Rice University Research Fellow in Houston, Texas

Position Information
Position Summary

The Kinder Institute, through its Urban Disparity & Opportunity program, will seek to become the Houston partner in the Urban Institute’s National Neighborhood Indicators Program (NNIP) helping to facilitate the direct practical use of data by city and community leaders to build the capacities of institutions and by residents in distressed urban neighborhoods.

The Kinder Institute is seeking a full-time Research Fellow who is primarily responsible for developing a neighborhood data system and conducting research under the supervision of the director of the Urban Disparity & Opportunity program.

The Research Fellow will work with the research team at the Kinder Institute to collect neighborhood- and community-level data to provide information on social and environmental aspects of quality of life, demographic transformation and economic development at different geographic levels; prepare data sets and documentation; and follow standard data management practices.

The Research Fellow will also use this data to conduct research and produce work products such as maps, reports, and research briefs; and provide research assistance to partner organizations and a community outreach program, all of which are focused on under-served neighborhoods in Houston.

The Research Fellow will work closely with the Urban Data Platform team to aggregate data and assist the National Neighborhood Indicator Project (NNIP) manager to disseminate research findings in a useful and timely manner. In the course of research, the Research Fellow may be asked to join the program director and the NNIP manager for meetings with partner organizations and government representatives.

This is a 36-month appointment.

Education Required

Master's Degree

Concentration / Degree Type

Social sciences, urban planning, public policy, community development, statistics, information systems, or other related field.

Substitution for Education Requirement

Experience may not be substituted for the education requirement.

Education Preferred

Doctorate in related field.

Experience Required

3 years

Type of Experience

Experience in the essential job functions, including statistical analysis, database management, indicator research as well as experience with a public or non-profit, education, evaluation, applied research, or philanthropic organization, or equivalent.

Substitution for Experience Requirement

May substitute additional related education, above and beyond what is required, on an equivalent year for year basis in lieu of the experience requirement.

Experience Preferred

Experience working with community-based organizations. Preference given to candidates with experience in multiple issue/policy areas.

License/Certification Preferred

Valid Texas Driver’s License (or ability to obtain within 30 days of employment) required with no more than three moving violations within the past 36 months and no convictions or deferred dispositions for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) within the past five years.

Skills Required
  • Ability to collect, organize, and manage large amounts of data.

  • Ability to complete multiple concurrent assignments, set priorities, and solve problems while encountering interruptions in a fast-paced environment while maintaining composure and concentration.

  • Ability to work independently and as part of a project team with Kinder staff and contractors.

  • Ability to function as a team leader or project coordinator for selected projects.

  • Excellent written and oral communication as well as interpersonal skills.

  • Experience in the use of technology and computer software, including standard MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook) and statistical software (e.g. Stata, SPSS, R, SAS).

  • Mature attitude and ability to maintain good working relationship with partner organizations.

Skills Preferred
  • Knowledge of mapping software such as ArcGIS.

  • Knowledge of data visualization tools such as Tableau.

  • Familiarity with local, state, and national government data sources.

Internal / External Contacts

Internal: Frequent contact with Rice faculty, staff and students.

External: potential and existing research partners, community members, government staff and officials, and researchers outside of Rice.

Physical Demands

Ability to move from office to sites around campus and the city for various projects.

Working Conditions
  • General office environment.

  • Travel to off-site locations as needed to perform job functions.

  • Occasional evening or weekend work related to events or based on project deadlines.

Security Sensitive


Special Instructions to Applicants

Please include a writing sample or work product with your application materials, to be attached under ‘Writing Sample’. This can be any work of your choosing.

Quick Link for Posting


Job Duty Name

Houston neighborhood indicator system

Description of Job Duty
  • Collects data to develop neighborhood and community level data.

  • Conducts data analysis and prepares reports on various aspects of under-served neighborhoods in Houston.

  • Works with the Urban Data Platform team to procure data, develops and manages the web-based data access tools to facilitate dissemination of data.

  • Processes data and prepares data documentation following the standard data management practice.

  • Updates the neighborhood data system on a regular basis and maintains the community data website.

  • Provides technical assistance and support to community organizations in accessing and using demographic and social indicator data.

  • Supervises research assistants to answer inquiries.

Percentage of Time


Job Duty Name


Description of Job Duty
  • Conducts advanced research and critical analyses of data and policy under the supervision of the director of the Urban Disparity & Opportunity program.

  • Develops methodology and structured goals and deliverables based on scope of the research projects.

  • Assists NNIP manager with program development and outreach activities, and provides research guidance to one community outreach program.

  • Writes analyses, drafts research reports, and produces work products in conjunction with UDO program team, such as journal articles, research briefs, maps and blog posts.

  • Attends meetings or forums and presents key findings to community members, policy makers, and a variety of agencies and organizations.

  • Assists in preparing project proposals and grant applications.

  • Performs other duties upon request and as time permits.

Percentage of Time


Job Title: Research Fellow

Department: Kinder Institute for Urban Research

Full Time/Part Time: Full-Time

Requisition Number: S17165

Open Date: 10/12/2016

Salary Information: Salary Commensurate with Experience and Qualifications

Work Schedule: Standard 40 hour work week with some flexibility.

Benefits Eligible: Yes

Eligible for Overtime: No