The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a leading national police research and policy organization based in Washington, DC, seeks a senior research assistant to join our team.

PERF focuses on critical issues in policing, such as police use of force, new technologies in policing, violent crime trends, officer safety and wellness, victim issues, evidence-based policing strategies, performance measurement, and community policing. PERF has earned a national reputation for identifying emerging trends and developing best practices. PERF has an excellent relationship with police agencies across the nation, and staff have opportunities to work directly with those agencies.

Responsibilities include: The successful candidate will work with a diverse team with varying levels of responsibility in the following areas:

  • Organizing and participating in research and technical assistance projects that include conducting interviews, on-site research (“site-visits”) at law enforcement and other criminal justice agencies, and participating in and leading focus groups;
  • Assisting in grant project development, design, and implementation in collaboration with law enforcement officials, other staff members and expert consultants;
  • Developing survey instruments, interview protocols, data collection and evaluation tools, and other project-related materials;
  • Overseeing logistics for project-related meetings;
  • Drafting reports, memos, policy guides, and other papers for publication;
  • Drafting and managing proposals and grant applications;
  • Collaborating with project directors, other project staff, PERF members, and expert consultants;
  • Creating and maintaining project databases and files;
  • Monitoring project budgets; and
  • Assisting with the administrative aspects of ongoing research, technical assistance, and demonstration projects, as well as other related duties.

This position does involve some travel (approximately 15% nationwide).

Qualifications: Applicants must possess a Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree strongly preferred), preferably in criminology, sociology, political science, public administration, public policy, or related field, plus 1-2 years of relevant project and grant experience. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in law enforcement or criminal justice research, policy, or project administration.

Candidates should have experience with the design and execution of social science research and/or demonstration projects, and knowledge of evidence-based policing practices. Applicants should have an ability to present ideas, findings and recommendations effectively, both orally and in writing. Practitioner experience in the substantive area of policing is a plus.

Candidates should be dynamic team members who are able to work constructively within a collaborative, fast-paced environment. Demonstrated skills in time management, personal organization, effective writing and oral communication skills, and setting priorities are required to meet goals related to projects, proposals, and administrative tasks.

Candidates must successfully pass a pre-employment drug screening test and a background check that involves a search for prior criminal convictions.


Send a letter of interest, detailed resume, 1-2 short writing samples, and contact information for at least 3 professional references to:

PERF, Attn: Allison Heider at [email protected].

Applicants who do not submit complete application packages will not be considered.

Application review will start immediately and continue until the position is filled. PERF is an equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. For more information about PERF, please see our website at www.PoliceForum.org.

PERF offers competitive salaries and excellent benefits.


Bachelor’s Degree