Senior Research Associate (Job ID: 2021-2799)

Posted Date 4 weeks ago(12/28/2021 9:34 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.


The Brookings Metro Program 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


Position Location: This position is based in Brookings' Washington, DC office. 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.  


Operating status: Brookings eligible employees are currently authorized to work remotely but will be moving towards a hybrid plan later this year, which will require working both in the office and remotely. All vaccinated Brookings employees who wish to work from the office can do so. Brookings policies on masks and other pandemic mitigation measures will continue to be informed by DC and CDC guidelines.  


Vaccine Policy: Brookings has made the safety of our staff and our surrounding community a top priority. As part of that commitment, Brookings recently announced that staff on Brookings campus this fall are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.  Brookings will require all staff and visitors to submit proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 to be in Brookings buildings. 


As a visitor and/or a new employee at Brookings, you will be required to comply with the vaccination policy. Individuals invited for an in-person job interview or hired as an employee that (i) have a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination, or (ii) who object to being vaccinated based on a sincerely held religious belief, may request a reasonable accommodation.     


Ready to contribute to Brookings success?


The Senior Research Associate contributes to, conceptualizes, develops, and executes major research and policy development projects focused on centering Black people and other underrepresented minority communities, shifting racist narratives, and mobilizing communities. Along these lines the Senior Research Associate: contributes ideas, analysis, and writing to team projects; conceptualizes, manages, and executes research and policy projects focusing on national, state, and metropolitan economic trends and policy solutions; carries out high-level project design and management; helps plan stakeholder listening sessions meetings, webinars, briefings, and public events as needed. In addition, serves as external research liaison and voice to scholars and constituency groups, conducting outreach and fielding inquiries as needed and communicating core research and policy findings to external audiences.


Research and policy development   (70%)

  • Contributes to and independently designs, develops, and executes work plans and policy research initiatives for large-scale national, state, and regional papers and reports
  • Helps develop and execute research concepts, policy questions, and work plans for large-scale national, state, and regional papers and reports with a special focus on social mobility within Black-majority cities and neighborhoods.
  • Identifies and analyzes key economic, demographic, market, and development trends for national, state, and regional reports, as well as the factors that shape such trends.
  • Identifies, researches, and develops policy recommendations for reports.
  • Contributes and leads major writing associated with major reports, briefs, and blogs.
  • Provides general research assistance on various short-term research projects to broader team, as requested.
  • Creates presentations for research projects.
  • Helps review, edit, or draft policy papers and manuscripts to be published.
  • Identifies empirical and policy trends associated with core priorities of the teams.
  • Manages, monitors, and communicates frequently the process and progress of projects.
  • Oversees the work of research assistants, temporary staff, and interns on selected projects.
  • Works to communicate the findings of projects in multiple media and through multiple channels.

External research liaison and coordination   (15%)

  • Interacts with policy-development partners whether academics, Brookings scholars, practitioners, policymakers, or funders who are advisors or other stakeholders on major projects; works with outside authors, vendors, scholars, decision makers, constituency groups regularly.
  • Works to help construct, deepen, expand, and engage strong external networks of stakeholders in support of the program’s work.
  • Helps present findings to audiences, in public meetings or via the media.
  • Actively participates in planning meetings and listening sessions with industry partners.
  • Authors or co-authors op-eds and blogs.

Fundraising   (10%)

  • Supports supervisor and other senior program staff in strategizing, idea conceptualization, identifying opportunities, and writing of concept notes and formal proposals for funding.
  • Attends in-person and virtual meetings with current and prospective funders, adhering to program-wide standards of conduct.
  • By request, directly corresponds with current and future funders over email and phone.

5%    Meetings and public events   (5%)

  • Carries out substance-related logistics for policy roundtables and other events associated with project proposals.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.


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:


Minimum of Master’s Degree in economics, public policy, geography, or other related discipline required. At least six years of relevant professional experience with publication work in relevant public policy or a research field required. Competence to undertake research and writing assignments with little or no supervision required. One year of project management experience required. Work experience or practical knowledge of the interaction of technology and the labor market, as well as economic development, preferred. Publication history preferred.



Knowledge/Skills Requirements:


Knowledge of literature on predictors of economic and social mobility within Black-majority cities and neighborhoods is required. Must be able to work in close collaboration with specialists in economics, technology, innovation, education, workforce training, and labor market studies. Must be familiar with and experienced at working with and analyzing large federal and private economic data sets (e.g. those provided by Economic Census, BLS, and BEA). Must have familiarity with standard statistical packages like STATA, SAS or R, database software like Microsoft Access, and geospatial datasets. Must have sound general knowledge of relevant federal and state policies and programs. Strong writing and communications skills required. Also required: Strong collaborative sense combined with individual initiative, strong organizational sense, eye to detail, and ability to work in a fast-paced environment.


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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