Call for Researchers - RAND Partnership


The Sustainable Progress & Equality Collective (SPEC) is accepting applications for Research Associates (RA) to assist in a unique, year-long project beginning Fall 2021 and Spring 2022. SPEC is seeking highly dedicated contributors who have an interest in social justice, education, and community development, and a capacity to learn new skills, collaborate, and communicate effectively to support 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. A position as a SPEC RA is an opportunity for contributors to gain in-depth experience in research, educational technology, and organizational development. RAs work on projects that they can show future employers to demonstrate the skills they developed during their work experience. RAs will be expected to contribute up to 10 - 20 hours per week depending on project needs. Each RA will be expected to participate in training to develop their 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.

Potential 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

  • Supporting development of educational courses and instructional technologies

  • 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

  • Learning to use software for documentation, data analysis, and project management



  • Strong interest in social justice, education, 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 neurodivergent 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 data

  • Outgoing personality and ability to collaborate effectively in an open, distributed and remote work environment


This RA position will be a paid on an hourly basis. 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 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.

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.

Additional Information

SPEC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer that is committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We prohibit discrimination and harassment of any kind based on race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, genetic information, pregnancy, or any other protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, or local laws.

This policy applies to all employment practices within our organization, including hiring, recruiting, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, leave of absence, compensation, benefits, training, and internships. SPEC makes hiring decisions based solely on qualifications, merit, and business needs at the time.

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