About PERF

The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) is a leading national police research institution and membership organization based in Washington, DC. PERF focuses on critical and emerging issues in the field, including use of force, officer safety and wellness, police technology, data collection practices, program evaluation, and evidence‐based policing. PERF has earned a national reputation for conducting rigorous research, including a recent randomized control trial evaluating the effect of body‐worn cameras on community perceptions. PERF has an excellent track record of collaborating with police agencies across the nation, allowing PERF researchers a unique level of access to conduct high‐profile law enforcement projects.


Job Responsibilities

PERF has an immediate opening for the position of Research Associate in the Center for Applied Research and Management. In this role, you will have the opportunity to work with a dedicated team of researchers, practitioners, and subject matter experts to study current issues in policing within a unique research environment on both a local and national scale.

This position will have responsibilities in the following areas:

  • Designing studies and experiments to answer important research questions about modern policing;
  • Working closely with police leaders and frontline police officers, including traveling to conduct on‐site research at police departments and other criminal justice agencies (when it is again safe to do so following the COVID-19 pandemic);
  • Using modern data science techniques and rigorous analytical methods;
    • Developing new research concept papers and proposals for governments at the city, state, and federal level, as well as foundations sponsoring policing research;
    • Staying current on policing scholarship including gathering, reviewing, and analyzing current policing literature and research;
    • Authoring reports, creating research summaries for police leaders, and publishing research articles;
    • Preparing and delivering presentations for police leaders and research conferences;
      • Coordinating, facilitating, and otherwise managing meetings with project sponsors, police leaders, researchers, and other relevant stakeholders.


Basic Qualifications

Applicants must be detail‐oriented, self‐motivated, able to multi‐task, work well individually and as part of a team setting, and have strong quantitative research skills. We seek applicants who are intellectually curious, eager to learn, open to working on a wide range of tasks, and committed to PERF’s mission of providing progress in policing.

Additionally, the ideal candidate will generally meet the following requirements:

  • Master’s Degree in Criminology, Criminal Justice, or a related social science field and 2 years of professional experience in research, project management, and/or data analysis (experience working with law enforcement agencies and/or police researchers a plus);
  • Familiarity with both historical and current policing scholarship;
  • Experience with collecting, cleaning, coding, and analyzing data from both primary and secondary sources;
  • A strong foundation in advanced research methods and statistical techniques (in R, Stata, or SPSS) and ability to learn and execute new data and statistical methods (experience conducting experimental research and other evaluation research, preferably in a criminal justice setting, a plus);
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills to communicate complex ideas to diverse audiences.


Work Environment

PERF staff are currently working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the long-term expectation is that this position will be based in PERF’s offices in Washington, D.C.

As it becomes safe to do so following the COVID-19 pandemic, this position will require some travel to conduct project-related work and attend meetings and conferences.

The expected pay band for this position is between $60,000 and $75,000, depending on the candidate’s qualifications and experience. PERF also offers excellent benefits, including a retirement plan, medical insurance, dental and vision insurance, flexible spending account, life insurance, holiday leave, vacation leave, sick leave.


To Apply

Send letter of interest, resume, a writing sample, and a list of three references to Nathan Ballard at [email protected] Application review will start immediately and continue until the position is filled. Application packets that do not contain the required materials will not be considered.

PERF is a proud equal opportunity employer that values a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce.

For more information on PERF, please see our website at