Are you passionate about improving the policing profession? Do you want to develop best practices and help law enforcement agencies from across the country implement them?

There has never been a more exciting time to be in this field! The public demands for reform and progress have created opportunities for agencies to evolve and develop. And we at the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) are at the forefront! Come join our team and help the policing profession move into the future.

PERF is looking for a full-time Research Assistant to help drive the team’s work in researching policing best practices, developing national guidance resources, and providing technical assistance and support to agencies.

Who We Are

The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a leading national police research and membership organization based in Washington, DC, seeks candidates to fill an entry-level Research Assistant position.

PERF focuses on addressing the most critical and emerging issues facing the policing profession, including use of force, crime prevention, officer safety and wellness, police response to substance use and mental health crises, new technologies, national data collection initiatives, and program evaluation. PERF collaborates with police agencies across the nation to conduct rigorous research with real-world implications and has earned a strong reputation for communicating evidence-based practices to the field. The Research Assistant plays an important role in supporting PERF initiatives under the supervision of senior staff members.


PERF offers a unique environment to conduct research on policing issues on a national scale. This position will involve hands-on experience working with law enforcement leaders, researchers, and other stakeholders to understand and solve complex problems and inform public policy.


Duties typically include the following:

  • Conducting database searches and compiling literature reviews of policing and criminal justice issues;
  • Conducting phone outreach or interviews with law enforcement practitioners, researchers, and other subject matter experts;
  • Supporting the development of research proposals;
  • Assisting with basic data collection and analysis tasks;
  • Assisting with research dissemination, including research reports, academic articles, conference presentations and research summaries for police practitioners;
  • Fielding incoming information requests on various projects;
  • Coordinating the planning of conferences, meetings, and workshops and managing convening logistics;
  • Taking notes at conferences, site visits, project meetings, etc.;
  • Maintaining project files;
  • Assisting staff with other tasks as needed related to on-going projects.

Some travel will be required.

PERF utilizes a hybrid work schedule with three days in the Washington, D.C.-based office and two days remote each week.


Candidates interested in the Research Assistant position should have a commitment to PERF’s mission of advancing the policing profession. A bachelor’s degree, preferably in criminal justice, a social science, or a related major, is required. Previous professional work experience, especially within a law enforcement organization, is a plus.

Qualified candidates must have excellent verbal, written, organizational, and analytical skills. Candidates need to be proficient with the MS Office suite of applications (in particular Word, PowerPoint and Excel) and should be capable of conducting exhaustive Internet and database searches. Knowledge of databases, academic or other, is a plus.

Applying for a position at PERF: 

The expected pay band for this position is between $45,000 and $55,000, depending on the candidate’s qualifications and experience. PERF also offers excellent benefits, including a retirement plan, medical insurance, dental and vision insurance, flexible spending account, life insurance, holiday leave, vacation leave, and sick leave.

Email your letter of interest/cover letter, resume, and a writing sample to Nate Ballard at [email protected]. Application review will start immediately and continue until the position is filled. Application packets that do not include the required materials will not be considered.

PERF is an equal opportunity employer that values a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce.

For more information on PERF, please see our website at www.policeforum.org.