Now Hiring: Policy Assistant – Graduate Students

Compensation and commitment: $29.25 per hour, 8-10 hours per week, August 29, 2024 – May 29, 2025.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Wednesday, July 31st at 5 pm Pacific Time

The applicant must be a matriculated graduate student at UC Berkeley. Priority is given to work study students.

To apply, submit the following items by email as a single pdf to with the subject line “Policy Assistant.” Please include the following in your application:
1. Cover letter
2. Résumé (limit to 2 pages)
3. Contact information for 2 professional and/or academic references

About the Berkeley Food Institute:

The Berkeley Food Institute leverages University of California resources, in partnership with communities, to shape a more just and equitable food and farming system. We empower new leaders with the capacity to cultivate diverse, just, resilient, and healthy food systems.

BFI connects eight academic units: College of Natural Resources, Graduate School of Journalism, Goldman School of Public Policy, School of Public Health, College of Environmental Design, Haas School of Business, Berkeley Law, and the College of Letters and Sciences, Division of Social Sciences. These academic units on the campus have partnered to create an interdisciplinary institute serving both UC Berkeley students and the general public. We run programs in food systems education and public interest policy, and sponsor and perform rigorous scientific and community-based research. We partner with farms, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, food and agriculture businesses, other universities and advocacy organizations to understand our changing food system and provide data and evidence-based storytelling in four mission areas: urban and rural agroecology, good food access, fair and healthy jobs, and racial equity in the food system.


The role of the Policy Assistant is to support the Berkeley Food Institute’s policy program. This position works closely with the BFI Policy Director, with additional interaction with other BFI staff.


  • Conduct policy analysis research and writing to support the BFI Policy Program.
  • Write and edit policy briefs based on affiliated faculty research.
  • Participate in policy stakeholder calls with our community partners.
  • Write policy and research-related blogs for the BFI newsletter.
  • Assist in making improvements to policy sections of the BFI website.
  • Communicate with policy partners, faculty, and external contacts in a professional and
    clear way. Help create and distribute policy updates to partners and the public.
  • Assist in preparation for various policy-related events hosted by BFI.
  • Other policy and related research projects as needed.

Required Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated verbal and written communication skills, particularly in regards to
    communications across diverse groups
  • Passion for policy, either at the local, state, federal, or international level(s)
  • Ability to work collaboratively as part of a team sharing ideas and offering and accepting
    productive feedback
  • Commitment to justice, equity, and external communications across diverse groups
  • Ability to work independently and to foresee, identify, and recommend solutions in the
    position’s areas of responsibility
  • Attention to details, both written and visual
  • Experience with Salesforce, WordPress, and Microsoft Office software suite
  • Comfort with creativity, innovation, and hard work
  • Professionalism, courtesy, discretion and good humor
  • Coursework and/or experience in agri-food systems and policy
  • Interest and experience in public service and social equity, as core tenets of the UC
    Berkeley experience and the Berkeley Food Institute mission
  • The occasional ability to travel, in accordance with academic schedules and with
    expenses covered by BFI

Please direct any questions to BFI Executive Director Jeanne Merrill at

Equal Employment Opportunity

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status. For more information about your rights as an applicant, see:

For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy, see: