Heartland Alliance

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Project Research Assistant

at Heartland Alliance

Posted: 10/11/2018
Job Reference #: 5444

Job Description

Req ID:

Chicago - Loop

# of Openings:


Full time

Employment Type:

Salary Schedule:

Job Notes:

Research Assistant for a project entitled, Improving Juvenile Justice and Advancing the Human Rights of Adolescents. The 24-month project is designed to strengthen legal representation and build capacity to respond to human rights violations against children and adolescents. The project seeks to improve adherence to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and other international standards, by improving academic training on juvenile justice in Armenian and Iraqi law schools, engaging moderate religious authorities in issuing child-friendly advisory opinions, and by strengthening the capacity of civil society organizations and independent attorneys to respond to the legal and human rights needs of vulnerable children. The Research Assistant’s primary responsibility is to provide research, administrative, and program assistance to the Legal Director who will conduct technical leadership for the project’s juvenile justice and child rights legal functions.  The Research Assistant will support in the research and development of human rights materials for workshops and trainings aimed at improving legal services for most at-risk adolescents. The Research Assistant will also be responsible for conducing day-to-day management of the website for learning and dissemination of juvenile justice trainings.

The ideal candidate is a driven and passionate professional looking to work alongside an inspiring, dynamic team of leading human rights workers. The candidate will have exceptional and detail-oriented research, administrative, and management skills. S/he will embrace a collaborative, team approach to the work they do. This person has experience working in a wide range of research and program areas and is eager to contribute to innovative human rights projects that support some of the most vulnerable people in the Middle East.

Reporting to the Program Manager, the position also contributes to the development and implementation of project strategies and practices.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist and facilitate the development of a virtual center for learning and dissemination of juvenile justice training, advocacy and research, intended to create a network of law schools that collaborate over the medium to long term on sharing curricula, training materials, and expertise on juvenile justice and the rights of the child
  • Assist and facilitate the creation of  Juvenile Justice Center website and update the contents of Farsi and English pages on regular basis
  • Conduct day-to-day management of the website; upload materials on the website
  • Conduct thematic research on the rights of the child and child protection in the Middle East 
  • Assist in the recruitment of participants for workshops/trainings from universities, bar associations, seminaries, attorneys, and NGO leaders working on child rights and protection
  • Assist with programmatic, research, and administrative needs for conducting workshops and coordinating with partners in the region
  • Assist in the research and development of human rights materials for trainings and workshops
  • Translate materials (curricula, webinars and practice guidelines) produced by the project
  • Provide regular administrative and research support to the Legal Director including preparation and review of internal and external documents, organization of materials and information, and support with ad-hoc requests


To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or competency required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and/or Experience: 

  • Commitment to international human rights, especially in the Middle East region
    • Bachelor’s degree in Photo Journalism, Human Rights/Social Justice, Multicultural Communication, or related field; and 2-3 years of related research or experience in website and content management 
    • Knowledge of and interest in the protection of vulnerable populations in the Middle East
    • Experience in desk and/or field research
    • Experience writing and editing high-level documents, presentations, and curricula
  • Excellent computer skills and proficient in Microsoft products.
  • Excellent communication skills both verbal and written


Personal Competencies : the applicant is expected to have the ability to work independently as well as in a team; has commitment to knowledge sharing and teamwork; has positive attitude and ability to see through challenges to find solutions; has strong interpersonal skills and ability to clearly communicate, including complex concepts into layperson language; has high comfort level working in a diverse environment with a demonstrated commitment to high professional ethical standards; has the ability to design and set up systems and structures for smooth implementation of complex and sensitive programs in high risk environments.

Other Competencies:

  • Time Management – Ability to prioritize tasks, manage time and complete projects in a fast-paced, changing environment with minimal supervision.
  • Quality Management - Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively
  • Adaptability - Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events
  • Cultural Sensitivity – Respects cultural environment in which person is working and does not act in a manner that is outwardly offensive to the local community 
  • Non-discriminatory- Do not discriminate persons based on sexual orientation or gender identity, age, preferred jobs or behavioral habits

Language Skills: 

  • Fluency in Farsi and English

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
  • The employee may be required to remain on Organization premises during breaks and/or meal periods and may be required to stay on Organization premises until their replacement arrives.
  • The employee is required to travel regularly to often insecure and limited-resource environments.

Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.