Research Assistant (Job ID: 2021-2657)

Posted Date 2 weeks ago(7/19/2021 4:32 PM)
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.


The Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings delivers research and solutions to help metropolitan leaders build an advanced economy that works for all. To learn more, please visit Follow us on Twitter at


Please note: This position is based in Brookings' Washington, DC office. In response to COVID-19, Brookings staff are temporarily teleworking. The person hired for this position must be willing to move to or currently reside in Washington DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia by their date of hire. 


Under the supervision of the Deputy Director, and also supporting a Visiting Fellow, the Research Assistant: (a) conducts high-quality research on public policy issues, particularly regarding contemporary interactions between U.S. federal policy and local economies, preparing related briefing materials and background memoranda; (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. As needed, the Research Assistant also oversees travel and event logistics, constituent list management, expense reimbursements, and other administrative duties.


Research Assistance (90%)

  • Conducts relevant research for Senior Fellow and Visiting 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 major statistical software packages such as SAS and Python.
  • Assembles and analyzes detailed geographically based data on metropolitan demographic, economic, social, and physical attributes.
  • Assists in drafting research reports and blog posts, 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.       

Administrative Support (10%)

  • Works with supervisor and MPP events staff to support events.
  • Provides occasional administrative, communication, and logistical support to Senior Fellow and Visiting Fellow; helps coordinate with Partnerships 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 Fellows, Senior Fellows 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:


Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, political science, geography, or other social science required. At least one year of work experience providing similar work product, in fast-paced, public policy-oriented office (e.g., policy/political organizations, government, non-profit, or academic) or graduate degree in a related field required.



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 R, Stata, and/or Python preferred; 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. Please note: if you have applied to more than one Brookings job opening you should add a position-specific cover letter as a separate attachment.


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


Brookings welcomes and celebrates diversity in all its forms.  We welcome applications that reflect a variety of backgrounds based on ideology, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, first generation college goers, and other factors protected by law. Brookings is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace.




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