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Strategic Engagement Associate 

Status and Location: Full-time, Washington, D.C.

Reports to: Chief of Staff

FLSA Salary Classification: Full-time Exempt

To view and download a PDF of this job description, please click here.

Position Summary:

The Strategic Engagement Associate manages PRRI’s relationships with external groups working on issues related to the four main areas of PRRI research, including racial justice; immigration; LGBTQ rights; and religious, racial, and ethnic pluralism.  The incumbent will be responsible for managing the PRRI Public Fellows program and coordinating two national networks of scholars and other public knowledge producers.  As part of the Communications team, the incumbent will also assist with core communications functions for PRRI.


  • Develop and manage a strategic framework for expanding PRRI’s reach and impact among organizations and scholars working in related sectors.
  • Manage the PRRI Public Fellows program, an initiative that supports the work of a diverse group of 16 socially engaged scholars working across the four core areas of PRRI research, including ongoing monthly meetings and in-person annual convenings.
  • Manage two national networks of 20-25 scholars and other public knowledge producers working in the areas of racial justice and immigration.
  • Develop engaging content in collaboration with members of the Communications team for press materials, research briefings, presentations, and grant materials.

Qualifications and Core Competencies:

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, public affairs or a related field required. Advanced degree in religious studies, sociology, or related field a plus.
  • Minimum five years of experience in external relations, legislative affairs, academic affairs, community organizing, or coalition building.
  • Proactive, results-driven problem solver.
  • Compelling communicator and strategic thinker with outstanding written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Exceptional time management, project management, and organizational skills.
  • Displays personal credibility and integrity; treats all people with dignity and respect.

About PRRI:

PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute), founded in 2009, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to conducting independent research at the intersection of religion, culture, and public policy.  PRRI research explores and illuminates America’s changing cultural, religious, and political landscape.  The organization’s mission is to help journalists, scholars, pundits, thought leaders, clergy, and the general public better understand debates on public policy issues, and the important cultural and religious dynamics shaping American society and politics.

Please visit our website for more information at

Instructions for Applying:

Applications will be received until June 11, 2021, or until the position is filled. Please send cover letter, resume, and three professional references in a single PDF document to PRRI offers a competitive salary and benefits commensurate with experience. Women and minority candidates are encouraged to apply. No calls or agency inquiries, please.

PRRI is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from women, people of color, and other members of under-represented groups who will contribute to the diversity of our staff. 

PRRI Public Fellows

The PRRI Public Fellows program, created in 2017 with the generous support of the Henry Luce Foundation, promotes and supports interdisciplinary public scholarship through a cohort of emerging scholar-leaders from across the humanities and social sciences. The program will expand in academic year 2021-2022 as part of PRRI’s Religion and Renewing Democracy Initiative and will include up to 16 diverse scholars each year working across the four major areas of PRRI’s work, including religious, racial, and ethnic pluralism; religion and white supremacy; immigration policy and migration studies; and LGBTQ rights.

Launching in the fall of 2021, the expanded PRRI Public Fellows program will include a $5,000 annual stipend for each fellow and annual microgrants of $12,000 in each area of research to foster collaborative new scholarship and professional relationships among the cohort.  An open call for the 2021-2022 cohort of PRRI Public Fellows can be found above, or can be viewed and downloaded as a PDF.

Open Call for Fellowships

PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute) has openings for a diverse cohort of 16 non-residential Public Fellows in sociology, political science, religious studies and related fields who are engaged in public scholarship at the intersection of religion, culture, and politics.  PRRI Public Fellows will work alongside the organization’s research and communications staff during the 2021-2022 academic year.  This renewable, 10-month fellowship includes a stipend and access to microgrants to support collaborative work. It will benefit those who want to shape their work for broader public consumption, receive communications support for placing public-facing work in top-tier media outlets, and integrate quantitative data into their research and teaching.

As a part of PRRI’s Religion and Renewing Democracy Initiative, we are looking for applicants whose research agendas align with the four principal vectors of PRRI’s ongoing work: 1) religious, racial and ethnic pluralism; 2) racial justice; 3) immigration; and 4) LGBTQ rights.  In each of these areas of scholarship, PRRI will select four Public Fellows and encourage collaborative work through annual microgrants.  

The ideal candidates are mid- or early-careers scholars who have an aptitude and track record of socially engaged or public scholarship. PRRI is seeking a diverse cohort in terms of academic disciplines (both humanities and the social sciences), types of institutions, and geographic location. PRRI encourages applications from women, people of color, and other members of under-represented groups who will contribute to the diversity of the cohort.

Fellowship Benefits: 

  • 10-month fellowship with a cohort of 16 diverse scholars (four from each area of PRRI’s core areas of work) engaged in public scholarship.
  • Annual fellowship stipend of $5,000/year.
  • Access to annual microgrants of $12,000 in each area of PRRI’s work for new interdisciplinary scholarly projects within the cohort.  
  • Quarterly virtual convenings.
  • A two-day in-person convening in Washington, D.C., with travel expenses paid by PRRI.  During the convening, Fellows will meet with writers from major media outlets and leaders of major advocacy groups, receive media training from PRRI in-house communications staff and external communications consultants, and dialogue with experts in writing for trade, crossover and non-academic book publishers.
  • Advance access to PRRI data and archives 
  • Collaborative work with PRRI’s research and communications teams
  • For Fellows from non-quantitative backgrounds, PRRI will provide training, support, and advice on how to connect public-opinion survey research to their field of expertise. 

Application Requirements:

Applicants for the PRRI Public Fellows program must meet the following requirements:

  • Fellows must have a Ph.D. or comparable terminal degree plus a formal affiliation with an accredited college, university, seminary, or research institute in the United States.
  • Fellows must have earned their terminal degree at least three years ago and no more than 10 years ago. 
  • Fellows should have demonstrable academic expertise in at least one of the four areas of PRRI’s work (religious, racial and ethnic pluralism; racial justice; immigration; and LGBTQ rights).
  • Fellows must be authorized to work in the United States.

Application Process:

To apply for a fellowship, please submit the following materials in a single Adobe PDF document to

  • Statement of interest: in 800 words or less, please explain your interest in pursuing this fellowship opportunity and why you would be a good candidate for the 2021-2022 PRRI Public Fellows.
  • Current curriculum vitae 
  • Work samples: please provide links to and PDF copies of three articles published within the last three years, preferably in publications or sites aimed at the general public.  These samples should be your best recent work.

The application deadline is July 16, 2021.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, PRRI is not accepting internships for 2021.

In a typical year, we accept applications on a rolling basis. Applicants must be currently enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students. Interns work closely with our research, communications, and strategic engagement teams assisting with a variety of tasks related to each department.

PRRI is an equal opportunity employer and encourages applications from women, people of color, and other members of underrepresented groups who will contribute to the diversity of our staff.

Learn more about PRRI here.


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