Research Assistant (Job ID: 2020-2303)

Posted Date 2 months ago(2/19/2020 10:40 AM)
Metropolitan Policy Program
Job Function
Job ID
Commensurate with experience


Join one of the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think tanks!

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.


We bring together leading experts in government and academia from all over the world, rooted in open-minded inquiry and representing diverse points of view, who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis. Research topics cover a full range of public policy issues in economics, foreign policy, development, governance and metropolitan policy.


With fair and transparent business practices, clear communication, mutual respect, and a collaborative atmosphere that offers both professional and personal development opportunities, Brookings offers an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values the efforts of all contributors.


Since 1996, as one of the Institution’s five research programs, the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program (Metro) has delivered research and solutions that have strengthened the capacity of cities and regions to achieve economic prosperity. Metro is uniquely positioned to help cities and metropolitan areas innovate in a fast‐changing global economy in ways that benefit more places and more people. It produces trusted, cutting‐edge analysis that links people, place, and economy, making it the go‐to resource for practitioners and policymakers who want to think and act comprehensively. Brookings Metro forges close relationships with civic, philanthropic, business, and government leaders across dozens of cities, which enables it to maintain a comprehensive understanding of what matters in communities and influence bottom‐up change through its research. It also seeds and scales local solutions, using its role as a national think tank to spur replication through peer‐to‐peer learning networks and policy reforms at the national and state levels. In short, Metro is a thought leader and catalyst for the field in creating globally competitive regional economies that work for all.


Ready to contribute to Brookings success?


The Research Assistant supports Brookings Metro’s work at the intersection of technology, work, and regions. Under the supervision of a Senior Fellow, the Research Assistant: (a) conducts high-quality research on public policy issues; (b) organizes and analyzes large datasets; (c) identifies appropriate data sources and responds to statistical/analytical queries from senior research staff; (d) prepares tables, maps, graphics, and presentations on Program’s research findings; (e) provides literature reviews and background memoranda. As needed, the Research Assistant also oversees travel and event logistics, constituent list management, expense reimbursements, and other administrative duties.


Research Assistance   (70%)

  • Conducts relevant research for Senior Fellow as assigned.
  • Works with a variety of large-scale public- and private-sector databases to construct and manage data files; downloading and processing data as they become available using Microsoft Excel and major statistical software packages such as Stata and R.
  • Assembles and analyzes detailed geographically-based data on metropolitan demographic, economic, social, and physical attributes.
  • Assists in drafting research reports, including developing narrative, data charts, graphs, tables, and GIS maps.
  • Assembles and formats data for presentation on interactive Brookings data websites.
  • Helps prepare public presentations for scholars.
  • Reads relevant literature as directed; prepares written summaries and analyses of relevant research areas.
  • Attends meetings and writes summary reports of outside policy briefings, conferences, forums, and symposiums.
  • Contributes to program-wide data and policy infrastructure in collaboration with research assistant/analyst colleagues.
  • Interacts with internal and external stakeholders to inform research design/delivery.


Writing, Presentation, and Outreach Assistance   (20%)

  • Helps conceptualize and execute analyses for posts blog posts, commentaries, and other written products in conjunction with the Senior Fellow.
  • Creates graphic presentations for the Senior Fellow’s speeches, including, messaging, content (structure and text), and design.
  • Locates and selects photos and creates graphs, tables, and maps using Microsoft Excel, Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator, ArcGIS, and/or other statistical software for the Senior Fellow’s presentations.
  • Drafts talking points and briefings in preparation for the Senior Fellow’s meetings and events.
  • Generates analyses in response to media inquiries.



Administrative Support   (10%)

  •  Works with supervisor and MPP events staff to support events.
  • Provides occasional administrative, communication, and logistical support to Senior Fellow; helps coordinate with Communications and Engagements team; schedules appointments and makes travel arrangements; prepares expense reports; prepares and edits correspondence and memos.
  • Works with appropriate staff to draft and update website content of Senior Fellow with new research, event information, and other webpages as assigned.
  • Maintains relationships with key data staff at government agencies and think tanks as required.
  • Updates program databases (e.g., Salesforce) routinely with respect to relevant projects.
  • Provides general administrative assistance, as needed.


Ready to make an impact? In this role, you will support Brookings values of collegiality, respect, inclusion, diversity and community, and bring the following qualifications:


Education/Experience Requirements:


Required: Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, political science, geography, or other social science. Minimum of two years of work experience providing similar work product, in fast-paced, public policy-oriented office (e.g., policy/political organizations, government, non-profit, or academic).


Preferred: Master’s degree in economics, public policy, political science, geography, or other social science.


Knowledge/Skills Requirements:


Required: Strong interest in urban development issues and economics; high-level proficiency in Excel and PowerPoint; capacity to quickly master analytical methods and related software. Must also possess clear writing skills and superb organizational and interpersonal skills, as well as the kind of poise, tact, discretion and mature judgment required in a highly visible and impactful organization. Must be comfortable taking initiative, paying attention to detail, and working in an ever-evolving policy environment.


Preferred: Knowledge of ArcView GIS mapping, Stata, and/or R; demonstrated ability to undertake research assignments with limited supervision is a plus.


Additional Information:


What can we offer you? Brookings provides a generous benefit package that is comprehensive and includes both traditional benefits and unique offerings.


Brookings requires that all applicants submit a cover letter and resume. Please attach your cover letter and resume as one document when you apply.


Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.


Brookings is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.







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