Research Assistant - Center on Global Food and Agriculture
Seeking talented research assistant to join the Council's Center on Global Food and Agriculture team
Chicago, IL 
Posted 1 month ago
Job Description
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs is where your world and the world meet. The Council is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization that empowers more people to help shape our global future. We are adding to the Center on Global Food and Agriculture to connect with the next generation of changemakers who want to create a more open and promising world for all. By informing them, inspiring them, and involving them in world affairs, we will support an inclusive community of globally conscious people who want to have a tangible impact. The Council celebrated its centennial anniversary in 2022. Do you want to help shape our next century?

The Role

The primary responsibility of the Research Assistant is to support the development of the Center on Global Food and Agriculture (CGFA)’s research and policy publications. The Research Assistant initially will primarily provide key research and organizational support for CGFA's collaboration with Texas A&M Institute for Advancing Health through Agriculture.  

The Research Assistant position is a Chicago-based hybrid role and requires some in-person attendance at our Downtown Chicago location based on work activities and peak seasons. The Research Assistant will report to the Managing Director of Global Food and Agriculture.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Research: Assists with research and analysis needs, analyzing and organizing technical data and reports and compiling summaries of information. Develops information sources. Reviews, analyzes, and evaluates data and literature. Prepares preliminary outlines of projects to determine appropriate methodology. Synthesizes data for specific sections of the report or other types of output.
  • Writing: Drafts summaries of technical information, and drafts documents to be signed or issued by a senior team member. Abstracts information from various resources to create tables for committee review or use in committee reports. Drafts, summarizes, and edits findings and provides feedback to appropriate parties. Analyzes data developed and prepares written interpretations.
  • Project Support: Provides research support and organizes information about potential committee members, external stakeholders, and speakers. Corresponds with committee members, participating in the planning and execution of committee meetings and other tasks associated with preparing for committee meetings and workshops. Takes meeting notes and provides accurate meeting summaries. May assist in the scheduling of meetings, calls, and workshops and attend and participate in scheduled meetings.
  • Database Management: Manages database to track references and manages and maintains bibliographic databases. Assist in maintaining email and distribution lists. Manage online information portal for committees to facilitate the flow of information and to ensure document version control.
  • Publications: Performs fact and reference checking for reports. Inputs edits into report drafts. Create reference lists, bibliographies, figures, graphics, and tables for reports. Formats figures and tables.
  • Interns: Supervises 1-2 interns per term, including selection, training, and ongoing supervision; adapt intern tasks regularly to ensure that they meet team needs
  • Event support: Provides support for Council events (virtual, hybrid, or in-person), sometimes requiring early morning or evening hours. Examples may be registrations, ushering, greeting, monitoring social media channels, etc.
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Participates collaboratively with the Council’s diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies.  
  • Other projects as assigned.

  • Bachelor's degree in agriculture, nutrition, food, or a related field is required.
  • 1-2 years experience in research-based and/or policy arena working with government, nonprofits, think thanks, or academia, is preferred
  • Exceptional attention to detail, time-management, and organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently, meet deadlines, and manage multiple projects simultaneously; thrives in fast-paced and dynamic environment
  • Experience organizing and managing events, both online and in-person
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to professionally interact with high-level stakeholders and experts
  • Good verbal and written communication skills (editorial and proofreading), including the ability to communicate complex concepts and topics clearly, thoroughly, and succinctly
  • Strong interpersonal skills with the ability to professionally interact with high-level stakeholders and experts.
  • Knowledge of and experience using MS Office (Word, Excel, and Outlook)
  • Some familiarity with customer relations management (CRM) software such as Salesforce is helpful.

We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, ancestry, religion, age, handicap or disability, marital status, military service or veteran status, genetic information, or for any other reason prohibited by applicable law.

Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

We are committed to weaving diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout the fabric of the Council, and we believe people — their identities, experiences, beliefs, knowledge, and ideas — are critical to our success and to global affairs. We will elevate diverse voices and identities and a full range of perspectives, advance equitable and inclusive access to exploring and shaping ideas, and ensure our organization reflects the diversity of Chicago, our nation, and the world.

To learn more, visit:

Vaccination Statement 

For the safety and well-being of our staff, the Council requires that all prospective employees submit proof of an up-to-date COVID vaccination and booster record or seek a reasonable accommodation for a religious or medical reason prior to their first day of employment.


Job Summary
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Salary and Benefits
There are many benefits to working at the Council, including a flexible remote/in-office work environment, half-day summer Fridays, paid parental leave, employer-subsidized medical/dental/vision insurance, generous paid time off, retirement match, mobile phone stipend, commuter accessible, fitness center membership, and more.
Required Education
Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience
1 to 2 years
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