Research Assistant (Job ID: 2023-3286)

Economic Studies
Job Function
Posted Date
1 month ago(8/31/2023 4:39 PM)
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 the Economic Studies Program: 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 economic growth, economic opportunity and mobility, the labor market, regulation, health policy, the environment, tax policy, retirement policy, 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.


We are recruiting for multiple research assistants for the following centers or projects. You will be asked to rank your interest in the following:


The Center for Economic Security and Opportunity (CESO)  Formerly known as the Center on Children and Families, CESO works at the interface of economic and social policy to promote three foundational pillars for broad-based prosperity:  (1) Meeting fundamental needs through a robust safety net and good jobs,  (2) Building skills through quality education, training, and opportunities for personal development, and (3) Strengthening capacities of families and communities through investment in the care economy, immigrant integration, and other social infrastructure. Our work is non-partisan and data-driven.


The Hamilton Project (THP) produces evidence-based policy proposals and analyses to promote broad-based economic growth by embracing a significant role for well-designed government policies and public investment. THP’s strategy calls for combining public investment, a secure social safety net, and fiscal discipline. In that framework, THP puts forward innovative proposals from leading economic thinkers—based on credible evidence and experience, not ideology or doctrine—to introduce new and effective policy options into the national debate. Recent and ongoing work include proposals on industrial policy, energy and innovation, health care, housing, the labor market, and social insurance.


The Hutchins Center The mission of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy is to improve the quality and efficacy of fiscal and monetary policies and public understanding of them. It draws on the expertise of Brookings scholars and of experts in government, academia, think tanks and business. By commissioning research, convening private and public events, it seeks to generate new thinking, promote constructive criticism, and provide a forum for reasoned debate.


Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy produces rigorous research and analysis that informs the national health care policy debate. Recent and ongoing research examines impediments to prescription drug competition, strategies to enhance insurance coverage, provider consolidation, insurance market design, and policies to improve mental and behavioral health care in the U.S.


The Tax Policy Center/Retirement Security Project aims to provide independent analyses of current and longer-term tax issues and to communicate its analyses to the public and to policymakers in a timely and accessible manner. The Center combines top national experts in tax, expenditure, budget policy, and microsimulation modeling to concentrate on overarching areas of tax policy that are critical to future debate.


Position Location: This position is hybrid. Hybrid positions combine regular in-person presence at our Washington, DC office with the option of at least two days of remote work each week.  


Vaccine Policy: Brookings requires all staff 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.   


Please note: This position is part of the union (Brookings United) and subject to the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement. 



Ready to contribute to Brookings success? 


Economic Studies (ES) is committed to investing in the next generation of economic policy experts; each year ES employs approximately twenty research assistants for one or two year appointments. We aim to recruit top talent with diverse backgrounds and perspectives to work on emerging and critical policy issues and offer innovative policy recommendations to improve the nation’s economic future.


Research Assistant positions in Economic Studies are entry-level and involve data analysis, verification of statistical and other material in manuscripts, statistical calculations, literature searches, and drafting written materials. The allocation of duties below describes the average division between tasks; the actual work will vary depending on the project needs of the scholars or centers to whom the Research Assistant is assigned. This position offers no opportunity for independent research during the first year. This position is best suited for those who have received an undergraduate degree in Economics, Mathematics, or other social sciences with a minor in Economics. Preferred start date is between June 1 and August 1, 2024. The starting annual salary is $54,000. More information about being a research assistant in Economic Studies may be found here.


Quantitative Analysis, Programming, and Statistical Support (50%)

  • Works jointly with senior scholars, prepares and revises programming code, simulation macros, database files and regression estimates.
  • Analyze data, using statistical packages and spreadsheets
  • Prepares tables and graphs output from model simulations.
  • Updates and checks existing databanks; assembles, consolidates, and checks data from new sources.

Research Support (40%)

  • In collaboration with senior research staff, drafts material summarizing research results on specific topics as assigned, for incorporation into working papers and project publications
  • Provides analytical reviews and summaries of existing literature pertinent to the projects.
  • Locates and collects relevant documents and data from sources such as electronic databases, libraries, and government publications.
  • Compiles, reads, abstracts, and organizes written material into bibliographic form and summaries.
  • Maintains electronic bibliography files.
  • Assist with special projects and perform other duties as assigned. 

Project Support, Communications, and Outreach (10%)

  • Update web pages in support of the scholar’s area of interest.
  • Write and edit summaries to be posted on pages relating to scholar's work.
  • Gather related bibliographic, link and current event information in support of pages to be created for a scholar's topic area.
  • Work with ES communications team to prepare, lay out, and post scholar’s work for publication on the web site.
  • Coordinate with ES communications team on scholar’s publication schedule
  • Assist designated scholar(s) with event preparation and logistics 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, Mathematics/Statistics, Public Policy, or other Social Sciences with a minor in Economics required. One year of job experience in economics, policy research, and/or computer modeling preferred but not required; experience can come from part-time work, work in a college setting, or internships. Competence to undertake research assignments with little supervision required. Must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S. Please note that Brookings is unable to support an OPT STEM Extension as we do not have the professional training and compliance program that is required by Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”).


Knowledge/Skills Requirements:


Strong computer skills and experience required. Experience handling large data sets and models preferred. Independent research experience preferred. Experience with software such as STATA, R or other econometric packages required.


Application Procedure


Applications will be accepted until October 15, 2023. Please read and follow all application procedures carefully. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Please note that each center may have different recruitment procedures and you may be contacted by multiple centers. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. We will make selections by mid-November.


A complete application will include ALL of following items: 

  • Current resume
  • Cover letter
  • A copy of your latest (unofficial) undergraduate transcript (and a graduate transcript if applicable)
    • If you are submitting an international transcript, please be sure to include a Grade Key
  • Two letters of recommendation from professors or past employers/supervisors (at least one letter of recommendation should be academic, the second can be academic or professional)

Save your uploaded documents in the following format: First Name Last Name JOB ID Document Name


Please attach your cover letter and resume as one document when you apply. Important note: if you have applied to more than one Brookings job opening you must add a position-specific cover letter as a separate attachment.


Letters of recommendation and transcripts may be uploaded or submitted separately but the same deadline applies. If preferred, confidential letters of recommendation and/or official transcripts may be sent directly to Jennifer Ambrosino at Please contact her with any specific questions you may have.



Recruiting Cycles and Deadlines


RAs typically begin during the summer months but are selected during two main recruitment cycles in the fall and spring.


Fall Recruitment Cycle

  • Completed applications accepted August – October 15
  • Phone interviews conducted from October 16 – mid-November
  • Offers are extended on a rolling basis following the deadline and continue until the conclusion of the fall cycle.

Spring Recruitment Cycle (if needed). Incomplete applications that were submitted during the fall recruitment cycle may be completed and resubmitted for consideration during the spring recruitment cycle.

  • Completed applications accepted late November – early February
  • Phone interviews conducted from mid-February – mid-March

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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