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Policy Associate

Title: Policy Associate

Location: PA-University Park


+ CURRENT PENN STATE EMPLOYEE (faculty, staff, technical service, or student), please login to Workday to complete the internal application process (https://pennstateoffice365.sharepoint.com/:b:/s/KnowledgeBaseArticlesSharing/EfiwgKReZ4VAjprFZPKWUm0Bq\_sU3KzTmERfpryq0esPKQ) . Please do not apply here, apply internally through Workday.

+ CURRENT PENN STATE STUDENT (not employed previously at the university) and seeking employment with Penn State, please login to Workday to complete the student application process. (https://pennstateoffice365.sharepoint.com/:b:/s/KnowledgeBaseArticlesSharing/Eeys15Xva4hFokHVtbP1eGIB5i1WFLc-J3k9KHgrFYZ7mg) Please do not apply here, apply internally through Workday.

+ If you are NOT a current employee or student, please click “Apply” and complete the application process for external applicants (https://hr.psu.edu/sites/hr/files/Application\_Process\_for\_External\_Applications\_Non-Penn\_State\_Employees\_.pdf) .


A tremendous gap between research and policy communities limits the effectiveness of policymaking and makes the government susceptible to misinformation and inefficient use of resources. Researchers are rarely involved in policy efforts because they lack training and opportunities for engaging with the right policymakers at the right time when their subject matter experience could be useful to policy development. The Research-to-Policy Collaboration (research2policy.org/rpc-model) revolutionizes how legislators interact with the research community by providing an agenda-neutral resource for connecting legislative officials with those who specialize in data and scientific study relevant to policymakers’ current policy agendas. This also provides a resource for researchers navigating policy engagement opportunities. Our team sits at the intersection of research and policy by both organizing researchers’ policy engagement, as well as evaluating our impact and strategies for improving researchers’ experience. Our rigorous study has demonstrated that supporting researcher-policymaker interactions can both improve the value and use of research evidence in policy as well as provide a benefit to researchers’ policy skill, engagement, and future research.

The Evidence-to-Impact Collaborative at The Pennsylvania State University is hiring a Policy Associate who would be trained in this innovative, nonpartisan research translation model, in addition to supporting other methods for improving the use of research in legislative activities and strategies to bridge the research and policy communities. This position provides an opportunity to learn translational skills while working with a legislative audience at the federal and state levels. The Policy Associate would be supported by a team that does the “legwork” of connecting policymaking staff with researchers, coordinating researchers’ rapid responses, and providing technical assistance to both parties. This is consistent with the educational goals of research institutions; therefore, no lobbying occurs as part of this model.

Job Responsibilities

The Policy Associate implements the Research-to-Policy Collaboration model by connecting and brokering relationships between the research and policy communities and supports other methods for improving the use of research in legislative activities. Policy Associates will receive policy training and support to fulfill the responsibilities associated with this position, which include:

  • Act as a relationship broker and build, lead, and maintain partnerships between researchers and policymakers via rapid response meetings to respond to legislative requests for research-based information.
  • Frequently meet with legislative staff about their policy goals, priorities, and research needs.
  • Identify and recruit research-oriented professionals with subject matter expertise into RPC’s Rapid Response network and coach them in policy engagement.
  • Write, edit, and review evidence-based communication materials (fact sheets, policy briefs, op-eds, blog posts) tailored for non-academic and congressional audience.
  • Organize panels, roundtables, or congressional briefings for policymakers.
  • Conduct outreach with partnering organizations or those engaged in relevant advocacy activities to coordinate our response to legislative requests.
  • Maintain thorough tracking and reporting of activities, including detailed notetaking and use of data collection systems (e.g., meeting information).
  • Provide mentorship and guidance to trainees/interns affiliated with the Research-to-Policy Collaboration.
  • Work collaboratively with other Policy Associates and team leads across projects.

Skills and Traits Needed by Applicants:

  • Enthusiasm and commitment to accelerating the translation of science-to-policy.
  • Curiosity and a generalist attitude with interest in learning about diverse social policy issues.
  • Experience in building and maintaining non-academic partnerships or collaborations.
  • Professional experience contributing as part of a team.
  • Strong diplomatic communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Solid writing skills tailored for non-academic audience.
  • Strong time management skills and ability to adapt well to changing circumstances.
  • A balance of independent initiative that bolsters problem solving while also approaching work with a learning attitude for mentored training in a cutting-edge, novel policy strategy.
  • Thoughtful interpersonal communication and detailed documentation for coordination across an interactive and diverse team.Education and Experience Requirements
  • Typically requires a Bachelor’s Degree or higher, plus “0” years of related experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience. A Master’s Degree, as well as prior experience with policy and scholarly and academic literature and/or research methods are preferred.


This is a full-time remote position that requires some in-person activities and travel. We cultivate a supportive and highly collaborative, interactive, virtual team environment. Due to the high frequency of meetings and communications between team members, primary working hours correspond with typical Eastern Time Zone business hours. Must be available 9-5pm ET for co-work and external meeting availability, though non-meeting working hours may be flexible. Questions about remote work can be directed to the hiring manager. Remote work requires high-quality, high speed internet connection in a home office (e.g., hard-wired ethernet).

Supervision will be provided by RPC leaders Emily Warthman, J.D., the Associate Director of Policy Operations, Taylor Scott, Ph.D., the RPC Co-Director and Associate Research Professor at Penn State University, and Max Crowley, Ph.D., Professor at Penn State University.

Expected Duration

This is a limited-term staff position, funded for one year from the date of hire, with an excellent possibility for renewal contingent on performance and project funding. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Application Requirements

Please submit a cover letter, resume or CV, and three references. Letters of reference may be requested upon review of materials.

Review and Selection

Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. The start date is negotiable, though we anticipate this role to be filled by early Spring 2023.

General questions regarding the position may be addressed to:

Emily Warthman


Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center

College of Health and Human Development

434 Health and Human Development Building

University Park, PA 16802

The Pennsylvania State University is committed to and accountable for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms. We embrace individual uniqueness, foster a culture of inclusion that supports both broad and specific diversity initiatives, leverage the educational and institutional benefits of diversity, and engage all individuals to help them thrive. We value inclusion as a core strength and an essential element of our public service mission. In HHD, enriching the lives of others is our mission. We believe in the power of human capacity for growth and live that mission by meeting challenges, both big and small, with excitement and energy every day. We invite you to come grow with us.


Pursuant to the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Pennsylvania Act of 1988, Penn State publishes a combined Annual Security and Annual Fire Safety Report (ASR). The ASR includes crime statistics and institutional policies concerning campus security, such as those concerning alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, the reporting of crimes, sexual assault, and other matters. The ASR is available for review here (https://police.psu.edu/annual-security-reports) .

Employment with the University will require successful completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.


Penn State is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact 814-865-1473.

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PA State Labor Law Poster

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University Park, PA