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Research Specialist

The specialist will be responsible for conducting in-depth research, analyzing legislative policies, and advocating on behalf of NCAE members and the interest of public schools’ students across that state. The ideal candidate should possess strong analytical skills, a deep understanding of legislative processes, use of grassroots lobbying, and the ability to communicate complex information effectively

Research Specialist (Regular/Full Time)

About the North Carolina Association of Educators

The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) is building a movement to transform and expand public education in our state to ensure all students have access to quality public education that provides them with an opportunity to meet their full potential.

We are on the cusp of restoring North Carolina as a national leader in education policy and are making moves from the Sandhills to the Mountains to win the schools our students deserve.

The Position

The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) seeks a highly motivated, relationship oriented, dedicated, and experienced Research Specialist (Permanent/Full Time) to provide public policy analysis and lobbying support to NCAE leadership, members, and advocates for public education. In this role, you will be responsible for conducting in-depth research, analyzing legislative policies, and advocating on behalf of NCAE members and the interest of public schools’ students across that state. The ideal candidate should possess strong analytical skills, a deep understanding of legislative processes, use of grassroots lobbying, and the ability to communicate complex information effectively. The person in this position will report to the Associate Executive Director as a member of the Government Relations Team.


Relationship Building:

  • Cultivate and maintain positive relationships with legislators, government officials, and relevant stakeholders.
  • Attend legislative hearings, meetings, and events to represent NCAE strategic and legislative priorities.
  • Build a network of contacts to facilitate effective lobbying efforts.

Legislative Outreach:

  • Communicate the organization's positions on key issues to policymakers and influencers.
  • Draft persuasive written materials, including policy briefs, position statements, and talking points.
  • Deliver compelling oral presentations during hearings and meetings.
  • In collaboration with the Associate Executive Director, develops an effective system of lobbying the North Carolina General Assembly, State Board of Education, Public Charter Commission, and other state agencies as needed.
  • Monitor actions by other government entities such as the Department of Public Instruction and State Board of Education for potential impact public education and NCAE’s policy and legislative priorities.

Legislative Research/Policy Analysis:

  • Conduct comprehensive research on legislative initiatives, policies, and relevant issues.
  • Monitor, analyze, and evaluate proposed legislation and policy changes at local, state, federal levels, and other government agencies impact on public education, NCAE members, and public schools’ students.
  • Stay informed about political developments and policy trends that impact the organization's objectives.
  • Provide timely and accurate policy analyses to support decision-making.
  • Collaborate with internal teams to assess the practical implications of legislative changes.
  • Conduct policy research, analyze legislation and policy changes to make strategy and position recommendations to NCAE’s leadership team.
  • Develop reports on education public policy in the State of North Carolina.
  • Utilize research and data to help NCAE leadership make decisions and make compelling arguments to state policymakers for pro-public education public policy.
  • Develop a deep level of understanding of the State Health Plan and Retirement System and legislation that might impact those programs.
  • Develop engaging written and visual products based on research analysis that can be used in lobbying, advocacy, and public communications campaigns.

Strategic Planning:

  • Contribute to the development of long-term advocacy strategies and goals.
  • Collaborate with senior leadership to align legislative priorities with NCAE’s long-term vision, mission, and priorities.
  • Monitor political landscapes to anticipate potential challenges and opportunities.

Advocacy Strategy:

  • Develop and implement effective advocacy strategies to advance NCAE’s legislative agenda and policy priorities.
  • Collaborate with key stakeholders to identify lobbying priorities and goals.
  • Work closely with legal and communications teams to align advocacy efforts with NCAE’s messaging.
  • In collaboration with the Associate Executive Director, lobby members of the North Carolina General Assembly.
  • Work with the Government Relations team to develop and execute advocacy and lobby efforts that includes members in those strategies where necessary.
  • Works as the liaison to the Government Relations Commission in coordination with the Deputy Director of Community and Political Organizing.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  • A minimum of 3-5 years of experience in research, public policy, or education or health plan and retirement systems.
  • A minimum of 2-3 years of experience lobbying experience or experience in legislative settings in North Carolina General Assembly preferred.
  • Exceptional written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills and a demonstrated ability to build relationships with policymakers and elected officials.
  • In-depth knowledge of legislative process
  • Strong research and analytical skills with the ability to synthesize complex information.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Experience using policy data for strategic communications.
  • A deep commitment to equity, inclusion, and anti-racism.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously and project manage, prioritize, and execute to meet frequent and tight deadlines with keen attention to detail.
  • A track record as an excellent collaborator and team player.
  • A willingness to work nights and weekends when needed.

Education: Bachelor's degree in Political Science, Public Policy, Law, or a related field. Master's degree preferred.

Location: Position is based at NCAE headquarters in Raleigh. 

Compensation: The annual salary range for this position is between Step 0 $61,681 and Step 5 $71,159.00 of the current NCAE/NCSO professional staff union contract depending on relevant experience plus benefits.

How to Apply:

Required Materials: Please submit your resume, at least 3 references, cover letter and a short writing sample or problem of practice that demonstrates skills relevant to this role to


  • Medical, dental and vision coverage available
  • Employer provided FSA/HRA monies
  • Cell phone and internet reimbursement
  • Mileage reimbursement for work-related travel
  • 401k Plan
  • Pension Plan (if a temp. position-not eligible until 1/1 or 7/1 after 1 year of service)
  • Paid holidays, employer paid life and LTD coverage, voluntary life insurance
  • A generous personal, sick, and annual leave policy

NCAE is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected.

Current and former/retired NCAE members and applicants committed to a strong public educators’ association who meet many, but not all, of the qualifications are encouraged to apply.

Individuals with disabilities requiring disability-related accommodations in the application and interview process, please call Angela Schell in Human Resources @ 919-755-5541.


An equitable, quality public education for every child.

The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE), NC's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NCAE's members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NCAE has affiliate organizations in every county and student chapters in select colleges and universities throughout the state.