Research Programmer, Center on Social Dynamics and Policy (Job ID: 2022-2966)

Posted Date 2 months ago(6/28/2022 1:35 PM)
Economic Studies
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.


About Economic Studies: The Economic Studies program analyzes current and emerging economic issues facing the United States and the world and, based on that research, provides innovative, practical policy recommendations. ES’s work covers a broad array of economic issues, including the labor market, regulation, health policy, the environment, and fiscal and monetary policy. Economic Studies scholars influence key economic policies by conducting rigorous and relevant research and then disseminating and communicating their findings to the policy community and to the broader public.


About the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy: CSDP applies complex systems science to the study of social dynamics and their implications for policy, mainly through the use of computational modeling and simulation. In a policy setting, complexity refers to situations in which responses to policy change may not be uniform or intuitive, due in part to feedback effects, time delays, interconnectedness, and non-linearity. In such situations, approaches from complex systems science can offer important advantages for the understanding of emergent social phenomena and the crafting of effective policy. Recent CSDP research has included topics in public health (including childhood obesity prevention and crafting effective responses to the Covid-19 pandemic), education, and international peacebuilding.


Position LocationMost Brookings positions are hybrid, combining regular in-person presence at our Washington, DC, office with the option of at least two days of remote work each week. We will prioritize candidates in or willing to relocate to the DC area for hybrid work, but will also consider remote applicants. Remote work applicants may not work from the following states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Washington. 


Vaccine Policy: Brookings requires all staff and visitors to submit proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 to be in Brookings buildings.  


Individuals 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. Brookings policies on masks and other pandemic mitigation measures will continue to be informed by DC and CDC guidelines.


Ready to contribute to Brookings success?


The Research Programmer is responsible for agent-based model implementation and manipulation as well as output presentation; topics vary and include public health, education, economics, and behavioral/social sciences.


Programming Simulation and Statistical Assistance (70%)

  • Assists in the design of agent-based models
  • Takes primary responsibility for development of agent-based models
  • Interfaces with external research partners to obtain, process, and convert outside data into forms suitable for integration in agent-based models
  • Sweep model parameter spaces; analyze agent-based model outputs
  • Manipulation and/or extension of agent-based models


Visualization and Reports (30%)

  • Converts agent-based model outputs to viewable form for analyses and presentations
  • Assists in drafting written reports and online profiles for funders and external research partners describing model design, implementation, and results
  • Works with the scholar to create visualizations and presentations for use in summarizing model design and research findings to outside audiences
  • Assists in preparation and revision of manuscripts and proposals


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 required. Degree in engineering, computer science, mathematics, or statistics preferred. Master’s degree in a related field a plus. One-year of relevant experience required; job experience in computer modeling preferred; experience can come from prior employment, internship, or applicable undergraduate/graduate work. Competence to undertake research assignments with little supervision.


Knowledge/Skills Requirements:

Strong programming skills, strong mathematical skills, ability to quickly adapt to new software environments, facility with empirical data and statistics are all required. Experience or familiarity with agent-based computational modeling highly preferred but not required. Experience with Python, NetLogo, Repast, Java, Javascript with D3, SQL, R, and/or Stata 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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