Research Assistant (The Hamilton Project)

Brookings Institution

Washington, DC, US

The Hamilton Project (THP) at the Brookings Institution produces research and policy proposals on how to create a growing economy that benefits more Americans. Our economic strategy reflects a judgment that long term prosperity is best achieved by making economic growth broad-based, by enhancing individual economic security, and by embracing a role for effective government in making needed public investments. The Project focuses on a broad range of topics in applied microeconomics with applications to economy policy. Current and recent projects include papers on tax relief for working families, cost-effective early childhood investments, reducing crime and incarceration rates, innovation and regulation in the water sector, policies to strengthen the labor market, and elderly financial security and well-being. Visit for more information. 


The Research Assistant will help execute and develop an overall policy agenda and policy strategy for The Hamilton Project. Research potential policy areas and communicate with leading academics, policy makers and practitioners to support the Director and Policy Director in identifying promising potential topics for THP’s policy agenda.  Draft THP policy briefs and other public documents. Analyze economic data and present findings. Assist with coordinating the work of outside academics and policy analysts to achieve policy goals. Assist with editing and production of THP discussion papers.    


Research Assistant positions will begin during the summer of 2017 and involve a commitment of at least one year.  Specific starting dates are flexible and will be coordinated with THP senior staff. 


Please note: Applicants who meet our minimum application qualifications as outlined in the Job Description may be contacted to submit additional materials required by our hiring committee. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


Research and Policy Development (40%)

  • Initiate policy development by researching various policy areas, identifying thought leaders in the field, and remaining abreast of most recent writing in various areas.
  • Analyze data in Excel and Stata and present findings accurately and accessibly in graphs and writing.
  • Provide periodic written updates and summaries of research findings and latest writings in defined policy issue areas.
  • Play a central role within a small policy team of junior and senior THP staff to discuss and review policy areas and ideas.

Writing and Editing (40%)

  • Write first drafts of accessible, engaging policy briefs from THP academic discussion papers.
  • Provide substantive feedback and editing on author papers.
  • Prepare internal briefs and research summaries to provide overview of particular policy areas, including background information, leading current thinking, and promising policy proposals.

Production (20%)

  • Monitor author progress and communicate with authors on logistics of paper timing, contract status, and other process matters.
  • Play a lead role with editing, cite-checking, and production of discussion papers.


Education/Experience Requirements:

Bachelor’s degree in Economics or a related field required; Master’s degree or one-year related job experience preferred by not required.  Competence to undertake research assignments with little supervision required.


Knowledge/Skills Requirements:

Candidates with research experience are strongly preferred, especially those with experience in Stata, SAS or MATLAB. Strong quantitative and analytic skills required. Exemplary writing and editing skills a must.  Must be able to take initiative to explore promising policy areas and absorb and synthesize large amounts of information and data quickly.  Strong knowledge of and passion for public policy.  Discretion, creativity, maturity and good judgment.  Must be team-player and able to work in small, collaborative environment, often at a fast pace and under time constraints.  Must have the flexibility to take on new roles and responsibilities as this policy initiative evolves.


Additional Information:


Brookings requires that all applicants submit a cover letter and resume. Please attach your cover letter and resume as one document when you apply.


Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.


Brookings is an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified individuals regardless of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, veteran status, or other factors protected by law.