Project Researcher, The Opportunity Project for Cities

Job Description

No longer accepting applications

Job Overview

Beeck Center Researchers are hired to join our project teams and turn big ideas into actionable insights. Our Researchers collect comprehensive information with, from, and about practitioners, in order to publish learning tools, written insights, project evaluations, case studies, and web resources to be shared across our networks. Researchers are critical for elevating the Beeck Center’s work by documenting insights and gaps where data and technology interventions can be supported by the Beeck Center and our partners in the public interest tech space.

Researchers are responsible for:

  1. Developing methods for synthesizing insights from across the field
  2. Capturing and documenting what’s happening (conducting interviews with practitioners, writing case studies, distributing best practice resources)
  3. Supporting their project team as they identify ways that the Beeck Center can better support the needs of government and public interest practitioners using data, technology, and design to drive toward better outcomes in society

This is an applied research role where the researcher will be responsible for conducting research and developing actionable tools and providing guidance to support the Opportunity Project for Cities. The Opportunity Project for Cities is (TOPC) a 22-week design sprint partnering local governments with tech experts and community organizations to develop equitable, open data tools that address a local challenge. Facilitators guide teams through the sprint to leverage open data, support digital innovation, build tech and innovation skills for government workers, strengthen government-community partnerships, and apply human-centered design.

Before submitting your application to Georgetown University, visit the Beeck Center’s careers page to learn more about the recruiting process, timeline and supplemental application requirements.


Work Interactions

Our Researchers work very closely and frequently with their project teams. The TOPC Project Researcher will be managed by Beeck Center Deputy Director of Programs Grace Lacy-Hansell and day-to-day work will be supervised by TOPC Program Lead Harold Moore.  The TOPC Project Researcher will also work closely with Interim Director of Communications Ashleigh Fryer to track the development of their research and publications, and will work closely with external partners at the Center for Public Impact (CPI) who lead facilitation of the TOPC sprint. 

Researchers are charged with building and maintaining relationships with and among government and public-service practitioners and policy makers. They serve as domain experts and points of contact for members of our programs, which will include employees of agencies at all levels of government, public interest technologists, and employees of non-profit organizations.

Researchers also work to identify opportunities for collaboration across other teams at the Beeck Center and the broader Georgetown community.


Distributed Working Environment

The Beeck Center operates as a distributed team, with some team members working remotely and others working in-person in our Washington, DC offices. A distributed team means there will be heavy reliance on asynchronous communication channels such as Slack, Asana, and Gmail while also having many meetings fully virtual or hybrid to include remote employees, using Zoom.

This position has been designated as Remote. Please note that work mode designations are regularly reviewed in order to meet the evolving needs of the University. Such review may necessitate a change to a position’s mode of work designation. Complete details about Georgetown University’s mode of work designations for staff and AAP positions can be found on the Department of Human Resources website:

The Beeck Center has two office spaces in Washington, D.C.: one on Georgetown University’s Main Campus and a second downtown on Georgetown’s Capitol Campus. We prioritize spending time in person with our student analysts for collaboration and career development as well as building relations across the various other centers on campus. Remote employees will have the opportunity to and are expected to travel up to 10% for team retreats, conferences and in-person work weeks.



Research and Curriculum Development – 60%

  • Produce research outputs and deliverables as agreed, including drafting, editing, and publishing insights, possibly to include:
    • Research briefs, blog posts, or case studies documenting best practices or learning from the TOPC sprint program 
    • Learning resources for participants of the TOPC sprint, including on subjects of human-centered design, data management, and software development
    • Support for learning sessions conducted by the TOPC project team for sprint participants 
    • Communications and dissemination materials to promote the research outputs including social media posts, emails, etc. 
  • Conduct and publish new and/or evolving landscape analyses of open data and open source tech in cities to describe emerging trends and synthesize insights that inform the TOPC program
  • Analyze and improving the TOPC sprint curriculum including by working closely with external partners at CPI to manage evaluation processes, collect feedback, and design improvements to the sprint
  • Draft project documentation and support internal reporting, including by synthesizing views from across stakeholders and discerning priorities


Advisory Support – 20%

  • Act as a supporting product advisor by helping advising participants on navigating open data, user research, human-centered design, co-design, or product management challenges through the sprint curriculum
  • Work directly with external partners and sprint coaches to provide training on curriculum resources to improve the quality of sprint facilitation
  • Participate in sprint team meetings as needed to clarify elements of the sprint curriculum or talk through learning resources


Cross-Partner Coordination – 20%

  • Work closely with external partners at CPI to integrate research products and learning resources into sprint facilitation practices
  • Work with the Program Lead to track project plans provided by CPI, identify milestones, manage timelines, and track progress towards research, curriculum, and sprint deliverables
  • Communicate daily with project team members and external partners at CPI to report progress and exchange ideas for best practices around sprint facilitation, learning, and development
  • Collaborate with student analyst(s) hired to support the project



Ideal candidates for this role have the following experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree and 3-5 years of experience required (or equivalent combination of education and work experience)
  • Experience with conducting and publishing research, applying human-centered design, and/or supporting technical assistance programs
  • Experience working in or in partnership with government
  • Expert-level writing and editing
  • Familiarity with the subject matter of the TOPC design sprint methodology
  • Demonstrated ability to publish insights for a specialized audience
  • Experience with group facilitation and learning
  • Commitment to centering equity in supporting government officials and public interest practitioners as they leverage data, design, and technology to improve service delivery
  • Flexible, adaptable workstyle, willingness to collaborate with the team, and ability to co-create something that’s never been done before


Preferred experience or expected to acquire within the first 6 months:

  • Product delivery expertise, including experience working directly on a development sprint and/or product launch at scale 
  • Familiarity with training public servants in open data and civic technology skills
  • Experience designing technical assistance programs or learning curriculums in the public sector or academic settings 
  • Commitment to community-based research practices and experience with co-design processes, user research for local government, or other relevant practices


Salary, Benefits, and Employment Term

This researcher role is a full-time position for 18 months. The salary for this position is $65,000 – $80,000 annually, commensurate with experience, and the positions include full benefits.


Before You Apply:

Please visit the Beeck Center’s jobs page to review more details regarding recruitment timeline and supplemental questions, which may be helpful to guide your Georgetown application cover letter content.


Application Process:

STEP 1: Beeck Center Supplemental Application (contact details, four short-answer questions, and logistical questions)

STEP 2: Georgetown University Application (standard resume, no cover letter needed)


Current Georgetown Employees: 

If you currently work at Georgetown University, please exit this website and login to GMS ( using your Net ID and password. Then select the Career worklet on your GMS Home dashboard to view Jobs at Georgetown.


Need Assistance:

If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please click here for more information, or contact the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (IDEAA) at 202-687-4798 or

Need some assistance with the application process? Please call 202-687-2500. For more information about the suite of benefits, professional development and community involvement opportunities that make up Georgetown’s commitment to its employees, please visit the Georgetown Works website.


EEO Statement:

Georgetown University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff.  All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.



Georgetown University offers a wide variety of comprehensive and competitive benefits. Benefits packages include comprehensive health, dental and vision plans, disability and life insurance coverage, retirement savings programs, tuition assistance, voluntary insurance options (including group legal, accident, and critical illness), and much more. Whatever your need, the Office of Faculty and Staff Benefits will be standing by to support you. You can learn more about the benefits offered to eligible faculty and staff at or view the online interactive benefits guide for more information.