Job Opening: Half-Time Researcher

About HARC

HARC, Inc. (Health Assessment and Research for Communities) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, founded in 2006, located in Palm Desert, CA.

HARC provides research and evaluation services that relate to health, wellness, and quality of life. HARC conducts community-based research.

Our research and evaluation is focused on improving lives where people live, work, learn, and play. To HARC, “health” includes all the social determinants of health, like education, housing, safety, economic stability, employment, and equity.

HARC provides the information that organizations need to do their best work and improve lives. Our clients and data users are other organizations—including nonprofits, educational institutions, businesses, cities, and counties. We help them to better understand the needs in their community and to measure the impact their work is having.

We provide have two major lines of work:

    1. The Coachella Valley Community Health Survey
    2. Customized research and evaluation consulting for clients (primarily nonprofits)


About the Job Opening

We are looking to add a half-time researcher to our team. Depending on your experience and education, you may be either a research associate or a research assistant. We are open to either! The table below demonstrates the differences between the two.

  Assistant Associate
Education level Pursuing a bachelor’s or have a bachelor’s Pursuing a master’s or have a master’s
Experience Little direct research experience At least 1 year direct research experience
Expectations Support other staff members on projects Capable of leading research or evaluation projects
Pay $15 to $17/hour $18 to $20/hour


Location: Palm Desert, CA
Position: Half-Time (0.5 FTE)
Reports to: Director of Research and Evaluation, Dr. Casey Leier
Description: This researcher supports the Director of Research and Evaluation to design and implement a wide range of applied social science research. This researcher will be expected to interact with clients, community members, and the public (e.g., networking, attending meetings, collecting data in-person, etc.). They will be expected to collect data using a variety of methods, write up reports, and assist with publicizing HARC’s services. Because HARC is a small team, this researcher may also have other duties as assigned, such as grant-writing, public speaking, data analysis, etc.

Projects will likely include research and evaluation work in subjects such as:

  • Population health
  • Homelessness prevention and intervention
  • Immigrant rights
  • Chronic health issues (e.g., liver/kidney transplant patients, cancer patients)
  • Youth programs
  • Senior programs
  • Safety trainings
  • Mental and behavioral health
  • Patient satisfaction in clinic settings

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Collect data for research and evaluation studies utilizing best practices in the field, including but not limited to programming and disseminating online surveys, literature reviews, data entry, conducting interviews and focus groups
  • Analyze basic data (qualitative and descriptive quantitative statistics)
  • Write research and evaluation reports that accurately summarize findings and are understandable for a lay audience, including narrative, tables, charts, and other data visualization tools as appropriate
  • Participate in networking events such as community forums, collaboratives, meetings to represent HARC and to seek out opportunities for new HARC projects-for-hire
  • Help publicize HARC’s work via traditional media, social media, and one-on-one networking
  • Actively seek out potential research and/or evaluation clients for HARC, such as available Requests for Proposals (RFPs), grants, and other opportunities for expansion of HARC’s client-base
  • Help market HARC’s research and evaluation services


  • Work is typically performed between of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday
  • Flextime/flexplace is allowed and encouraged to support work-life balance
  • Occasional weekend, early morning, or evening work may be required (approximately once or twice per month)

Working Conditions:

  • Shared office environment (open cubicle design)
  • Frequent (avg. 1 time/week) travel to meet with clients and partners throughout Southern California (primarily Inland Empire)
  • Part-time work-from-home arrangements are possible
  • Noise level is moderate (e.g., computers, printers, phone conversations, etc.)


  • Hourly pay ranges from $15 to $20/hour, depending on education and experience, hours will be 20 per week
  • Reimbursement for health insurance, dental insurance, and life insurance, up to $400 per month (begins after the successful completion of the 3-month probation period)
  • Cell phone allotment of $50/month
  • 401K plan available
  • Parking permits paid by HARC
  • Mileage reimbursement
  • 11 paid holidays per year
  • 9 days of paid time off (PTO) per year (PTO benefits begin on the first day of employment and are accrued monthly), increases with tenure

Other Important Factors:

  • The purpose of adding this researcher to the HARC team is to give HARC leadership the freedom to actively recruit new clients. Should this occur successfully, the work load will go up and the half-time position would eventually become a full-time position. We hope that this will occur around July 2018, but it is not a certainty. Anything that the staff can do to bring in more business makes it more likely that the position will become full time.
  • All positions at HARC begin with a three-month probation period. During this period, the new researcher will have regular meetings with the Director of Research to discuss performance and progress. Should performance not be deemed sufficient, employment will be terminated during the probation period.


About Our Ideal Candidate

Must-Haves (Required):

  • Education: Must be at least actively pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology, public health, business, or other similar field
  • Language:
    • Fully fluent in English (reading, writing, and speaking)
    • Fully fluent in Spanish (reading, writing, and speaking)
  • Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
    • Proficient in Microsoft Office (including Word, Excel, PowerPoint; there will be a basic proficiency test)
    • Strong oral and written communication skills
    • Basic understanding of research methods
    • Cultural competency and respect for persons (many clients are LGBTQIA, communities of color, low-income, etc.)
    • Off-the-charts attention to detail, excellent organizational skills
    • Willing and able to learn quickly in a fast-paced environment
  • Personality and Work-Style:
    • Ability to take initiative, work independently, make decisions on your own
    • Ability to manage multiple tasks/project, prioritize, and meet deadlines
    • Outgoing, confident personality; not afraid to approach strangers to invite them to participate in survey research or to lead a focus group, etc.
    • Passion for serving your community and improving lives
  • Other:
    • Valid driver’s license, personal auto insurance, and functional personal vehicle to allow for occasional travel within Southern California
    • Familiarity with the Inland Empire community


  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology, public health, business, or other similar field
  • Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
    • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in research and evaluation methods, including developing research tools, collecting data, analyzing data (quantitative and/or qualitative)
    • Proficient in SPSS; ability to perform basic statistical analyses
    • Experience with social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+)
  • Personality and Work-Style:
    • Passion for research/evaluation/all things data geeky
    • Passionate and knowledgeable about social determinants of health


  • Education: Master’s degree in psychology, sociology, public health, or other similar field, ideally including coursework in statistics, research methods, etc.
  • Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities: Graphic design expertise


Other Information

Non-Discrimination Statement

HARC does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.

HARC is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

To Apply

Submit via email a cover letter, résumé/CV, and a writing sample to Dr. Jenna LeComte-Hinely, CEO of HARC:

Your writing sample should be something that best demonstrates your skills, and is preferably a document in which you are first author. Staff at HARC engage in all kinds of writing, including research reports, data briefs designed for the lay person, press releases, blog posts, social media posts, grant proposals, and more. Thus, pick a writing sample that aligns with any one of these writing styles and showcases your expertise.

If you have experience in graphic design, infographics, GIS mapping, etc., please feel free to send a work sample of those along with your other materials.

Hiring Process and Timeline

This position is open until filled. We hope to hire a candidate by late October/early November. You should get an email from a HARC staff member within one week of applying. If you do not, please give us a call after one week has passed.

Our process is typically as follows:

  • Vetting candidate letters, résumés/CVs, and writing samples
  • Phone interviews for qualified candidates
  • In person-interview, computer skills proficiency test, and performance test for top three to five candidates
  • Job offer to top candidate