Housing + Innovation Research Fellow

Remote Volunteer Position

Join the next cohort to research and pioneer innovative solutions with
New Story to end global homelessness.

New Story’s Spring 2021 cohort began in April. We will begin accepting Summer 2021 applications in June. 

 

ABOUT NEW STORY

New Story has taken big swings at tackling the global housing crisis: we’ve built more than 2,300 homes in 26 communities across Haiti, El Salvador, Bolivia, and Mexico, created an open-source software solution shared with more than 25 organizations in four continents, and printed the first permitted 3D-printed community in history. However, we know the work to bridge the gap for the more than 1.6 billion people without access to adequate housing requires collective effort in the sector to innovate and build quicker. 

There are many proven examples across the globe, and we are aiming to study and compile a comprehensive guide to affordable and sustainable housing innovations. Our goal is to open-source the knowledge gained in building affordable housing communities to government entities and organizations in the sector to be implemented and together close the housing gap.

SUMMARY OF THE FELLOWSHIP

You’ll research innovations and best practices in the affordable housing space to contribute to New Story’s efforts to end homelessness worldwide, with a current focus on Latin America. You will also have the opportunity to contribute to New Story’s current development of projects and innovations for the sector in areas of finance, data, housing production (architecture, engineering, and construction), and social and promotion. 

As part of this Fellowship, you will:

  • Be a part of interdisciplinary fellows from around the globe
  • Join coffee-chats with like-minded individuals to discuss topics related to social housing
  • Be inspired by a team of individuals that have dedicated their careers to housing innovation
  • Have the opportunity to present your ideas and expand your presentation and deliverables skills
  • Have an open space where you can continue to grow into other cohorts and leadership opportunities
  • Potentially shape research into projects or experiments with the New Story team
  • Work with task force-like projects such as the COVID-19 rent relief program

A total of 8 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 long-term strategy and selection criteria for innovative projects to pursue.

 

FELLOWSHIP FOCUSES

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

Finance

Finance fellows will research affordable housing finance schemes, programs, and solutions with the goal of unlocking housing finance on a family, developer, and government level for the base of the pyramid. Fellows will collaborate on various projects with a New Story advisor to research what’s available in the current market, as well as innovative new approaches to affordable housing finance.

This category is for you if you have background and knowledge in international development, fintech, housing finance, LATAM housing programs, and/or impact investing. BONUS: fluent Spanish speakers.

Data

Data fellows’ work includes researching existing data sets from various Latin American governments, with a strong focus on Mexico, that are relevant for evaluating the affordable housing landscape. If data sets do not exist, fellows will be responsible for outreach to public and private entities to help source new data sets and create them when needed.

This category is for you if you have background and knowledge in international development, housing finance, LATAM housing programs, and/or Mexico housing policies, being able to read government websites, data sets, and policy memos. The ability to  conduct phone and email outreach in Spanish is a strong plus. Also, you should be able to use Excel and Google Sheets effectively. BONUS: Knowledge of web scraping methods for gathering data; SQL, Python, or R for basic analytics; data visualization skills

Social and Promotion

Social and promotion fellows will support communication and outreach and build a relationship with the families in the communities we work with. This includes researching and proposing ways to communicate our mission with the local families, community outreach, engagement, and how to build a relationship and trust.

This category is for you if you have background and knowledge in community development, sales and marketing, communications, participatory design. The ability to conduct phone and email outreach in Spanish is a strong plus.

Housing Production

The main focus of the housing production group is decreasing construction costs and increasing efficiency. The fellows would conduct research and produce drawings, sketches, and any other visual key they might find helpful in explaining the different ways we can achieve the main focus. Examples of ways to achieve this would be through incremental design techniques and density housing typologies to maximize the use and impact of the resources in the built environment.

This category is for you if you have background and knowledge in the build environment (architecture, engineer, construction, urban planning, etc.) who can produce plans, sketches, diagrams, and, most importantly, enjoy doing them.

YOU’LL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR…

  1. Consistent communication with the New Story team, your research group’s team leaders, 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
    • Informational interviews of experts in the topic
  1. 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!).
  2. A final research deliverable summarizing your research. This could include a report on top innovations, best practices, and common downfalls, or more. It will be clearly defined throughout your fellowship, and you’ll spend the last 2-3 weeks of your fellowship creating it.

YOU MUST HAVE…

  • Minimum 3 years of university or college studies
  • Professional fluency in English (required) and Spanish (preferred)
  • Sophisticated communication, organization, research, 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.

Stay tuned!

Applications for the next cohort will open in June!