Research Associate for University System of Georgia

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Background: The University System of Georgia (USG) is one of the nation’s largest and leading public higher education systems. The USG is committed to creating a more educated Georgia that is prepared for the global knowledge economy by increasing degree completion, ensuring academic excellence, spurring research and creativity, driving business creation, and making effective and efficient use of resources. The USG will accelerate our state’s higher education commitment to educational attainment, accountability, partnerships, performance, value, and global competitiveness. Our organizational core values are founded upon the principles of Integrity, Excellence, Accountability, and Respect.

Summary: The Division of Research and Policy Analysis (RPA) of the University System of Georgia is responsible for the collection, analysis, reporting, and visualization of data on the system’s 26 public colleges and universities.  RPA conducts research, develops data dashboards, and ensures that accurate and up-to-date information is available to guide planning and policy development. RPA plays a critical role in meeting the strategic imperative that data is used to foster transparency, continuous improvement, and student success throughout the University System of Georgia.

The Research Associate will support the mission of RPA by reporting on system data, submitting data to external entities including the federal government and education agencies, and responding to requests for information from the legislature, institutions, and system office divisions. The Research Associate will analyze higher education data and policy issues, provide support to University System of Georgia committees and initiatives, create data visualizations, conduct research, and assist in system data collection and governance. The Research Associate will play an integral role in advancing RPA’s research agenda. RPA values critical thinking and problem-solving skills, a commitment to data transparency, a service-oriented approach to responding to data requests, and attention to detail. Responsibilities will vary to meet the strategic imperative that data and analysis are key drivers in the USG becoming the best system of higher education in the country.

This position is located in Atlanta and is partly in-person and partly remote.


  • Collect, analyze, organize, and report data on USG institutions, to internal and external constituencies. This includes federal and state government, funding agencies, system office divisions, institutions, and the public.
  • Conduct statistical analyses, create data visualizations, synthesize academic literature, and compile data on state and national trends in higher education.
  • Package work in a format that supports decision making and problem solving by USG leadership and other stakeholders. Includes compiling reports and tables, drafting memos and presentations, and editing for clarity and content.
  • Serve on USG committees, task forces, and advisory councils. Work with institution stakeholders to ensure that valid and reliable data inform system-level decision making.
  • Carry out data governance and management work for the USG’s data holdings.
  • Work with system information technology personnel to optimize and problem-solve around the submission of data from institutions and reporting of that data.
  • Performs related duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications

  • Master’s degree required with training in research and analysis of education, social science, or economic data and experience in higher education policy, research, and/or analysis or comparable experience in a similar field. Or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Must be proficient in a statistics program such as Stata, R, etc.
  • Must be proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Preferred proficiency with SQL
  • Preferred proficiency with data visualization software (e.g., Power BI)
  • Experience working with state-level higher education data preferred

Proposed Salary

Salary range is $56,000-$96,000 and is commensurate with the candidate’s education and experience. 

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities

  • Ability to analyze, interpret, and report data and communicate complex ideas and research findings clearly and concisely to diverse audiences;
  • Knowledge of issues and trends in higher education;
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the use of statistical software (e.g., Stata, R) and other office software (e.g., Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint, etc.);
  • Facility with data visualization software (e.g., Power BI) and SQL programming skills preferred;Proficient in using national databases (e.g., Census data, IPEDS);
  • Keen eye for detecting data discrepancies;
  • Knowledge of FERPA and ethical uses of data;
  • Demonstrated ability to learn new software and continually acquire new competencies;
  • Demonstrated understanding of data management, relational databases, and data warehouses and experience with data dictionaries, metadata, and data standards;
  • Experience working with state-level higher education data preferred;
  • Excellent analytical reasoning, problem solving, and written/verbal communication skills;
  • Excellent organizational skills including the ability to prioritize work and handle multiple tasks simultaneously to meet deadlines;
  • Willingness and ability to provide support and service to other departments within USG, to USG campuses, and external constituencies
  • Able to handle confidential materials professionally and with discretion; and
  • Ability to work as part of a team as well as independently.

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University System Office is an equal employment, equal access, and equal educational opportunity, and affirmative action institution. It is the policy of the University System Office to recruit, hire, train, promote and educate persons without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status as required by applicable state and federal laws (including Title VI, Title VII, Title IX, Sections 503, and 504, ADEA, ADA, E.O. 11246, and Rev. Proc. 75-50).

For questions or more detailed information regarding this policy please contact the University System Office Human Resources at 404.962.3242. Individuals requiring disability related accommodations for participation in any event or to obtain print materials in an alternative format, please contact Human Resources.

Background Check

Pre-employment background check of criminal history, education, and credentials will be required.