Research Assistant - Brookings Institution

Research Assistant - Brookings Institution

Job ID:  2022-2970


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 openminded 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 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 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 Assistant supports Brookings Metro’s work on the built environment, including built environment policy, including housing, infrastructure, land use, and their relationship to a changing climate. Under the supervision of a Senior Fellow or Fellow, the Research Assistant: (a) conducts highquality research on public policy and private market issues; (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; and (e) provides literature reviews and background memoranda. 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 or Fellow as assigned.
  • Contributes to and/or authors outlines and high-quality first drafts of written materials, including reports and blog posts,
  • Works with a variety of large-scale databases to construct and manage data files; downloading and processing data as they become available using Microsoft Excel and major statistical software packages such as Stata and R.
  • Assembles and analyzes detailed geographically based data on demographic, economic, social, and physical attributes.
  • Assists in drafting research reports, including developing narrative, data charts, graphs, tables, and GIS maps.
  • Drafts and edits papers, speeches, op-eds, research memos, and other written products in coordination with senior researchers and communications staff.
  • Prepares graphic presentations for the team’s presentations, including messaging, content (structure and text), and graphic design.
  • Reads relevant literature as directed; prepares written summaries and analyses of relevant research areas; ensures diverse scholarship and perspectives are represented.
  • 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.
  • Drafts talking points and briefings in preparation for the team’s external meetings and events.
  • Attends meetings and writes summary reports of outside policy briefings, conferences, forums, and symposiums.
  • Generates analyses in response to media inquiries.

Administrative Support (10%)

  • Works with supervisor and Brookings Metro events staff to support events.
  • Provides occasional administrative, communication, and logistical support to Senior Fellow; helps coordinate with Communications and Engagements teams; schedules appointments and makes travel arrangements; prepares expense reports; prepares and edits correspondence and memos.
  • Maintains electronic files and databases of materials on relevant topics.
  • Works with appropriate staff to draft and update website content of Senior Fellow with new research, event information, and other webpages as assigned.
  • Maintains relationships with key 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:

Required: Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, urban planning, data science, or related quantitative social science. Minimum one year of work experience providing similar work product, in fast-paced, public policy-oriented office (e.g., policy/political organizations, government, nonprofit, or academic).

Preferred: Master’s degree in economics, public policy, urban planning, political science, geography, or other social science.

Must be authorized to work for any employer in the U.S.

Knowledge/Skills Requirements:

Required: Strong interest in urban policy, economics, regional planning, and/or infrastructure systems; high-level proficiency in Excel and PowerPoint; moderate proficiency in Stata or R; 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: High-level proficiency in Stata or R; knowledge of GIS mapping; 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. Additionally, candidates for this position are required to submit a writing sample as an attachment when you apply.

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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