Research Assistant (Multiple openings)

Washington, DC, US

Resources for the Future (RFF) has multiple openings for Research Assistant (RA) positions, some beginning immediately, others beginning in late Spring/early Summer. A candidate should have a master or bachelor degree in economics, engineering, natural sciences, mathematics, or a related field.

RFF is an independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan research institute established in 1952 and based in Washington, DC. RFF’s mission is to improve environmental and natural resource policymaking worldwide through objective social science research of the highest caliber.

Job Responsibilities

RAs support RFF researchers to address a wide range of issues, including:

  • Economic analyses of energy, climate, transportation, and environmental policy
  • Economics of ecosystems, forests, biodiversity, water, and other natural resources
  • Benefit-cost analysis of environmental regulations

RAs work responsibilities vary but regularly include:

  • Data management and analysis
  • Identifying, reviewing, and synthesizing academic and policy literature
  • Supporting quantitative and conceptual modeling
  • Supporting econometric analyses

Job Requirements and Valuable Skills

We are looking for applicants with outstanding academic records, strong quantitative ability, organizational skills, and the ability to write clearly, quickly, and concisely. Other potentially valuable skills include:

  • Knowledge of upper-level undergraduate or graduate-level economics, quantitative methods, and statistics
  • Facility in assembling, manipulating, and analyzing datasets
  • Ability to conduct literature searches, draft literature reviews and reports
  • Experience with computational, statistical or GIS software and programming, including most importantly Stata, R and Matlab.Experience with SAS, GAMS, ArcGIS, and Python is also useful.
  • Familiarity with/interest in policy assessments
  • Familiarity with issues related to some of the following topic areas: ecosystems, water, other natural resources, agriculture, climate and energy

We offer a one-year appointment renewable for a second year. Salary is competitive (high $40Ks, depending on qualifications). Benefits include a collegial environment, 10 days annual leave, 13 days sick leave, 3 days family medical leave, 10 holidays, medical insurance, educational assistance, and commuter benefits.

Note that these positions are not Ph.D. level research positions. In addition, we look for candidates already authorized to work and live in the U.S.

All applications must be submitted electronically. To apply, please go to and follow the link “Research Assistant.”

Using the PDF format, you will be requested to upload:

  • Cover letter indicating your interest in an RA position (especially in relation to qualifications listed above) and your availability
  • Resume summarizing your qualifications for the position and containing the names of three references (with e-mail addresses and telephone numbers)
  • Writing sample
  • Copy of your academic transcript (unofficial transcripts are acceptable at this stage)

Please include your first and last name in each file name. You will also be requested to identify the following skills (Yes/No):

  • Proficient in Matlab?
  • Proficient in R?
  • Proficient in Stata?

Saying No to these three skills will not lead to rejection of your application. Some positions need them; others do not. However, we will not review any applications that leave these questions blank.

If our application system does not work your browser, please try another browser.

Due to the anticipated volume of responses, we will be unable to accept telephone calls or emails.


RFF is an equal-opportunity employer committed to promoting a diverse workplace.