We’re Hiring Research Assistants!!

Position Title: Research Assistant

Location: Virtual, located within the US

Reports to: Director of Applied Research

Status: Temporary, part-time, non-exempt; Spring 2023; Between 10-20 hours per week (negotiable)

Position Summary

The Horizons Project is strengthening relationships and connections among the social justice, peacebuilding, and democracy communities in the United States, with the goal of reinforcing our collective efforts to address systemic injustices, advance societal healing, and build a truly inclusive and pluralistic democracy. Launched as an independent initiative in 2022 under the auspices of fiscal sponsor New Venture Fund, the Project is led by a small team of experienced organizers, practitioners and academics with deep connections and credibility to navigate these diverse networks across the ideological spectrum and issue areas in the US.

The Horizons Project seeks a research assistant to explore key pillars, levers, and outcomes (from US and global case studies) for combatting authoritarianism and building a broad-based democracy movement.

Responsibilities and Tasks

  • Conduct desk research exploring the role key organizational and institutional pillars of support (businesses, religious institutions, bureaucracies, security forces, professional groups, unions, cultural institutions, etc.) have played in both upholding authoritarian systems and in supporting pro-democracy movements. For the purposes of this research, we will focus on the business, faith, and civic pillars in the US and explore: 
    • Basic underpinnings of each pillar, including motivations/guiding principles, key coalitions, short- and long-term goals, etc.  
    • The resources that key pillars provide to uphold authoritarianism in the United States. 
    • Examples of how key pillars have employed particular levers to push back against democratic backsliding; and 
    • Develop draft overview and written materials to support the team’s efforts to cultivate and amplify existing insights and resources and identify gaps where more research and tools are needed.  
  • Review and help prepare materials for team presentations and workshops. 

Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills and Ability   

  • A master’s or PhD (preferred) student studying peacebuilding, social justice, democracy and governance, or a related field. Outstanding undergraduate students will be considered. 
  • Demonstrated interest in the fields of peacebuilding, nonviolent action, and/or democracy. 
  • Experience working with or collecting data. 
  • Experience conducting a significant independent research project. 
  • Good organizational and interpersonal skills; can plan and prioritize own work. 
  • Experiential knowledge or research on major social institutions in the United States. 
  • Ability to review, distill, and articulate themes from across multiple disciplines and policy and research literature. 
  • Strong communication skills, including writing, editing, and research. 
  • Must be a quick learner, well-organized, and attentive to detail.
  • Must be able to multi-task and work under deadlines in a dynamic environment.

How to Apply

E-mail your resume, cover letter, and a brief writing sample demonstrating your research and writing ability as PDF or Word attachments to: [email protected].

Please reference the exact title of the job you are applying for in the subject line. This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled.

Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from [email protected].


A stipend ranging from $15-20/hour will be available.

Hiring Statement

The Horizons Project is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing, and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.

COVID-19 Policy

To center the safety and well-being of its employees, New Venture Fund requires that any employee who is required to conduct in-person activities for their job must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within four weeks of their start date.  This position may require candidates to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  Accommodations may be sought and approved in accordance with the law by contacting human resources at [email protected].