Research Associate, Special Projects Team


The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a leading national police research and membership organization based in Washington, DC with a staff of approximately 30 full-time professionals, seeks candidates to fill a Research Associate position on the Special Projects Team.

PERF focuses on addressing the most critical issues facing the policing profession today. These include police use of force, violent crime trends and prevention, officer safety, police use of technology, cybercrime, youth and gang violence, sexual assault and domestic violence, racial bias in policing, police workforce issues, and community policing. By collaborating with police agencies across the nation, PERF has earned a national reputation for identifying emerging trends and developing promising practices for police practitioners. PERF’s Special Projects Team maintains a diverse portfolio of projects on the latest issues in policing.

The Research Associate plays an important role in organizing and carrying out PERF initiatives.


PERF offers a unique learning environment that examines current policing issues on a national scale. This position will involve hands-on experience with law enforcement research, the provision of technical assistance, and development of recommendations for the field. Duties will include the following:

  • Working on federally and privately funded grant projects and contributing to project goals and deliverables;
  • Assisting with the drafting of publications and other written deliverables, including taking the lead on writing projects;
  • Reviewing and analyzing recent research, department policies, and trends in policing;
  • Survey development and analysis;
  • Conducting site visits to police departments to conduct interviews and focus groups;
  • Planning and managing conferences;
  • Assisting with project management duties, including monitoring project budgets and timelines, overseeing consultant contracts, and drafting progress reports; and
  • Drafting and submitting grant proposals

Some travel will be required.


Applicant must possess a 4-year degree in the social sciences or related field with at least 3-5 years of professional experience in criminal justice or related field or a Master’s Degree with at least 2 years of professional experience in criminal justice or related field.

Qualified candidates must have excellent verbal, written, organizational, and analytical skills. Prior experience in project management and report writing and editing is a plus. Applicants should be able to work well individually and within a team. Candidates interested in the Research Associate position should have a commitment to advancing the policing profession and PERF’s mission.

Please note that PERF staff are currently working a hybrid schedule. When conditions allow, PERF may return to a full-time, in-office schedule.

Applying for a position at PERF: 

Email your letter of interest/cover letter, resume, and a writing sample to [email protected]. Application review will start immediately and continue until the position is filled. Application packets that do not include the required materials will not be considered.

PERF offers competitive salaries commensurate with experience and excellent benefits.

PERF is an equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. 

For more information on PERF, please see our website at