Research Associate: Job Description

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation ("Foundation") is a not-for-profit, grant making organization that believes that the arts and humanities are where we express our complex humanity, and that everyone deserves the beauty, transcendence, and freedom to be found there.  Through its grants, the Foundation seeks to build just communities enriched by meaning and empowered by critical thinking, where ideas and imagination can thrive.  The Foundation makes grants in four core program areas:  Higher Learning, Public Knowledge, Arts and Culture, and Humanities in Place.


The Office of the President is seeking a thoughtful, highly motivated, energetic, and congenial colleague with well-developed research abilities, strong communication competencies, standout organizational skills, and familiarity with and curiosity about current issues in the arts and humanities.  The Research Associate position is a one-year fixed term opportunity, with the potential of a second year by mutual agreement.

Position Details

Responsibilities may include, but will not be limited to the following:

  • Conducts research on artists, arts, culture, literature, and on academic and cultural institutions
  • In partnership with colleagues, coordinates special projects out of the Office of the President, e.g., planning programmatic aspects of presidential events
  • Prepares briefings for the President and Program Advisor & Chief of Staff to prepare them for external meetings
  • Drafts talking points and other preparatory material for the President in connection with her speaking engagements
  • In partnership with colleagues, drafts and/or edits speeches, presentations, and written documents for the President as directed
  • Utilizing the grants management system (Fluxx), analyzes historical grantmaking and grantees to inform research assignment/reports
  • Undertakes research in connection with current and new initiatives within the President's grantmaking portfolio
  • Conducts occasional site visits and/or attends concerts, productions, conferences, exhibitions and installations at grantee and non-grantee institutions, as directed by the President
  • Conveys research findings through a variety of mediums and formats, such as informal updates, oral presentations, written synopsis and power point presentations
  • Uses quantitative skills to analyze and interpret data sets to information research assignments/reports
  • Responds to ad-hoc requests for information and analysis
  • Collaborates with Institutional Research staff on research and other initiatives as directed by the President
  • Rigorously monitors work deadlines and schedules, including tracking of outside presentation commitments, materials/information required to support convenings hosted by the President and travel schedules that impact delivering on deadline
  • Locates documents stored electronically and in paper files on a continual basis
  • Establishes, maintains and updates an electronic system to serve as a repository of information, data and prior presentations
  • Works both independently and collaboratively as part of a team on projects
  • Skilled at proofreading copy for spelling, grammar, layout, and typographical errors
  • Possesses a sense of humor and a can-do attitude, and is willing to be a flexible and generous colleague

Required Skills and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree with a major in the humanities
  • Experience completing and coordinating research projects
  • A high level of communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to handle sensitive and confidential matters
  • Analytic ability to gather, summarize, and visualize data
  • Knowledge of data visualization tools a plus
  • Relentless attention to detail in composing, typing and proofing materials, and establishing priorities and meeting deadlines
  • A strong and proven work ethic, high level of energy, and outstanding organization skills
  • Intention to pursue a graduate degree in the arts, journalism, or social sciences
  • International exposure and language capabilities a plus
  • Interest in and familiarity with current topics in the arts and humanities; an understanding of and commitment to pursuing social justice through work in these fields
  • Work experience in the humanities, arts and culture and/or higher education is an advantage

The Foundation is an equal opportunity employer that offers a competitive salary, outstanding benefits, and excellent working conditions.

Contact Information

Candidates should apply by submitting a thoughtful cover letter describing fit for the position together with a resume to:  Research Associate.  The Foundation will consider each response carefully, but only contact those individuals it believes are most qualified for the position.