Research Assistant

Children Now is a nonpartisan whole-child research, policy development and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children’s health, education, and well-being in California. Children Now also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a unique network of more than 4,600 parent, youth, business, labor, civil rights, faith, and community-based organizations, as well as thousands of individuals, working together to make children a top priority in public policy. Learn more at including about Children Now’s core organizational values.

About the Role

We are seeking a skilled, detail-oriented, and self-motivated Research Assistant to support Children Now’s substantial data-based advocacy portfolio. This position plays a central role in developing our major research publications, tools, and data briefs and in providing technical assistance both within and outside the organization. As a part of the research team, the Research Assistant is critical to our successfully utilizing data to impact policy change and translating data into easily usable information for broad and diverse audiences. We envision a strong potential for growth in this role.

This full-time employee will have the opportunity for a hybrid work environment based in our Oakland office and will report to the Senior Managing Director of Health and Research. Some travel and in-person meetings between Children Now’s offices will be required, with the potential for regional meetings throughout the state and outside of California.

Ideal Candidates

The ideal applicant is comfortable with data analysis and the use of secondary source data, able to tell a story with data, and an excellent writer and communicator. Applicants should be flexible, self-motivated, highly organized, and detail oriented. This position would be a good fit for someone with data analysis expertise, who thinks strategically, takes initiative, and enjoys learning in a fast-paced environment. Candidates should be positive and solution-oriented, with a high level of integrity, strong work ethic, a deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and a firm belief in Children Now’s mission to improve the health, education, and well-being of all children. While candidates may not have strength and experiences in all areas outlined below, the expectation is that one is proactive and open and willing to learn and develop skills to address any gaps.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Supporting the development and production of Children Now’s research-oriented publications, including The California County Scorecard, The Report Card, and issue-specific briefs and factsheets;
  • Drafting a variety of content including, but not limited to, PowerPoint presentations, grant proposals and reports, press releases, and fact sheets;
  • Developing and delivering insightful and accessible data presentations for broad and diverse audiences;
  • Pulling, cleaning, and analyzing secondary source data;
  • Ensuring the accuracy of Children Now’s research projects and establishing and conducting thorough error-check processes;
  • In concert with our design director, creating easy-to-understand infographics and data visualizations as well as easy-to-read documents that are accessible to broad audiences;
  • Updating California county data for the KIDS COUNT Data Center annually;
  • Managing the release and dissemination of Children Now’s research products as well as the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT reports;
  • Representing Children Now by actively participating in partnerships and relationship-building, including providing data presentations throughout the state;
  • Representing the Research Department by serving as an in-office liaison for other departments and providing analytical and data support to teams throughout the organization;
  • Participating in the KIDS COUNT Network, keeping abreast of changes in data visualization trends, secondary source data, data analysis software and platforms, and technology to increase the effectiveness of our work;
  • With direction, providing day-to-day guidance to research fellows; and
  • Performing outreach and communications duties related to research work, as required.


  • Experience preparing and analyzing large data sets, preferably secondary data sets such as the American Community Survey or Star Test Data Files from the California Department of Education;
  • Experience with data analysis tools such as Excel, Access, Survey Monkey, SPSS, and/or Tableau;
  • Experience using data to tell a story, including synthesizing complex data for non-researchers, such as reporters, policymakers, and community leaders;
  • Experience or interest in data visualization strategies and tools;
  • Demonstrated writing skills for drafting varied pieces such as factsheets, grant proposals, and press releases;
  • Strong communications and relationship-building skills, with the ability to consistently demonstrate professionalism, instill confidence, and effectively build and manage relationships with colleagues, partners, and others;
  • Strong work ethic with demonstrated commitment to consistently delivering high-quality products with excellent attention to detail;
  • Strong project management skills with highly organized processes, excellent time management abilities, and problem-solving skills;
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment with the ability to maintain a positive attitude even when working under tight deadlines;
  • Knowledge of MS Office, including Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook;
  • Comfort with and aptitude for learning new technology systems;
  • Bachelor’s degree required.


Salary range is competitive and commensurate with skills set and experience. Generous benefits.

Application Process

Please complete the online application form. All applicants must attach the following as part of their online application: 1) cover letter, 2) resume, 3) two-to-three-page writing sample, and 4) three to five references (including former supervisors). Please submit attachments in PDF or Microsoft Word format only.

We do not accept phone inquiries regarding the position; please do not call. Position open until filled.


Children Now COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority. Thus, Children Now has implemented a COVID-19 vaccination policy covering all employees. To be compliant with this policy, all new staff members shall be required to provide proof of their vaccine status at the start of their employment, unless a reasonable accommodation is requested and approved.

Children Now is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to staff diversity, equity, and inclusion. Children Now values diversity as an asset essential to accomplishing our work and views diversity as including differences in race, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability, veteran status, job skills, education, and geographic location and any other category protected by law. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply.