FiveThirtyEight is seeking a diligent, well-organized and kind Research Assistant to help track down and input polls and other election data, as well as contribute research to political stories and projects.
This part-time position plays a critical role in supporting FiveThirtyEight’s political coverage and interactive projects like our presidential approval tracker and pollster ratings. You’ll help maintain the databases that keep FiveThirtyEight running, especially our one-of-a-kind polling database. And, what’s most exciting, you’ll be part of the team who feed data into FiveThirtyEight’s 2022 midterm forecast model in real time.
This position is ideal for someone interested in breaking into the world of political data. You’ll work closely with our Senior Research Assistant and collaborate with our politics reporters, copy desk and visual journalists.
This is a U.S.-based position. Remote work will be considered, or you can work out of our New York City office once it reopens. The exact schedule is flexible (we’ll work with you to set it), but hours are capped at 29 per week. Our hope is that you will stay in the job at least through the 2022 midterms, if not longer.
To apply, please email a cover letter and résumé to Senior Research Assistant Mary Radcliffe at firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the number of applications we receive, we cannot guarantee a response to every applicant.
- Monitor polling news, collect and enter new polls into our polling database and upload data to our polling trackers and models.
- Contribute to original research for specific stories and projects.
- Develop an expertise in U.S. poll operators — their methodologies, quirks and quality.
- Respond to inquiries from pollsters and the general public about our projects and datasets.
- Experience with spreadsheets and collecting data.
- A solid understanding of U.S. politics, particularly electoral politics.
- Strong attention to detail and a willingness to perform repetitive tasks (e.g., data entry) in service of important projects.
- Facility using online tools, like search engines and public databases, to track down specific information.
- Comfort with calling, emailing and chasing down sources to get them to send and answer questions about their data.
- Availability and willingness to work odd hours. (Polls often drop late at night or on weekends.)
(But lacking one or more of these should not prevent you from applying!)
- Experience working as an academic research assistant or in a newsroom.
- A strong grasp of how polls work and the fundamental statistical concepts necessary to interpret them.
- Familiarity with relational databases.
ABC News and FiveThirtyEight are equal-opportunity employers. Applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or protected veteran status.
Mary Radcliffe is a senior research assistant for FiveThirtyEight.