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Senior Research Specialist

Bridging Divides Initiative

Bridging Divides Initiative

Arizona, USA · Wisconsin, USA
Posted on Friday, September 1, 2023


About the Organization: The Bridging Divides Initiative (BDI) is a non-partisan research initiative that tracks and mitigates political violence in the United States.  BDI supports efforts to grow and build local community resilience through elections and other periods of heightened risk, laying the groundwork for longer-term to bridge the divides we face as a nation.

We do this by 1) producing action oriented and responsive research to fill existing gaps and empower local leaders; 2) enabling cross sector collaboration, so individuals and organizations are better prepared to mitigate risk and response to crisis when it does arise; and 3) helping to drive the policy and community response. Over the last two years, BDI played an essential role in supporting a wide range of actors preparing for and responding to political violence and democratic crisis. Our data, analysis and tools continue to help a diverse coalition of national and local decision makers better target their interventions. BDI is based at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), co-hosted by the Empirical Studies of Conflict. Please visit https://bridgingdivides.princeton.edu/ for more information.


BDI seeks multiple Senior Research Specialists/State Leads in Arizona and Wisconsin to monitor/analyze political violence, build partnerships and networks, and support state-based coalitions and coordination tables. The person in this position will help to build out and further develop BDI’s state-based research and monitoring efforts by producing regular Situation Reports (SitReps), as-needed issue briefs, and conflict analyses. Research and monitoring efforts will support state-based partners who might encounter instances of political violence in their work. Collaboration with these partners ensures that BDI’s efforts are successfully integrated into the broader mitigation and resilience environment in the state. The SRS/State Lead will be a member of the BDI State Lead team – currently a four-person team of State Leads who work in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, and North Carolina – and will report to the Collaboration Director.

This is a full-time, fully remote position based in the state where we are hiring (Arizona and Wisconsin). The role is envisioned as a one-year minimum engagement, with opportunities for renewal.


  • Develop state-based research, monitoring, and analysis around incidents of political violence, actors involved, and its connection to broader trends in the state. Understand and communicate the social, political, economic, and other impacts of a given conflict. As appropriate, contextualize trends over time by including quantitative analysis of longitudinal data.
  • Build BDI’s state-based partnerships and relationships with key stakeholders representing varying sectors including election protection, racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, faith-based, government, and others in order to provide monitoring and analysis support across the board and to better inform our research.
  • Actively engage in state-based coordination tables and coalitions by actively providing monitoring support and analysis.
  • Provide customized public and private briefings on state-level risks and trends upon request to key audiences and partners.
  • Proactively work to build connections with organizations and groups with a focus on supporting and resourcing communities that are particularly vulnerable to incidents of political violence and harm.
  • Work closely with the broader BDI team and connect state-level work with national efforts to mitigate risk of political violence.
  • Key deliverables for this position will include regular SitRep production for your state, number of meaningful relationships built, building out the state-based SitRep distribution list, briefings with state-based partners, and other research and monitoring products as assigned.



  • Interest in and commitment to supporting civil society efforts to address political violence in the U.S., including work with partner organizations across diverse political affiliations, geographies, and sectors.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills, and the ability to engage collaboratively with a multidisciplinary team and collaborators, including a wide array of partners from diverse backgrounds and in a remote work setting.
  • Ability to think strategically and creatively around data, including identifying new and emerging trends, gaps, and alternative analysis methods.
  • Demonstrated ability to write clearly and concisely using a variety of quantitative and qualitative inputs.
  • Detail-oriented, self-directed, and able to independently work on multiple projects while meeting deadlines.
  • Familiarity with a variety of social media platforms while being able to evaluate source credibility.
  • 3-5+ years of experience in research, policy, community engagement, or related role, in or related to the state where we are hiring.
  • Significant state-specific knowledge, networks, or experience in one of the following states: Arizona or Wisconsin.
  • Bachelor's degree in relevant fields


  • Master’s degree in relevant fields.
  • Past experience writing policy-focused memos, recommendations, or reports.
  • Interest and ability to translate research findings to policy and practitioner audiences.
  • Familiarity with common research tools (NexusUni, ProQuest, Google News Alerts).
  • Experience with spatial analysis, including aggregation of demographic and point data to spatial units alongside data visualization/cartography.
  • Experience developing datasets and subsets from various sources, including creating and maintaining documentation for all data and tools and ensuring data integrity.
  • Experience with HTML/CSS, Python, or other programming languages or interest in developing greater fluency.
  • Experience with time series and event data, building analytical outputs for description and predictions, such as forecasting models, indices, and multiple linear regressions.

Timeline: Start date for the position is ASAP. The role is envisioned as a one-year minimum engagement, with opportunities for renewal.

No matter who you are, BDI is a place you can call home. We know that our unique perspectives make us stronger, smarter, and well-positioned for success. We value and rely on the collective voices of our team to help guide our work on challenging issues. That’s why we’re proud Princeton is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS

Bridging Divides Initiative is an equal opportunity employer.