Brooklyn Business Lab Research Assistant

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Type: Contracted

Min. Experience: Entry Level

The Brooklyn Business Lab Program:

The Brooklyn Business Lab is a pilot program serving young adults ages 18-25 who have been impacted by gun violence. The program is being piloted by Good Shepherd Services (GSS) in collaboration with ideas42. This program will empower participants to develop skills related to business and entrepreneurship and pursue alternatives to violence. The program combines professional skill-building with elements of cognitive behavioral therapy and will include training in essential interpersonal skills and entrepreneurial mindsets; access to career opportunities through technical skill training; and the ability to apply learnings in a real-world setting.

The program is being piloted in Brooklyn from late fall 2018 through spring 2019. The Business Lab is being designed by ideas42, a nonprofit that uses behavioral science to create innovative solutions to tough social problems, in partnership with several New York City-based organizations.

The Research Assistant Role and Responsibilities:

The research assistant will be responsible for collecting data from a comparison group of young people at the program’s beginning, middle, and end. The comparison group will consist of 25-30 young people who have been involved in mentoring programming through the Department of Probation but are not participating in the Business Lab. Data collection with these individuals will include conducting structured surveys and semi-structured interviews designed to gather insight on these young people’s perspectives on gun use, interpersonal conflict, and career opportunities.

The research assistant will:

  • Complete a 2-day training on how to collect and enter data
  • Build rapport with young people participating in the study in order to facilitate successful data collection.
  • Conduct surveys and semi-structured interviews with young people participating in the study at designated program sites during the baseline, midline, and endline data collection periods
  • This data collection will be done at times that are convenient for program participants and staff
  • Surveys are expected to last 30 minutes
  • Interviews are expected to last 30-45 minutes
  • Distribute and track incentive payments to participants
  • Collect and safeguard data to input after collection
  • Provide updates on the status and progress of surveys


  • Ability to build rapport and communicate effectively with justice-involved young adults
  • A basic understanding of and experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods, including
  • Ability to follow a structured survey format and lead an interviewee through topics of interest.
  • Commitment to maintain a neutral attitude in interview setting concerning sensitive topics
  • Capacity to conduct open-ended conversations concerning designated themes
  • Detail-oriented person with strong problem-solving skills
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills
  • Proficiency in use of Microsoft Office, particularly Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel
  • Candidates should also be comfortable working in a team-oriented and fast-paced environment.
  • Able to take initiative and work interdependently, meet deadlines with a sense of urgency, multitask, adjust to shifting priorities, communicate effectively, and work under defined protocols.

Position Duration and Expected Hours:

Expected commitment duration: November 15, 2018--June 30th, 2019.  Anticipated data collection periods:

  • Baseline: 11/26—12/1
  • Midline: 2/4—2/22
  • Endline: 5/1—5/17

Expected hours during data collection:

  • 30hrs/week; Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9AM and 6PM

Location & Travel

  • Surveys and interviews are expected to take place at program sites in New York City. Sites are likely to be in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
  • We are looking for someone who is able to use public transportation to travel to our partner’s site in East New York, Brooklyn, NY. The cost of transportation to and from the study neighborhoods to conduct the surveys will be paid for. The Research Assistant may potentially be asked to travel to the project office in Lower Manhattan.


  • $25/hour

To Apply:


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Are you available to work an average of 30 hours/week during the first round of data collection November 15 - December 21?*
If hired, would you be able to commit to doing additional rounds of data collection in February and May 2019?*
Do you have prior experience conducting qualitative research?*
Do you have experience working with court-involved young people?*
Are you fluent in conversational Spanish?*
Please describe your interest and qualifications for this role in 200 words or fewer [free response]*