Research Associate or Policy Analyst - Family Income Support

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) is a high-caliber strategic policy institute that informs and shapes public policies to reduce poverty, promote equity, and build opportunity and engages on how to raise the revenues necessary to support public investments. It has a national reputation for conducting rigorous research and analysis, developing evidence-based policy ideas and strategies, shaping a broad array of policy debates at the federal and state levels, and influencing policy outcomes and program implementation. It focuses its efforts on improving the lives of people with low and moderate incomes and examines how policies affect particular groups, including people of color, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ people. The Center is known for its unique capacity to blend rigorous, timely analysis with effective communications that enable policymakers and the media to make use of its work.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is seeking a Research Associate or Policy Analyst to support the Center’s work promoting federal and state policies to provide cash and employment assistance to families with children through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and related programs. We are committed to lifting up the ways in which TANF perpetuates structural racism and reinforces racial stereotypes and advocating for policy changes to move TANF in an anti-racist direction.

The Center’s Family Income Support team undertakes extensive work at the state and federal levels to strengthen state TANF programs, with a focus on increasing TANF cash benefits, removing barriers that prevent families from receiving benefits, and improving work opportunities. We work closely with a strong network of state and national partners. Our work includes proposing policy changes, analyzing policy changes proposed by others, providing technical assistance to federal and state policymakers and advocates, and conducting research on TANF benefits, caseload, spending, and employment programs, along with the importance of cash on the short- and long-term outcomes for children. Center analyses and experts are quoted frequently in the press and relied upon heavily by policymakers.


  • Conduct policy research on key aspects of TANF including benefits, access, expenditures, work opportunities and its impact on child well-being.
  • Help plan and organize conferences, webinars, discussions, and other learning opportunities for state and federal advocates to improve their capacity to work on TANF and to create a supportive TANF advocacy network.
  • Provide technical assistance to increase the ability of federal and state advocates to approach their work through a racial equity lens.
  • Track and summarize state legislative proposals.
  • Prepare materials to respond to information requests from policymakers, the media, and other national organizations, often on tight deadlines. 
  • Provide technical assistance to federal/state policymakers and advocacy organizations to improve their ability to identify and engage in opportunities to improve state TANF programs.
  • Support partnerships with non-traditional allies and people with lived experience.
  • Author and contribute to policy briefs, blog posts, guidance documents, memos, and policy papers.


  • A commitment to the Center’s mission to improve the well-being of people with low and moderate incomes.  
  • Familiarity with U.S. poverty-related programs, policies, and concepts with a desire to develop or deepen your understanding of TANF.
  • Understanding of institutional and structural racism and knowledge of how to employ this analysis to improve state and federal policies.
  • Excellent research skills, including the ability to use and interpret a range of sources and clearly summarize findings in writing.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to explain technical concepts to diverse audiences and synthesize data and research into clear, effective arguments.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively with a team.
  • Research Associate: Two years of experience working in an advocacy, policy or program analysis or program administration role. A graduate degree in a relevant field may be substituted for two years’ work experience.
  • Policy Analyst: At least four years of experience working in an advocacy, policy or program analysis or program administration role. An advanced degree in a relevant field may be substituted for two years’ work experience.

The following qualifications are a plus:

  • Experience working for or with advocacy organizations, legislatures, or government entities.
  • Experience working directly with people from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
  • Experience working in or conducting research or advocacy on programs that serve low-income families or individuals such as TANF, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), child care, child support enforcement or the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) programs.

This position reports to the Vice President for Family Income Support
Terms of Employment: Full-time, exempt.
Bargaining Unit Status: This is a bargaining unit position.


Salary commensurate with experience, excellent benefits (including health insurance, vision and dental coverage, life and long-term disability insurance, retirement, MERP, and DCAP), and generous vacation, sick leave, and holiday schedules.

Please upload a cover letter and resume. In your cover letter, please include a discussion of what draws you to the mission of the Center. 

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.