Frolic Community Research Fellow Remote · Part time Company website

Frolic is seeking 1-2 graduate-level research fellows. As a research fellow, you will join our team and participate in various aspects of our work building cooperative housing ownership models.


About Frolic

We are a small team of pragmatic dreamers working to shift the existing real estate development paradigm towards community ownership. Building on the research of our founders from the MIT Center for Real Estate, we are creating pocket-communities of 6-20 homes owned collectively via the Frolic Community cooperative housing model - designed to make buying a home within reach for generational renters and first time home buyers. We build our projects in partnership with single family home owners that have greater development potential on their land and who want to age in place, house their communities, and shape the future of their neighborhoods. We have 6 projects in development and over 30 in our pipeline, and are looking for fellow dreamers with acumen to join our team. 

Learn more about our work here:

About the Role

We are seeking 1-2 graduate-level research fellows from programs such as MCP, MSRED, M.Arch, MLA, and/or MBA for the remainder of 2024 with an opportunity to extend into 2025. As a research fellow, you will join our team and participate in various aspects of our work building cooperative housing ownership models. 

We will be growing our team in the coming year, and all positions have the potential to become full-time post-graduation and/or continue into summer opportunities.

Roles that you take on during your fellowship will be crafted in partnership with us and tailored to your experience, your passion, and the areas you most want to grow.

Potential responsibilites include:

  • Architectural design and renderings for new projects
  • Creating project materials and packets for lenders, investors, and financial partners
  • Writing reports, proposals, and articles related to their housing model
  • Data analysis and GIS mapping for site selection and market analysis
  • Financial modeling in Excel to analyze project feasibility and affordability
  • Refining and iterating on the cooperative ownership structure and legal frameworks
  • Supporting business operations like capital raising and investor materials
  • Recruiting efforts to scale the team
  • Developing governance, training, and educational materials for coop residents
  • Designing a syndicated investment model to mobilize capital towards coops
  • Engaging with potential resident groups through facilitation and communicating the model
  • Website design, graphic storytelling, and adjusting marketing for different audiences
  • Architecting the legal structure and terms for a community investment fund

As the organization continues to grow and evolve, duties may shift without impacting overall job description.

During the school year - This is a part-time position (10 - 20 hours/week) that can be a combination of remote and in-person work in our Seattle office. It is viable to have 3 pre-arranged weeks with fewer hours to accommodate midterms, finals, and big grad school project deadlines.

During the summer - This is a full-time position. Having this position in the office is preferable because it allows for better coordination, adaptability, and involvement in company needs. Given this, we are also open to remote work and are flexible to work-style needs.


About You

We’re looking for someone who enjoys working in a collaborative environment with the passion to make an impact and who has a strong sense of initiative. Ideal applicants will be self-driven, comfortable with ambiguity, and take the initiative to anticipate what needs to be done to move our work forward, combined with a desire for social change in housing and a willingness to engage in conversations around racial and socioeconomic equity. Applicants should be comfortable working in a startup environment.

The key traits that are most important in this role are:

  • A comprehension of and dedication to engaging in conversations regarding historical racial and zoning inequities
  • Ability to work with individuals and institutions to think and act differently. This involves a key understanding of their needs and perspectives - to not villainize standard practices in the industry and instead work within it to expand what is possible
  • Kindness and general intuition to step up to the plate when needed
  • Commitment to expanding communal ownership models and housing equity
  • Entrepreneurial, creative problem-solver comfortable with ambiguity

Desired skills in candidates include:

  • Real estate finance
  • Fundraising and impact investing
  • Recruiting
  • Digital marketing and analysis
  • Fair housing marketing
  • Architecture and design
  • Policy research 
  • Financial modeling
  • Data analysis and GIS
  • Coding and Web design
  • Graphic design and illustration
  • Business operations
  • Project management skills
  • Group facilitation
  • Writing and communications

Other aspects of your experience that would be a plus:

  • Lived experience in the ways the current housing system is failing, and/or experience working with communities currently marginalized by existing systems
  • Startup experience
  • Experience with cooperatives, land trusts, affordable housing


How to Apply

To apply, please submit a 1 page cover letter expressing why you want to work with us, what aspects of our work you are most interest in engaging with, and highlighting how your skills and experience align with what you see this role being. A resume/CV is optional.

If you come from a design background, please also include a portfolio of your work. If you don’t come from a design background, please share with us some examples of projects you have been involved with or work that you are proud of.

Frolic is deeply committed to fostering diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging both in our workplace and in the communities we serve. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. Frolic is built on the principles of equity, transparency and the power of human experience. Your work will improve the daily lives of real people and their future generations, and we need people with and without disabilities from diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, and skill sets to live out our mission. We strongly encourage people who have felt the impacts of the nation’s housing crisis to apply. This includes but is not limited to people most impacted by racism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, classism, and other forms of oppression.