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Junior Specialist - Community and Labor Center

Position overview

Position title: Junior Specialist
Salary range: See Table 24 for the salary range for this position. A reasonable estimate for this position is $49,000-$52,200.
Percent time: 100%
Anticipated start: 6/1/23
Review timeline: Junior Specialist
Position duration: 1 Year

Application Window

Open date: May 2, 2023

Most recent review date: Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.

Final date: Wednesday, May 1, 2024 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Position description

On behalf of the UC Merced Community and Labor Center, the Junior Specialist will conduct research that examines labor issues facing California court interpreter workers, and community members' challenges in receiving interpretation in courts. Under the supervision of the Principal Investigator, the specialist will conduct research and public service that advances understandings of court interpretation work and its relevance to policymaking. The junior specialist will collect data through qualitative interviews with interpreters and ethnographic observations in California courts, code data in Dedoose, organize data into relevant themes, translate analysis into public-facing documents (including policy briefs), and prepare materials for dissemination to relevant policymakers and other engaged community members.

I. Research (90%)

  1. Collect, organize, and code primary qualitative data, including in-depth semi-structured interviews and ethnographic fieldnotes. Includes travel within Central Valley and/or Bay Area to conduct ethnographic observations in courthouses.

  2. Analyze qualitative data on court interpreter working conditions and community needs.

  3. Work with community and labor organizations to design and execute community engaged research.

  4. Participate in the writing of applied research, such as issue-based fact sheets, research briefs and reports. Opportunities will be available to contribute to academic journal development, but these are secondary to the applied outputs.

  5. Disseminate findings by giving presentations to stakeholders with an interest in improving community and labor conditions related to court interpretation.

  6. Meet regularly with PI of the project (Meredith Van Natta) and provide regular updates demonstrating progress toward data analysis and dissemination goals.

II. Public Service (10%)

  1. Assist with planning meetings and events with community and labor organizations, to advance understandings of issues in court interpretation work and their policy relevance.

  2. Assist with maintaining and developing partnerships with community and labor organizations.

As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Policy: All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of Full Vaccination or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, and/or Religious Objection) or Deferral (based on pregnancy) no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Appendix F, Section II.C. of the policy for applicable deadlines. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.


Basic qualifications

BA in Sociology, or related discipline; bilingual Spanish-English (speaking/listening)

Preferred qualifications

Preferred, experience with qualitative research collection and analysis, especially semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observations/fieldnotes; proficiency with dedoose qualitative data analysis tools

Application Requirements

Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)
Apply link:

Help contact:

Campus Information

As a University employee, you will be required to comply with all applicable University policies and/or collective bargaining agreements, as may be amended from time to time. Federal, state, or local government directives may impose additional requirements. This includes the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs:

The University of California is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and invites applications from all qualified applicants, including women, minorities, veterans, and individual with disabilities, who will enrich the teaching, research and public service missions of the university. All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: UC Nondiscrimination & Affirmative Action Policy (

The University of California, Merced, is the newest of the University of California system’s 10 campuses. With over 9,000 undergraduate and graduate students (, UC Merced provides outstanding educational opportunities to highly qualified students from the heart of California, the nation, and abroad. The campus has special connections to nearby Yosemite National Park; is on the cutting edge of sustainability in construction and design; and supports the economic development of Central California. The Merced 2020 Project doubled the physical capacity of the campus, and enhanced academic distinction, student success, and research excellence (

UC Merced is a smoke & tobacco free campus (

Job location

Merced, CA