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Research Assistant in Oakland


Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) is looking for a Research Assistant to join our team. This is a full-time position in our Oakland office.


FM3 has specialized in public policy-oriented opinion research since 1981 and offers a wide range of opinion research, communications strategy and consulting services to assist political candidates (Democratic or non-partisan), ballot measure committees, private sector corporations, non-profit organizations and government agencies. (In other words, we’re political pollsters, but we conduct a wide variety of non-political opinion research as well.)

Our 25-person company (with offices in Oakland and Los Angeles) conducts as many as 300 surveys and 150 focus groups each year, focusing on issues of major economic and social concern, including environmental quality; natural resource conservation; clean and renewable energy development; transportation planning and finance; health care; education; public finance; drug reform policy; growth and property development; and the implications of public policy for groups such as people of color, children and seniors. Sample clients include The Nature Conservancy, The California Endowment, Alameda County’s StopWaste, BART, Drug Policy Alliance and the San Francisco 49ers.

Examples of our recent work during the November 2018 election cycle included helping send Kyrsten Sinema, Tammy Baldwin, and Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate and eight Democrats to the House; defeat the gas tax repeal, pass a $4 billion housing bond, and pass a $4 billion parks and water bond in California; legalize recreational marijuana in Michigan and medical marijuana in Missouri and Utah. Additionally, FM3’s research helped pass important local finance measures, including $6.4 billion in 12 school districts across California; a nine-county Bay Area-wide measure to finance $4.5 billion in highway and transit improvements; and other local funding measures for services like schools, community colleges, road repair, public safety, parks and libraries for more than 50 communities.


FM3 Research Assistants work collaboratively with senior members of FM3’s research team to support election-oriented clients, and public- and private-sector entities in informing and influencing public policy. This position is a great opportunity for recent college graduates who are interested in pursuing a career in public policy and politics, providing a chance to participate in policy decisions, and develop a richer understanding of high-profile political campaigns at the local, state and national level.
Specific responsibilities of the Research Assistant position will include, but are not limited to:

  • Conducting background research to inform survey questionnaire and focus group discussion guide design
  • Reviewing and finalizing research instruments for fielding
  • Using Census and voter database information to provide summary statistics of sample universes to inform sampling, survey quotas, and survey sample weighting
  • Editing and creating codebooks for verbatim survey responses
  • Preparing focus group materials and reviewing verbatim transcripts
  • Directing FM3’s Data Processing Team on compiling cross-tabulated survey results
  • With assistance from senior research staff, directing FM3’s Graphics Team on presentation of survey results
  • Drafting research proposals/scopes of work
  • Editing and proofreading proposals, memos and presentations
  • Observing focus groups, public presentations (before city councils, school boards, etc.), and client briefings
  • Keeping abreast of pertinent policy issues and changes in the local, state and federal political landscapes
  • Contributing to the FM3’s evolving methodological approaches to opinion research
  • Assisting and supporting FM3 researchers as necessary, to ensure excellent client service.


  • First-hand experience with electoral politics and public policy issues
  • Prior exposure to quantitative and qualitative opinion research
  • Strong quantitative and qualitative analytical skills, with an attention to detail
  • Excellent writing and verbal skills
  • Bachelor’s degree required
  • A high level of proficiency with Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel
  • Limited travel, most typically in-state
  • Spanish language proficiency is a plus
  • Candidates must have a strong character, ability to excel in a dynamic team environment, and a commitment to delivering exceptional client service, given that our work environment requires interdisciplinary problem solving, often on compressed timelines


The position will offer a competitive compensation package (including annual individual and company performance-based bonuses) and full benefits, including health insurance, paid parental leave, and company profit-sharing contributions to employee 401(k)s.


Send resume and cover letter (as a single document) to resume@fm3research.com with the subject line “FM3 Research Assistant.” Be sure to include details on where you heard about this position and your salary requirements in your cover letter.

FM3 is committed to diversity in its workforce. FM3 is an equal opportunity employer and ensures the promotion of equal opportunity for all persons employed or seeking employment, without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability status. Potential employees reflecting California’s diversity are encouraged to apply.