Research Associate and Writer, Government Performance Lab
January 6, 2018
USA - MA - Cambridge
The Government Performance Lab (GPL) at the Harvard Kennedy School conducts research on how governments can improve the results they achieve for their citizens. An important part of this research model involves providing pro bono technical assistance to state and local governments. Through this hands-on involvement, the GPL gains insights into the barriers that governments face and the solutions that can overcome these barriers. The GPL has grown quickly since its founding in 2011 and today has a 50-person team assisting over 50 state and local governments across the United States in policy areas including early education, behavioral health, child welfare, criminal justice, and workforce development. Our technical assistance helps governments improve their core functions and make progress on serious social challenges.
In order to support innovative government leaders addressing serious challenges in areas including homelessness, criminal justice, and child welfare, the GPL is increasing resources dedicated to communicating significant innovations and effective best practices to policymakers and practitioners.
The Associate will support the GPL's Director of Research and Innovation in identifying and writing about lessons learned from our on-the-ground projects by researching, drafting, and editing written materials including policy briefs, teaching cases, and technical training materials.
The Associate will also assist in the development and implementation of a comprehensive communications strategy for the Government Performance Lab (GPL) to increase the visibility and usefulness of our written materials to policymakers and practitioners. The role will include significant ownership over the GPL writing and communications work product, including substantive policy writing, outreach to key stakeholders, digital media management to allow greater visibility and access to project materials, and production of GPL communications and digital materials, including website content, media coverage, blog posts, and social media.
Duties and Responsibilities: - Researches, writes, and closely edits materials to assist state and local government policymakers and practitioners, including policy briefs, training material, and technical guides; - Works closely with GPL staff across the U.S. on showcasing their project work through case studies and project features on innovative approaches to pressing social challenges; - Amplifies GPL message through written product including blog posts, press releases, and social media posts; - Supports the Director of Research and Innovation in development of the GPL's long-term communications strategy; - Launches targeted effort to strengthen media presence and improve the GPL's visibility to policy and practitioner audiences; - Ensures consistent branding, messaging, and content quality across the GPL's work; - Manages GPL's twitter account and website, including regular upkeep of content; - Supports local press efforts of government partners across the country; - Works closely with the Harvard Kennedy School and Taubman Center communications teams to amplify GPL press efforts.
Important Application Instructions:
Along with resume and cover letter, candidates must submit 2-3 writing samples, which should:
Demonstrate superior written communication skills and ability to synthesize complex information
Be solely authored by the candidate
Vary in length, including at least one long piece (5-8 pgs.) and one short piece (less than 2 pgs.)
Include at least one example of a policy-oriented paper (e.g. policy brief, memo, academic paper) and at least one example of digital media coverage (e.g. news article, press release, blog post, and/or social media post)
In addition, please submit links to any websites or social media accounts you have experience managing. This can be included in the body of your cover letter.
This is a fully benefits eligible term appointment ending one year from date of hire, with the possibility of renewal.
Salary Grade: 056
Union: 55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers
Bachelor's degree required
2+ years of experience in writing, publications, and/or a related field
Excellent writing ability—ability to produce compelling, well-written, error-free products that clearly communicate with the intended audience
A proven ability to research and synthesize complex information
Excellent computer skills and careful attention to detail
Commitment to GPL's mission of improving government performance and solving social problems
Ability to communicate complex content to multiple audiences
Exceptional organizational and project management capabilities, with a demonstrated ability to work independently and effectively prioritize time and tasks.
High level of maturity and empathy with outstanding interpersonal and communication skills
Eagerness to learn, discretion on confidential matters, attention to detail, and ability to multi-task are critical
Team player with the proven ability to build strong relationships and develop trust with colleagues
Proficiency with MS Office, Google Docs, database, and e-mail computer applications required
Experience managing online media, including websites and social media accounts
EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER: We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Harvard University is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and research, and to developing leaders in many disciplines who make a difference globally. The University, which is based in Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has an enrollment of over 20,000 degree candidates, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Harvard has more than 360,000 alumni around the world. T...he University has twelve degree-granting Schools in addition to the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, offering a truly global education. Established in 1636, Harvard is the oldest institution of higher education in the United States.