Housing + Innovation Research Fellow

Remote Volunteer Position

Do your most impactful work here.

Though applications for Cohort 3 have closed at this time, New Story is accepting applications on a rolling basis for Cohort 4.

Cohort 4 applications will be reviewed starting in mid-October and close at the end of October, for onboarding in early November.



You’ll research innovations, ventures, & best practices in the affordable housing space to contribute to New Story’s efforts to end homelessness worldwide, with a focus on Latin America. These include the Affordable Housing Encyclopedia, a compilation of the highest leverage solutions to address inadequate housing, and Home Team Ventures, an investment fund dedicated to scaling innovations in the building industry.


We pioneer solutions to end global homelessness. We work with local organizations around the world to build successful, thriving communities, and we are fully committed to researching and developing new ways of building better and faster. We’re a young team based in Atlanta and San Francisco. Usually, you can find us drinking coffee or bubble tea and eating churros wherever we can find them. 


New Story has approached our 5 year anniversary. We’ve taken some big swings at tackling the global housing crisis: we’ve built 22 communities in 4 countries impacting 11,000+ lives, created an open-source software solution shared with 25+ organization in 4 continents, and 3D printed the 1st community in history. We now want to maximize our impact on the 1.6+B people in the world without access to adequate housing by compiling a comprehensive guide to affordable housing innovations.

Our goal is to transfer all the knowledge gained in building affordable housing communities and deep focus on R&D solutions to common issues. By focusing on one specific region, we will be able to deep-dive into all the intricacies of ending homelessness outside of just building ground-up and develop a playbook for governments, NGOs and other non-profits to apply in other regions.


An estimated 3 billion people will be living without access to adequate shelter by 2050. Meeting the global housing need will require breakthrough ideas that make building efficient, affordable, and higher quality. We believe breakthrough technology can bring home to 100m+ people in need by 2030. The building industry invests less than 0.5% of its value into R+D. Global construction is one of the largest markets in the world: valued at $12.6T in 2018, expected to grow to $18.8T by 2022. However, it is also one of the least innovative.

To scale our impact, we are seeking your help to discover startups reshaping how the physical world is built through innovation in AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction). We want to drive our access to the world’s best innovators in the construction industry and to drive innovation for impact.

We’ll be focusing on startups that reduce cost, increase quality, and/or decrease the time of construction. We will explore hardware and software opportunities throughout the lifecycle of construction: design, material science, equipment, AI/ML, robotics and automation, 3D printing, visualization, sensors, and more.


To achieve this audacious goal, we need to do extensive research on the most innovative affordable housing solutions, ranging from AEC technologies, to financial models, to policy and urban planning frameworks.

As a Research Fellow, you will analyze case studies and innovations regarding housing solutions in Latin America, in one of the following categories:

  • architecture/engineering/construction typologies (ground-up construction, retrofitting, preservation strategies, infill, self-built, incremental housing, prefabrication, ADU’s, micro-homes, single-family, multi-family, zoning changes for density, etc.)
  • financial innovations (micro-loans, innovative financial models and subsidies, innovative inventive models, tax credits, preservation credits, federal / state / municipal financial incentives, etc.)
  • policy innovations (zoning, streamline development/permitting process, etc.)
  • data + surveying strategies (methods for New Story to leverage the Felix surveying tool to expand community engagement and feedback)
  • innovation fund research (market mapping, investment trends, scouting ventures, etc.)

A total of 10 hours minimum weekly is required to be considered part of this fellowship. This is an unpaid, remote volunteer position. This deep-dive into a specific housing typology or innovation will serve as the foundation for New Story’s 5-year strategy and selection criteria for all R&D projects to pursue.


1. Consistent communication with the New Story team, your research group’s project manager, and Research Fellow peers via the Slack platform, our primary means of communication. If you haven’t used Slack before, we can recommend tutorials to get you started!

2. Creating bi-weekly deliverables summarizing the status of your research, findings, and major trends. The research deliverables will depend on your research topic and larger research group, but typically include:

  • documentation of case studies relevant to your research topic
  • trends within your research topic, supported by case studies you’ve found
  • identifying ventures pursuing innovations in this space
  • informational interviews of experts in the topic

3. Attending approximately 2-4 video calls per month, including check-ins with your research group and “lean coffee chats” where we share findings and learnings across the Fellowship (similar to a “lunch-and-learn” with active discussion!)

4. A final research deliverable summarizing your research. This could include a report on top innovations, best practices & common downfalls, or more. It will be clearly defined throughout the course of your fellowship, and you’ll spend the last 2-3 weeks of your fellowship creating it.


  • Experience in the architecture, engineering, & construction field, urban planning and public policy of housing, affordable housing, finance, and/or data science.
  • If interested in the innovation fund research: you have the experience listed above, and/or experience in venture capital.
  • Minimum 3 years of university experience
  • Professional fluency in English (required) and Spanish (preferred)
  • Sophisticated communication, organization, creativity and interpersonal skills


Our Culture

Culture is #1 for us. We invest significant time, focus, and resources to building the best environment possible. Why? Over the course of the year we spend a large chunk of our time at work. So at New Story, we want our team to find fulfillment, autonomy, mastery, and joy at work. A workplace where you can bring your whole self.

At New Story, you can expect to find a culture that reflects our values:

  • Humble Pursuit of Excellence. A combination of personal humility and intense professional will.
  • Express Gratitude and Empathy. How would you like to be treated? That’s how we strive to treat others. Always go above and beyond to do for others what you’d like them to do for you.
  • Improve Through Learning and Feedback. Learn why something worked or didn’t work, then implement the learning into future actions.
  • Team of Founders. An extreme ownership mindset where you see a problem, take action, and go above and beyond to help the team.
  • Think Big, Breakdown, and Execute. Set big measurable goals, formulate a plan, then execute the plan with relentless focus.
  • Simplify. Do more with less. This applies to everything: marketing, design, team meetings, writing, operations, and beyond.
Welcoming Workplace For All

We know we will only succeed if we have a team who brings a wide variety of perspectives and backgrounds. Our team grew up around the world, from Turkey to Chicago to Georgia to Venezuela, and we welcome all applicants, regardless of background, to apply. We work hard to create a welcoming culture of shared values and radical candor. New Story is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applicants to apply for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.

Imposter Syndrome

If you’re feeling like you aren’t perfectly qualified for this role, don’t count yourself out. We want you to still apply. We used to (and still do sometimes) feel like imposters. It’s natural, but don’t let that stop you from giving this role a shot.

Join us!

Carve out 20 minutes and apply here.