Employment - Metropolitan Planning Council

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MPC is now accepting applications for summer 2021 research assistant positions. We offer paid and unpaid research assistant positions. The priority application deadline for research assistant positions is April 30, 2021. 

MPC is carefully following CDC and Chicago Department of Public Health safety guidelines due to COVID-19. The organization has implemented a work from home policy for all staff and research assistants. 

About MPC

Dedicated to shaping a better, bolder, more equitable future for everyone, Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) believes that every neighborhood has promise. Every community should be heard. And every person can thrive. Since 1934, this independent, nonpartisan organization has served metropolitan Chicago’s communities and residents to change perceptions, reimagine conversations, and defy the status quo. Through thoughtful collaboration with local communities, businesses, and governments, MPC is a bold change-maker, addressing the region’s toughest planning and development challenges. We believe that strong partnerships rooted in respect and trust are critical to creative and effective problem-solving. 

MPC is a values-driven workplace, and we are seeking candidates with a demonstrated commitment to creating a region that is:

  • Equitable: For MPC, equity means that every individual and community in our region has the opportunities they need to thrive. Promoting equity means that we recognize the harm that discrimination and racism have caused and continue to pose to our lives and neighborhoods. That’s why we drive policies, investments and ideas that ensure all current and future residents can reach their full potential.
  • Prosperous: For MPC, prosperity means that both metropolitan Chicago and all of its people are economically healthy and prepared for growth. MPC is focused on ensuring that everyone who lives and works in our region can provide for themselves and their families. We support commitments that bring resources, development, and fairly paid and quality jobs to all communities.
  • Sustainable: For MPC, sustainability means that our region meets the natural, human and financial needs of the present while improving conditions for future generations. MPC’s agenda supports ecological vitality, residents’ health and economic stability for the long term, and ensures that as things change, our region adapts.
  • Engaged and Responsible: For MPC, civic participation and effective government are cornerstones of our region’s viability. We drive policies that strengthen the participation and impact of residents in local and regional decisions. We also promote adaptive, collaborative, just and transparent governance at all levels.

EEOC/Diversity Statement: 

MPC is an equal opportunity employer. We stay true to our mission by celebrating the differences among us. We are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within our workplace and encourage applicants from a wide range of backgrounds, ages, and abilities to apply. We will not tolerate harassment, discrimination, or retaliation of any kind and we promote a climate of mutual respect for our employees.

Research Assistant and Project Assistant

MPC’s volunteer research and project assistants are a vital part of the organization’s success. Depending on the project at hand, assistants conduct original research, write blog posts and case studies, organize stakeholder meetings, perform GIS and quantitative analysis and a range of other work. MPC is now accepting applications for summer 2021 research and project assistant positions. We offer paid and unpaid research and project assistant positions. The priority application deadline for research assistant positions is April 30 2021. 

Candidates receiving school credit or compensation through a fellowship or work-study program will receive preference in staffing decisions, but all are welcome to apply. MPC will have a very limited number of paid Research Assistant positions available; please indicate in your application if you are seeking a paid or unpaid position. RAs are expected to commit at least three days of work per week. 

We are currently recruiting research and project assistants particularly for the following projects: 

StormwaterThe water resources policy research assistant will assist in the implementation of the StormStore project--a partnership with The Nature Conservancy to startup Stormwater Trading Markets in NE Illinois. This project requires an entrepreneurial mindset, including the ability to context switch from the various stages of research and policy change, to project development and finance. Responsibilities will include project-related research, outreach to project stakeholders, content development, and other tasks as needed. This is a 6 month, full-time internship. 

Skills and Qualifications: 

  • Strong research, writing, and analytical skills
  • Ability to juggle projects, stay organized, and adhere to time tables
  • Ability to work well independently as well as with others
  • Ability to distill concise, accurate descriptions of complicated policy issues, or experience writing for lay audiences a plus
  • Strong computer skills, especially data science, geospatial, and/or illustration a plus

How to apply: 

To apply for a research assistant position please send the following materials to Ame Esterline, MPC’s Manager of Finance and Administration, at manager@metroplanning.org:

  1. A current resume;
  2. A cover letter articulating your specific interest in MPC, the current projects you have the most interest in and what you believe you can add to them, and a proposed schedule; and
  3. A short (2-3 page) writing sample, and if applicable, examples of geospatial analysis or design work.
  4. Compensation or credit:
    1. Compensation from MPC: Please note if you are applying for an unpaid Research Assistant position, or if you require compensation from MPC. 
    2. External compensation: Note if you are seeking Federal work-study compensation or external funding from your college/university or an outside program to fund your position at MPC. 
    3. Please note if you are applying for this position to receive college/university course credit, or fulfill an internship requirement. 

No phone calls, please. 

Notices for available positions at MPC are posted here.

Submit applications by e-mail or mail only; no phone calls please.

MPC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

This page can be found online at http://www.metroplanning.org/about/Employment0.html

Metropolitan Planning Council 140 S. Dearborn St.
Suite 1400
Chicago, Ill. 60603
312 922 5616 info@metroplanning.org

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Shaping a better, bolder more equitable future for all in the greater Chicago region

For more than 80 years, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) has made the Chicago region a better place to live and work by partnering with businesses, communities and governments to address the area's toughest planning and development challenges. MPC works to solve today's urgent problems while consistently thinking ahead to prepare the region for the needs of tomorrow. Read more about our work »

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