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Can you guys please guide me as to where I can search for job openings in this field? I've tried indeed.com, but there really isn't anything available. Are there are sites dedicated to research jobs specifically? Thanks.

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Yeah, it depends on what kind of research you want to do and where you are willing to work. Not to be a jerk, but "this field" is very very broad. If you had skills with geographic information systems I would tell you to get familiar with the "International Association of Crime Analysts" but if you are in this field and have never used crime mapping software, that advise may be useless to you.

 

Other examples:

 

For instance, Justice Statistical Analysis Centers are in every state to my knowledge, and at least the one in Alaska is commonly working on funded research in addition to having full time paid employees.

 

Link:    http://www.jrsainfo.org/sac/saclist.html

 

Some research positions are within governmental bodies, in my state there is a statewide website for positions all over the state, I imagine other states do this as well. This would be like for research within a crime lab, for law enforcement, etc.

 

Universities are also places where public positions relating to research are most common, I say this because there are many research universities. Additionally, each state has their own research institutes, for example in Texas: "Crime Victims Institute" and "Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation". In Ohio, "University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute."

 

Use google and narrow your focus to a particular type of research.

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Guest criminologist

Yeah, it depends on what kind of research you want to do and where you are willing to work. Not to be a jerk, but "this field" is very very broad. If you had skills with geographic information systems I would tell you to get familiar with the "International Association of Crime Analysts" but if you are in this field and have never used crime mapping software, that advise may be useless to you.

 

Other examples:

 

For instance, Justice Statistical Analysis Centers are in every state to my knowledge, and at least the one in Alaska is commonly working on funded research in addition to having full time paid employees.

 

Link:    http://www.jrsainfo.org/sac/saclist.html

 

Some research positions are within governmental bodies, in my state there is a statewide website for positions all over the state, I imagine other states do this as well. This would be like for research within a crime lab, for law enforcement, etc.

 

Universities are also places where public positions relating to research are most common, I say this because there are many research universities. Additionally, each state has their own research institutes, for example in Texas: "Crime Victims Institute" and "Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Investigation". In Ohio, "University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute."

 

Use google and narrow your focus to a particular type of research.

 

Crime analyst jobs mainly involve doing stuff like GIS/crime mapping and reporting statistics are not really research positions though. Those are technical positions in police departments or public safety agencies for the most part doing mainly routine work and do not really involve the use of academic/social science research methods. This is why you will see typically former police officers, military, or people lacking an educational background in social sciences working in these positions. You would not be working on research studies that are going to get published or anything.  I used to work in a SAC which kind of got me interested in crime analysis, but the positions in this field are just too narrowly focused.

Edited by criminologist
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Crime analyst jobs mainly involve doing stuff like GIS/crime mapping and reporting statistics are not really research positions though. Those are technical positions in police departments or public safety agencies for the most part doing mainly routine work and do not really involve the use of academic/social science research methods. This is why you will see typically former police officers, military, or people lacking an educational background in social sciences working in these positions. You would not be working on research studies that are going to get published or anything.  I used to work in a SAC which kind of got me interested in crime analysis, but the positions in this field are just too narrowly focused.

 

It's very arguably a kind of research, using GIS to map crime at places easily falls within the definition of research as "the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions" (google definition). Some of the crime analysts I know would not be getting anything published, but they would be investigating patterns of criminal activities throughout the city in a systematic way so as to establish facts and reach new conclusions, in so far as they would be directing police in a useful, targeted manner, following problem oriented policing (POP) strategies to target specific problems. The crime analysts I know are also not necessarily constrained to not use academic or social science research methods. Two of the faculty in my department consider themselves crime analysts for instance, in so far as they use RTM techniques and/or mapping strategies to influence their response to local community dilemmas and other more academic research in general. 

 

The individuals who work at the Texas Center for Geospatial Intelligence and Analysis are also very easily considered crime analysts, but they use very interesting geographic profiling techniques that are academic in nature. 

 

My point of mentioning crime analysts, or SAC offices, was just to point out that research positions come in different shapes and sizes and someone's search for a research position should be well thought out to exclude the positions he/she doesn't want to work doing. 

Edited by Sword_Saint
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Guest criminologist

I am saying is they aren't technically research positions that have the same duties as someone with the job title of "research assistant" or 'research specialist' would have. They are not going to be proceeding through all of the steps of the research process from doing a lit review to conceptualization and operationalization of variables to collecting original data, etc. I doubt the majority of people who work as "crime analyst" or "intelligence analyst" would ever be reviewing academic journal articles or write a lit review as part of their job. Some positions might be titled something like police research specialist that do both actual research and technical side but those require more education and are only in the more progressive agencies. But if the op was looking to get some research experience prior to applying to a Phd program the best way to do it is to work as research assistant. 

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I am saying is they aren't technically research positions that have the same duties as someone with the job title of "research assistant" or 'research specialist' would have. They are not going to be proceeding through all of the steps of the research process from doing a lit review to conceptualization and operationalization of variables to collecting original data, etc. I doubt the majority of people who work as "crime analyst" or "intelligence analyst" would ever be reviewing academic journal articles or write a lit review as part of their job. Some positions might be titled something like police research specialist that do both actual research and technical side but those require more education and are only in the more progressive agencies. But if the op was looking to get some research experience prior to applying to a Phd program the best way to do it is to work as research assistant. 

Disclaimer:

 

I don't have a lot of exposure of police departments in other states and can't speak to the thoroughness of their projects.

 

Fair enough, and I do think you are right in most respects. I just had to reply because I was concerned that your remark may disparage or short-change progressive law enforcement agencies or analysts. My experience with it is probably the exception rather than the rule; police here [Alaska] frequently and openly communicate with academics at my institution. A CPTED report in the downtown area for example was completed by a local 'Community Action Policing' division within the department and was empirically driven, with a lit review and data supportive of a CPTED initiative to reduce crime. Similarly, the local police crime analyst communicates with the crime mapping specialists at the university- however this may be an isolated event compared to how it works in other parts of the country and is not the same kind of experience as a research assistant or technician or whatnot.

Edited by Sword_Saint
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Guest criminologist

I respect the few places that are being progressive and have analysts doing POP or SARA but still a lot of agencies that have crime analysts are backwards in so many ways it is sad. I would think that agencies located near research universities with CJ depts tend to be more progressive. 

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I think you two are using the same word (research) in two very different ways. One means social science research suitable for academic training. The other means applied research as used in Criminal Justice agencies. Those two are both technically research, but the latter would not, say, prepare someone for a tenure track job in a tier one research institution.

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