioner audiences.
  • Demonstrated rigorous statistical analysis experience using RStudio’s Shiny apps, Leaflet interactive maps, geospatial analysis libraries, and/or other related analysis tools. 
  • Experience with spatial analysis, including aggregation of demographic and point data to spatial units alongside data visualization/cartography.
  • Experience developing datasets and subsets from various sources, including creating and maintaining documentation for all data and tools and ensuring data integrity.  
  • Experience with HTML/CSS, Python, or other programming languages or interest in developing greater fluency.
  • Experience with time series and event data, building analytical outputs for description and predictions, such as forecasting models, indices, and multiple linear regressions.


Our benefits package includes:

  • 24 paid vacation days with 11 paid holidays;
  • 2 paid personal days;
  • 8 sick days
  • Health insurance policy (Aetna and/or UnitedHealth care as well as Vision, Dental, and employer sponsored short and long-term disability policies and life insurance);
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (HFSA, DFSA);
  • Princeton retirement contributions (9.3% of annual salary)
  • 403(b) retirement plan;
  • Robust education support program covers 85% of tuition and mandatory educational fees at accredited U.S. institutions, up to $5,250 annually, eligible after one year of service.
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and other wellness resources to support employees and their families;

Work authorization/visa eligibility: Work must be performed within the United States and is remote. This job requires U.S. work authorization and is not eligible for U.S. visa sponsorship.


No matter who you are, BDI is a place you can call home. We know that our unique perspectives make us stronger, smarter, and well-positioned for success. We value and rely on the collective voices of our team to help guide our work on challenging issues.


Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Standard Weekly Hours


Eligible for Overtime


Benefits Eligible


Probationary Period

180 days

Essential Services Personnel (see policy for detail)


Physical Capacity Exam Required


Valid Driver's License Required




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