Research Assistant (Job ID: 2021-2800)

Posted Date 4 weeks ago(12/30/2021 11:38 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 Research Assistant provides research assistance and administrative support for the Brookings Metro Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking. Conducts high-quality research on urban policy and practice; organizes and analyzes large datasets; identifies appropriate data sources and responds to statistical/analytical queries from senior research staff; prepares tables, maps, graphics, and presentations on the Center’s research findings; provides literature reviews and background memoranda. As needed, the Research Assistant also oversees travel and event logistics, meeting scheduling, constituent list management, expense reimbursements, and other administrative duties.


Research Assistance   (60%)

  • Conducts relevant research for Bass Center senior team members as assigned.
  • Works with a variety of large-scale public- and private-sector databases to construct and manage data files, downloading and processing data using major statistical software packages such as Stata and R.
  • Assembles and analyzes detailed geographically-based data on demographic, economic, social, and physical attributes at the metropolitan and sub-metropolitan scale.
  • Assists in drafting research reports, including developing data charts, graphs, tables, and GIS maps.
  • Assembles and formats data for presentation on interactive Brookings data websites.
  • Compiles and summarizes data and policy trends for public presentations; develops charts, graphs, tables, and maps as required.
  • Reads relevant literature as directed; prepares written summaries and analyses of relevant research areas; ensures diverse scholarship and perspectives are represented.

Writing and Editing   (20%)

  • Summarizes existing literature and research results for incorporation into memos, speeches, research publications, and presentations.
  • Synthesizes books and articles; writes summary reports, abstracts, briefing memos, and bibliographies.
  • Drafts talking points and preparation notes for meetings policy briefings, conferences, forums, and workshops.
  • Attends and writes summary reports of meetings, policy briefings, conferences, forums, and workshops.
  • Helps with editing and proofreading of publications; updates and checks existing data and footnotes.
  • Drafts and edits papers, speeches, blogs, newsletters, and other written products in coordination with senior researchers and communications staff. 

Administrative Support   (20%) 

  • Provides administrative, communication, and logistical support to supervisor and other senior team members as needed; schedules meetings and makes travel arrangements; prepares expense reports; prepares and edits correspondence and memos.
  • Maintains paper and electronic files and databases of materials on relevant topics.
  • Works with supervisor and Metro events staff to support meetings and events.
  • Maintains relationships with key data staff at government agencies and think tanks as required.
  • Manages contact lists.
  • Provides indirect supervision of interns, such as assigning tasks, reviewing work, and providing feedback on work.


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, urban planning, or related field. Minimium of one year of work experience in a fast-paced environment. Must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S.



Knowledge/Skills Requirements:


Strong interest in urban issues, built environment/land use, and/or economics. Passionate about contributing to a more just society that confronts structural racism and inequality. Commitment to learning and collaboration; respect for diverse perspectives and lived experiences. High-level proficiency in Excel and Powerpoint; capacity to quickly master analytical methods and related software a must. 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. Knowledge of Stata and/or R preferred; demonstrated ability to undertake research assignments with limited supervision is a plus. Must be comfortable taking initiative, paying attention to detail, and working in an ever-evolving policy 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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