Position: Democracy Researcher/Anti-Corruption
Location: Virtual but working in U.S. time zones
Compensation: $46,000 – $65,000, full-time and with benefits
Deadline: April 1, 2023
True North Research is hiring a talented researcher to deepen our work investigating front groups that are distorting our democracy, limiting hard-won freedoms, and attacking equitable initiatives. This job requires a relentless and resourceful researcher who excels at managing complex investigative projects, writes compellingly, and has a demonstrated devotion to accuracy, documentation, and discretion. We are a small research team and need someone who will thrive in a fast-paced work environment with multiple projects and priorities and do so with kindness toward one another. This role will provide opportunities for both teamwork and independent initiative. We strive to support the cultivation of new skills, creativity, and the development of tactical and issue expertise.
This particular post is focused primarily on anti-corruption, dark money in federal and state elections, and the judiciary.
About True North Research
We are a national watchdog group focused on the special interests that distort public policy and harm our democracy, our economy, and our planet. We conduct in-depth, long-term research that we either share with allies, the press, or other stakeholders, or publish ourselves. Our critical and illuminating analysis has been cited by policymakers and national, state, and local media. True North is led by Lisa Graves, whose work has been featured in television news programs, books, magazines, newspapers, film, syndicated radio shows, and major podcasts. She launched the award-winning ALEC Exposed investigation and has spearheaded breakthrough research on the dark money networks of Leonard Leo, Charles Koch, and other hubs and spokes of right-wing infrastructure.
Expectations & Responsibilities
Ideal candidates will have:
1. Excellent research and project management skills. You must be proficient in researching an array of topics, be resourceful and creative in your tactics, and be relentless in your investigative work while documenting your findings. You must be able to organize voluminous information, curate key findings out of the intricate details you examine, and take a panoramic view of your subjects to help tell truthful stories that illuminate them and their impact on people’s freedoms.
2. Strong writing and analytical skills, with a devotion to accuracy. You must be able to gather, synthesize, and present complex information in concise, factual, accessible, and compelling written narratives that are between 750 and 2,000 words in length, typically. Ideally you will have some experience writing articles or blogs that have been published. Our expectation is that you will create outlines of your research findings as well as draft narratives that are polished (not rough) and these will be edited to strengthen their analysis and ensure accuracy, along with connecting them to other research that provides context.
3. Demonstrated skills in both collaboration and taking initiative. You must be comfortable working collaboratively as a team player with a diverse group of staff and allies and also independently, with a self-starting spirit and sound judgment. You must be willing to ask for support and guidance when needed and to learn from mistakes, taking constructive feedback as learning opportunities.
4. Enthusiasm for learning about racial, gender, and economic justice and diligence in researching and helping to expose those who are undermining U.S. democracy and who are trying to repeal freedoms and reverse progress.
5. Proficiency with MS Office software (Excel, Word, and PowerPoint), and Google Suite and be comfortable with developing additional data management skills and learning new software or apps.
Additional useful experience, knowledge, or affinity includes:
A. Having at least two years of experience in advocacy/campaign research.
B. Being proficient at identifying media and social media opportunities to expand awareness of our work.
C. An active understanding of news cycles and major policy issues.
D. A willingness to travel as part of your work, when safe, needed, and reasonable.
● Researching select national and state front groups assailing democratic processes, fair courts, and other key policy issues, as well as monitoring news, events, and government activity including congressional hearings, especially related to dark money and to the judiciary. This research work includes using a variety of databases (such as LexisNexis; federal and state campaign finance databases; federal and state tax, corporation, lobbying, and ethics filings; and state and federal bill tracking), filing federal and state open records requests, and conducting archival and other research.
● Managing projects with strong organizational and time-management skills, including maintaining accurate records and materials necessary to support high-quality citations and sourcing, and doing so with an ethos of kindness toward other members of the team and allies.
● Flagging and helping to counter extreme, regressive, or deceptive claims made by front groups or their representatives.
● Drafting concise, factual, accessible, and compelling written materials for our website, newsletter, tweets, reports, fact sheets, memos, and other products–and working with editors to finalize each written product to ensure it is accurate.
● Responding to information requests from colleagues, coalition partners, reporters, and policymakers about the subjects of our research, at the direction of your supervisor.
● Safeguarding the confidentiality of your research of high-profile national and state front groups until we publish or promote your findings.
● Proposing new ideas and participating in team and other meetings as well as providing other research, analysis, and administrative support as needed.
Please note the qualifications listed in our job descriptions are only guidelines. We encourage candidates who meet some, not necessarily all, of the requirements listed to apply. We value transferable skills, including unpaid and volunteer experience. Applying gives you the opportunity to be considered.
True North is committed to the full inclusion of all qualified individuals. As part of this commitment, we will ensure that persons with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodations. If reasonable accommodation is needed to participate in the job application or interview process, including a writing test, please check the box in the application form.
True North is committed to creating an inclusive community and strongly encourages those who identify as women, gender non-conforming, LGBTQIA+, people of color, and persons with disabilities to apply.
We provide a generous and competitive benefits package, including health, vision, and dental insurance, short-term and long-term disability coverage, and life insurance, as well as paid parental leave, sick leave, and vacation time.
Please apply using our google form, which will require you to provide your contact information, answer a few questions, and attach your resume or CV.