Senior Research Assistant

Brookings Institution

Washington DC, United States


The Senior Research Assistant provides research assistance in the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings. Conducts high-quality research on public policy issues; 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 Program’s research findings; provides literature reviews and background memoranda. In addition to the research assistance function, the Senior Research Assistant will engage with a network of locally-based economic development researchers and practitioners on the Program’s research agenda to help inform metropolitan economic strategy and decision-making, including participating in working sessions, phone calls, and email exchanges with this network. As needed, the Senior Research Assistant also oversees travel and event logistics, constituent list management, expense reimbursements, and other administrative duties.


Research Assistance (60%)

  • Conducts relevant research for Fellows and Senior Fellows as assigned.
  • Works with a variety of large-scale public- and private-sector databases to construct and manage data files; downloading and processing data as they become available, using major statistical software packages such as Stata, SAS, and R.
  • Assembles and analyzes detailed geographically-based data on metropolitan demographic, economic, social, and physical attributes.
  • 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.
  • Partner with scholar to provide support in developing strategy for research direction.

Writing and Editing (20%)

  • Reads relevant literature as directed; prepares written summaries and analyses of relevant research areas.
  • Writes summary reports, briefing memos, bibliographies and chronologies; compiles abstracts, summaries, and analyses; synthesizes books and articles.
  • Attends meetings and writes summary reports of outside policy briefings, conferences, forums, and symposiums.
  • Updates and checks existing data and footnotes; helps with editing and proofreading of publications.
  • Work collaboratively with research staff to develop and complete writing assignments.

Network Engagement (20%)

  • Works with supervisor and MPP events staff to support workshops with economic development professionals and researchers.
  • Participates in as-needed phone calls and email exchanges to answer questions regarding research techniques, data, and methods from economic development professionals and researchers.
  • Provides administrative, communication, and logistical support to Fellows and Senior Fellows; helps coordinate with Partnerships and Engagements team; prepares and edits correspondence and memos.


Education/Experience Requirements

Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, statistics or other related field required. Experience managing and manipulating multiple, large-scale datasets and delivering quality research. Master’s degree and/or work experience on local or state economic development strategies, programs, and/or research. Minimum of two years post graduate professional work experience in fast-paced, policy-oriented environment required.

Knowledge/Skills Requirements

Strong interest and experience in economics and/or urban issues; high-level proficiency in Excel and Stata, SAS, and/or R is required; capacity to quickly master analytical methods and related software a must. 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 explaining concepts to external audiences, taking initiative, paying attention to detail, and working in an ever-evolving policy environment. Knowledge of ArcView GIS mapping, Python, and/or PowerPoint preferred; demonstrated ability to undertake research assignments with limited supervision is a plus

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