Consultant Opportunities

About Polaris

Named after the North Star, a historical symbol of freedom, Polaris works to reshape the systems that make sex and labor trafficking possible and profitable in North America. For more than a decade, Polaris has assisted thousands of victims and survivors through the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline and built the largest known U.S. data set on the crime. With the guidance of survivors, and working with public and private-sector partners, we use that data to understand and improve the way trafficking is identified, how victims and survivors are assisted, and how we can prevent this abuse at the scale of the problem – 25 million people worldwide robbed of the fundamental right to choose how they live and work.

About the Opportunity

Polaris is integrating a complex systems approach into our work. Our goal is to tackle the structures, attitudes, and power dynamics that make hundreds of thousands of people vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking to enable us to shift the energy of the anti-trafficking movement to begin to prevent victimization before it happens. Polaris is implementing a study to collect information from participants that will inform our strategies and program planning.

We are seeking a number of consultants with quantitative and/or qualitative research expertise to contribute to the design and implementation of Polaris’s first National Survivor Survey (NSS), a large scale mixed-methods study (with multiple languages) that will employ trauma-informed and survivor-focused strategies. In addition, the consultants may also support the analysis of data from various other sources.


The responsibilities listed below include the range of tasks that we will be bringing several consultants to perform.

  • Contribute to and finalize a research protocol by coordinating across several stakeholders and study team members
  • Develop qualitative and quantitative instruments and facilitate review by relevant parties
  • Develop and help implement a statistical sampling plan and recruitment strategy appropriate for hard to reach population collaboratively with other study team members
  • Oversee the data collection phase of the study including ensuring fidelity to the research protocol
  • Conduct key informant interviews, focus group discussions and other forms of qualitative interviews as determined in the protocol
  • Develop an analysis plan for data collected from the study
  • Perform advanced statistical analysis on data (this may include analysis of other data sets in addition to the study described above)
  • Oversee the analysis of qualitative data collected from the study by coders and other analysts
  • Perform analysis of qualitative data using accepted methods including content analysis and grounded theory
  • Write final reports
  • Develop materials for the presentation of findings to different stakeholders
  • Other tasks as required.

We do not anticipate one consultant to perform all duties listed above. Instead we are anticipating that we will bring on consultants with diverse skill sets into the study team. We ask that you describe which specific tasks you are qualified, interested and have the availability to perform.


  • Experience in leading and/or participating in the design and implementation of large social science studies and/or evaluations
  • Minimum four to five (4-5) years of progressively responsible professional work experience in the specific task or responsibility the consultant is applying for, which may include some of the following:
    • Experience conducting research with vulnerable populations and/or survivors of trauma;
    • Experience in developing sampling plans and/or recruitment strategies for hard to reach populations
    • Experience in participatory research methodologies as well as trauma informed research
    • Skilled in group facilitation and multi-stakeholder engagement processes
    • Advanced statistical analysis experience (using software such as SAS is a plus)
    • Advanced qualitative analysis experience (using software such as NVivo is a plus)
    • Demonstrated project management experience.
    • Clear and concise written and verbal communication skills.
    • Peer-reviewed publications
  • Emotional maturity and demonstrated discretion in handling sensitive and confidential information.

Preferred or Optional Qualifications

  • Candidates having lived experience with human trafficking strongly preferred.
  • Academic or professional knowledge of human trafficking, labor rights, or related social issues;
  • Spanish and other language fluency

Contract Duration

This Level of Effort (LOE) for the consultant will be negotiated and will be dependent on the specific tasks to be performed between December through June 2021. The period of performance may be extended, depending on the need. The consultant can work remotely from his/her location. If conditions allow, occasional short-term travel may be required to Polaris’s office Washington, D.C.

To Apply

Please submit a resume, an example written product and a cover letter that includes a daily rate, your proposed responsibility on the study, and your availability to

Background Check

All offers of employment are contingent upon clear results of a thorough background check. Background checks will be conducted on all final candidates that may handle data from survivors.

Values Statement

The work of Polaris is grounded in a set of values and organizational beliefs that provide a common starting point for all of our activities. At Polaris, we look for talented individuals who are passionate about combating all forms of human trafficking and who will strive to embody and model these values within the Polaris community and in the anti-trafficking field. Please take a moment to make yourself familiar with these values and our mission statement before submitting your application. You can find a full description of our values here.

Diversity Statement

Polaris designs and implements data-driven strategies to prevent and disrupt human trafficking and restore freedom to survivors. Achieving this ambitious goal requires both trafficking-specific systemic interventions and broader cultural and structural shifts that reduce the inequities that lead to human trafficking. While Polaris alone cannot build a more diverse, just, equitable, and inclusive society, both the success of our work and our organizational values require modeling in the workplace the change we want to see in the world.

This means cultivating a workforce, organizational culture, and priorities that respect and celebrate a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team made up of individuals with different identities, lived experiences, and backgrounds. Within both our team and across every part of our work, we strive to integrate and elevate the full range of survivor voices.

This is a living commitment. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are values to be manifested daily, in the work we do, the decisions we make, and the way that we treat each other and the people we seek to serve. This means creating space where staff can be included, heard, valued, and set up for success, and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, best selves to work. We will not check boxes and consider it done. We will push new innovations and different ways of thinking, and treasure the community built and strengthened by each of our contributions.


Need help? Polaris operates the U.S. National Human Trafficking Hotline.