Call for Researchers - RAND Partnership
The Sustainable Progress & Equality Collective (SPEC) is accepting applications for Research Associates to assist in a unique, year-long project beginning Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. We are looking for highly dedicated contributors who have an interest in sustainability, social justice, and community development, and have the ability to learn new skills, conduct research, collaborate, and communicate effectively. All Research Associates (RAs) will contribute to SPEC’s research and development projects and community building initiatives.

Job Description

This special RA program will allow participants to take part in a partnership between SPEC and the newly-founded Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy housed within RAND Corporation. In general, a RA position is an opportunity for contributors to gain an in-depth experience in open research, organizational development, and scholarly publishing. RAs work on projects they can show future employers and demonstrate the skills they developed related to their areas of interest. RAs will be expected to contribute as much as 10-20 hours per week depending on project needs.Each RA will be expected to complete training demonstrating an ability to work with diverse individuals across organizations. RAs can expect to interact with senior-level decision makers from both SPEC and CAREP. This is a temporary position with end dates varying based on specific job duties. We are actively seeking individuals from BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and other underrepresented communities to participate in this program

Job Duties

  • Reviewing research literature and apply findings to support SPEC initiatives
  • Performing data analysis and creating graphs, tables, and reports to explain and synthesize experimental results
  • Developing innovative approaches to collaboration, learning, and fundraising
  • Assisting with grant proposals, writing articles, and course development
  • Contributing to open source software, open research, and open learning initiatives
  • Moderating discussions; conducting interviews; creating surveys, polls, and experiments to collect data and gain insight
  • Proficiency and/or willingness to learn to use software for documentation, data analysis, and project management



  • Strong interest in sustainability, social justice, and community development
  • Willingness to develop and/or further refine intercultural competencies and other soft skills
  • Ability to work professionally with members of diverse communities, including (but not limited) to 1st-generation immigrants, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and neurodiverse individuals.
  • Proficiency and/or willingness to learn and apply research methods
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work within a team to meet deadlines.
  • Receptive to receiving regular feedback


  • High school diploma, certificate of high school completion (e.g. CDOS), or high school equivalency (e.g. GED/TASC)
  • Enrolled at community college, 4-year university with a GPA of 2.75 or higher; or enrolled in a graduate or doctoral program with a GPA of 3.00 or higher; or recent graduate
  • Commitment to ongoing learning and training
  • Highly organized, detail-oriented, and able to efficiently and accurately manage large quantities of data
  • Outgoing personality and ability to collaborate effectively in an open, distributed and remote work environment


This will be a paid RA position. Hourly pay will range between $15 - $20 per hour, depending on experience and the type of work being performed.

Application Process

Please send a cover letter and your resume to [email protected]. Your information will be reviewed by our core team and co-founders. We will contact you to let you know if you have been selected for an interview. Applications are due by October 13, 2021 and will start October 18, 2021.

About SPEC

SPEC was founded in June 2020 in response to the challenges of the pandemic and social injustice and unrest facing communities across the US. SPEC’s mission is to empower individuals to become globally-minded change agents by helping them learn the essential skills required to build sustainable careers and make a positive impact in their communities. SPEC was established as an open collective, a collaborative group that has a shared mission, which raises and spends funds transparently to achieve. We provide mentoring, training, internships, and host events to help individuals from underrepresented backgrounds learn the essential skills required to build sustainable careers and make a positive impact in their communities. SPEC expands the reach of environmental and social justice initiatives through the use of participatory action research, open-source, and sustainable technologies.


Against the backdrop of a pandemic that was already inflicting disproportionate physical and economic pain on communities of color, and an overdue reckoning with America's long history of systemic inequity and structural racism, the RAND Corporation launched the RAND Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy in 2020. The center emerged from an effort by RAND to take stock of where it stands on how policy analysis is designed, framed, executed and translated, and the role of factors related to diversity, equity and inclusion. The center’s blueprint was developed with the input of RAND staff, and the center is part of a larger commitment to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the organization’s operations and external engagement.
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