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Job Opportunity: Part-Time Graduate Research Assistants

ExpandED Schools is a leading afterschool organization that advances educational equity for students from under-served communities across New York City. Founded in 1998 with a catalytic $125M grant from the Open Society Foundations, ExpandED designed the nation’s first city-wide, publicly-funded system for afterschool programming. Today, through advocacy, research, and program development, ExpandED continues to build the capacity of the NYC afterschool field to address the educational inequities that prevent far too many students from reaching their full potential. 

Now more than ever, under-served students need access to innovative, engaging ways of learning to help them deal with the trauma of the pandemic and racial injustice and make up for lost learning time due to the public health crisis. In the face of remote learning and cuts to city and state budgets, ExpandED is designing online programming, organizing and uniting partners across the afterschool field, and leading the fight for urgently-needed public funding to ensure kids from communities most affected by COVID-19 will continue to have access to a robust public education, whether in-person or remotely.

Purpose of the Position:

ExpandED Schools’ Research Department is seeking two part-time Graduate Research Assistants (GRAs) to support its evaluation efforts in the spring of 2021.  The Research Department conducts external evaluations of a large number of federally funded afterschool programs as well as internal evaluations of specific literacy and STEM initiatives. The Research Department also engages in research projects with nonprofit partners to best serve the needs of the NYC K-12 field. Using research-based tools and methods, we undertake a systematic process to regularly monitor quality and program results.  Both streams of work require the formal, structured observations of programs to assess changes in program quality over time as part of our evaluation process. We are seeking GRAs to assist in conducting these observations at afterschool sites around New York City and to assist with other research tasks as needed. 

Duties & Responsibilities:

GRAs will conduct structured observations of a variety of afterschool programs in the spring of 2021, with the bulk of the visits occurring from mid-April to early-June. Depending on the organization’s needs, GRAs will be trained in the use of relevant observation instruments to evaluate the quality of youth experiences in afterschool program activities.

Once trained in their assigned observation tools, GRAs will be responsible for scheduling and conducting 8-12 observation visits during the spring of 2021, approximately 1-2 per week. Following each visit, GRAs will complete a rubric to score their observation and submit a brief structured report of their findings within 5 business days.

GRAs will also have the opportunity to support other discrete research projects as needed. An immediate need is to support administration of interview and focus group protocols including both youth and adult participants. 


GRAs are expected to:

  • Be dependable and organized, with excellent time management skills.
  • Have strong communication and writing skills.
  • Be professional at all times through quality of work, punctuality, attendance, and attitude.
  • Display the initiative and ability to learn knowledge of the field.

This is a part-time position that offers some scheduling flexibility. GRAs must be available at least 2 afternoons per week between the hours of 2:30-6:00pm during the months of mid-April to early-June. Teaching and/or youth work experience is preferred. Through July 2021, all visits are virtual and all other research tasks will be completed remotely.

Compensation: GRAs are paid a set rate of $150 per observation visit. This rate covers the time necessary to schedule each visit, travel to and from the site (once it is safe to resume in-person visits), conduct the observation, and write the accompanying report. Any additional hours required for other research or training tasks will be compensated at a rate of $25 per hour. 

Application Process: Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resume to: employment@expandedschools.org, Subject: Graduate Research Assistant. No faxes or phone calls, please. ExpandED Schools will only contact candidates selected for an interview.


ExpandED Schools believes in the importance of being a diverse, equitable and inclusive organization that enables our students and staff to thrive. We are committed to building a talented team that reflects the diverse backgrounds and experiences of our students. At the same time, we work to ensure an inclusive community through creating a space for important dialogue about issues of race and identity for our staff and students.  

As an equal opportunity employer, we hire without consideration to race, religion, creed, color, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or disability.

ExpandED Schools is an Equal Opportunity Employer.