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Research Associate, State 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.

States and localities collect more than one-third of all taxes in the U.S. and spend half of all domestic public sector dollars, so fiscal policy choices made in state capitols nationwide play a crucial role in building better outcomes for children and families and in making prosperity and opportunity more widely shared. Specific areas of research for CBPP’s State Fiscal Policy department (SFP) include state budget and tax policies, taxes and state economies, anti-poverty programs and tax policies, criminal justice, immigration, and others. The team’s recent research work can be found here. SFP also coordinates and provides in-depth assistance to a nationwide network of state-level policy organizations, the State Priorities Partnership.

The Center is currently seeking a Research Associate to support the SFP department. SFP conducts research and analysis of tax and budget policies in the states, with a focus on how they affect low-income people and build antiracist, equitable, and inclusive communities and economies. The Research Associate makes significant contributions to a wide variety of policy projects including summarizing research on tax and budget issues, drafting policy memos and other research materials, and performing data analyses using government and other datasets. The Research Associate also works collaboratively with the team to provide policy support to the State Priorities Partnership, including helping fulfill technical requests and developing resources. They will also contribute to strategic team internal projects and working groups.


The Research Associate (RA) is an integral part of the State Fiscal Project’s team of public policy analysts. RA responsibilities include:

  • Assist in preparing major reports and analyses on key state fiscal policy issues, including fact-checking.
  • Collect, analyze, and summarize data related to state taxes and spending in the team’s policy areas.
  • Analyze legislation, state budget and tax documents, and related policy options using academic research and other resource materials.
  • Provide technical assistance to state-level analysts, such as policy guidance, data, and other resources.
  • Contribute to team-wide projects, such as developing content for CBPP’s annual conference and participating in internal workgroups and discussions.


  • A bachelor’s degree plus two years of experience working in public policy, data analysis, economics, public finance, or a related field. A graduate degree in a relevant topic may be substituted for two years’ work experience.
  • A commitment to the Center’s mission to improve the well-being of low- and moderate-income people and advance racial equity and inclusion.
  • A strong interest in state fiscal policy, and a desire to work on and learn about a wide variety of topics in this policy area.
  • Understanding of institutional and structural racism and knowledge of how to employ this analysis to improve public policies. Any prior experience related to policies that reduce poverty and build antiracist, equitable, and inclusive communities and economies is a plus.
  • Excellent qualitative research skills, including the ability to find and interpret sources such as academic studies, policy reports, and state legislative documents and clearly summarize their key takeaways in writing.
  • Strong quantitative research skills, including the ability to locate and analyze relevant government or academic datasets. Experience working with Excel is essential; experience with Stata or R is a plus but not required. Basic knowledge of research study designs a plus but not required.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to explain complex concepts to diverse audiences and synthesize data and research into clear, effective arguments.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively with a team as well as with external partners and stakeholders.
  • Capacity to work on multiple tasks, often on a time-sensitive basis, strong task and project management skills, and proactive approach to improving processes.

The Center is operating on a hybrid work schedule that includes at least two days per week in person at our Washington, D.C. office.

This position reports to the Deputy Director of State Policy Research

Terms of Employment: Full-time, exempt; two-year term

Bargaining Unit Status: This is a bargaining unit position.

Compensation: Salary for the role starts at $58,655 with exact salary to be determined based on total relevant 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.

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter 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.