Upturn Seeks a Research Associate

  • Location: Remote (United States)
  • Timing: Applications are due by January 31, 2023. The start date is negotiable before September 1, 2023.

About Upturn

Upturn advances equity and justice in the design, governance, and use of technology.

We believe technology should advance justice, not amplify racial, economic, and social inequities. Without focused attention, technology can reinforce systemic injustices found everywhere in our society.

We drive policy change by combining rigorous research with deliberate advocacy. Our approach to technology and justice is informed by a broad range of perspectives and experiences, including computer science, social science, law, and policy. We strive to ground our work in community and lived experiences.

We partner with a strong and growing network of local and national advocates, litigators, organizers, academics, and policymakers to ensure that our work is grounded, collaborative, and actionable.

Some of our recent work includes:

  • Advocating with local partners to seal eviction records at the point of filing to prevent their use by tenant screening software;
  • Investigating how large hourly employers use technology to screen online job candidates;
  • Documenting the dangerous expansion of U.S. law enforcement’s use of forensic tools to search people’s mobile phones;
  • Partnering with legal services attorneys to fight systems that cut people’s government benefits;
  • Pressuring Facebook to address discrimination in online ads for housing, credit, and employment; and
  • Urging the Biden-Harris administration to address technology’s role in discrimination.

We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. Learn more about Upturn at https://www.upturn.org.

About the Position

This position is ideal for someone who is excited about sharp, interdisciplinary research on a range of topics related to technology, policy, and justice.

You will:

  • Research and write policy memos, in collaboration with other members of the team;
  • Help prepare public reports, testimony, amicus briefs, and our weekly newsletter;
  • Track and analyze current policy developments across all of our priority issues;
  • Attend internal and external meetings, workshops, and other events; and
  • Provide support and feedback on major organizational policies, processes, and decisions.

In this role, you will join a growing organization that is collaborative, energetic, and fun. We will actively invest in your professional growth through training, feedback, and support. We are committed to building an inclusive, flexible, and welcoming workplace. We have a transparent culture and strive to include our entire staff when making strategic decisions.

Work location

Upturn is based in Washington, DC, but is now a remote organization. We will hire a qualified candidate who is work-authorized and can work remotely from anywhere in the United States, with occasional travel to DC. Currently, the majority of our staff is based in DC, along with several colleagues based in California. We are committed to working collaboratively to create an equitable workplace, no matter your location. We will provide office space to staff who desire to work from an office in DC or elsewhere in the United States.

Compensation and benefits

The Research Associate salary begins at $65,000. For more details, see our compensation policy, which includes a description of roles and responsibilities at Upturn.

We provide a generous and comprehensive benefits package, including health, dental, vision, and disability insurance; a 403(b) retirement plan with a 10% employer contribution; open paid time off and flexible work hours; a monthly transit benefit for DC-based employees; employer-sponsored medical and dependent care FSAs; and a monthly home office stipend. We provide a one-time relocation stipend of $2,000 to new hires moving to DC.

About You

We welcome applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, especially those with lived experience with our areas of work. We’re looking for someone who is:

  • Interested in law, policy, and the criminal legal system in particular. This interest could be demonstrated through academic coursework, work experience, internships, volunteer work, or other lived experiences.
  • Committed to advancing racial and economic justice.
  • A clear written and verbal communicator.
  • An organized, detail-oriented, and instinctively curious researcher.
  • Eager to research and explain the nuts and bolts of technology.
  • Passionate about understanding the growing impact of technology on people’s lives.

We strongly encourage applications from people of color, women, LGBTQ+ people, people with disabilities, formerly incarcerated people, and people most impacted by systemic injustice.

The Application and Interview Process

Applications are due by January 31, 2023.

We want our application and interview process to be transparent for applicants. Not every candidate will move on to each stage of this process; we will update candidates about their status in the application process as quickly as is reasonably possible. At a minimum, the process for this position consists of the following stages:

  1. Application, including a resume and writing sample.
  2. 30-minute video interview (round 1)
  3. 30-minute video interview (round 2)
  4. Writing assignment.
  5. Reference checks.

We will work with applicants to provide reasonable accommodations during each stage of this process.

If you have any questions, please e-mail join@upturn.org.