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Research Assistant or Research Associate - Federal Fiscal Policy

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is a nonpartisan research and policy institute that advances federal and state policies to help build a nation where everyone — regardless of income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, ZIP code, immigration status, or disability status — has the resources they need to thrive and share in the nation’s prosperity.

CBPP combines rigorous research and analysis, strategic communications, and effective advocacy to shape debates, affect policy, and inform effective implementation both nationally and in states. It works closely with a broad set of national, state, and community organizations to design and advance policies that promote economic justice; improve health; broaden opportunity in areas like housing, health care, employment, and education; and lower structural barriers for people of color and others in communities that continue to face systemic barriers to opportunity. CBPP promotes policies that will build a more equitable nation and fair tax policies that can support these gains over the long term. CBPP also shows the harmful impacts of policies and proposals that would deepen poverty, widen disparities, and worsen health outcomes.

CBPP is seeking to hire a Research Assistant or Research Associate (RA) to work with a team of highly skilled national policy analysts on a range of spending and tax policies, especially policies that affect people with lower incomes. The RA will be part of the Federal Fiscal team and work on federal tax and budget policies alongside other RAs, supporting the team’s senior experts. The ideal candidate is extremely organized, detail oriented, and a self-starter with an interest in honing their analytic skills in a collaborative environment.

The RA role will be managed by our Deputy Director of Federal Tax Policy.

Application deadline: Priority deadline of January 2, 2024. Candidates will be contacted after the priority deadline. Applications submitted after the priority deadline will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Anticipated Start Date: May/June 2024


  • Analyze data, including using Excel, to assess policy proposals, including their cost and distribution.
  • Conduct careful reviews of data used in policy analysis reports, often on a time-sensitive basis.
  • Help prepare reports, analyses, and graphic presentations that pertain both to current policy debates and to longer-term challenges facing the U.S. economy.
  • Evaluate pending legislative proposals and policy options pertaining to federal budget and tax topics as determined by the Federal Fiscal policy team.
  • Respond to analytical requests about policy proposals from external partners, congressional staff, and media.
  • Collaborate with Federal Fiscal team members to bring an equity lens to all facets of the work, including public products as well as the processes we use to do our work.
  • Provide support for key projects and discussions, such as developing agendas, scheduling, and facilitating meetings.


  • Research Assistant: Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, statistics, or any field that requires strong quantitative skills.
  • Research Associate: Advanced degree in economics, public policy, statistics, or any field that requires strong quantitative skills or a bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, statistics, or any field that requires strong quantitative skills and two years of full-time experience.
  • Strong quantitative and writing skills, and the ability to work on multiple tasks both independently and as part of a highly collaborative team, often on a time-sensitive basis.
  • Demonstrated commitment to accuracy.
  • Familiarity with one or more software packages or programming languages used for data analysis (such as STATA, R, Python), and interest in learning and using STATA is required.
  • Prior experience with fiscal issues or policies affecting people with lower incomes and/or coursework related to these issues is preferred but not required.
  • A commitment to the Center’s mission to improve the well-being of people with low and moderate incomes.
  • A commitment to advancing multiple dimensions of equity and inclusion, including racial and gender equity, in policy analysis and advocacy as well as the Center’s internal and external relationships.

CBPP is currently operating on a hybrid work schedule of two in-office days (Tuesday and Wednesday) per week, as well as the first Thursday of each month in our Washington, D.C. office.

This position reports to the Deputy Director of Federal Tax Policy.

Terms of Employment: full-time; exempt. This is a two-year term position. Position starts in May/June 2024.

Bargaining Unit Status: this is a bargaining unit position.

Compensation: salary and title commensurate with experience, with the Research Assistant salary beginning at $55,860 and the Research Associate beginning at $58,655; excellent benefits, including three health insurance options, dental and vision care, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement, and generous vacation leave, sick leave, and holiday schedules.

Career Development 

This position is an exceptional foundational role for people seeking to build a career in public policy. The RA will work closely with senior staff and other RAs on our research work. Most of the RA’s work will be highly relevant to current legislative developments, so the role offers a unique insight into federal policymaking processes and an opportunity to help influence major policy decisions. Center analyses and experts are quoted frequently in the press and relied upon heavily by policymakers.

Former Federal Fiscal RAs have gone on to a wide range of analysis and policy roles. Examples include working at the Council of Economic Advisers, the Office of Management and Budget, the National Economic Council in the White House, the Senate Finance Committee, the Joint Economic Committee, nonpartisan national and state research organizations, union organizations, and advocacy organizations. In addition, RAs have gone from the Center to top graduate programs in economics, law, public policy, and statistics.

Please upload a cover letter, resume, short writing sample, and transcripts. In your cover letter, please include a discussion of what draws you to the mission of the Center and your motivation for working on policies that advance equity and economic justice.

Please submit your application here.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values and welcomes diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages all qualified persons to apply regardless of race, color, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, credit information, pregnancy or parental status, family responsibilities, personal appearance, creed, military or veteran status, religion, ancestry or national origin, union activities, disability, or other status protected by applicable law.