State Policy Network

Institute for Justice

Senior Research Analyst

  • Type: Full-Time
  • Disciplines: Operations, Policy
  • Location: 901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900 Arlington, VA 22203
  • Application Deadline: August 31, 2021


Do you want to use your social science research skills to advance individual rights? The Institute for Justice, the National Law Firm for Liberty, is seeking an entrepreneurial researcher to join its Strategic Research (SR) team at its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, as a Senior Research Analyst.

On the SR team, Senior Research Analysts play a critical role by developing and conducting original social science and policy research on issues core to IJ’s mission. Senior Research Analysts also serve as resources to other team members on research methods, helping to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the team’s work. In addition, Senior Research Analysts as IJ spokespersons, promoting research findings and their relevance to IJ’s issues to journalists, policymakers and the general public.


A Senior Research Analyst’s primary duties and responsibilities include:

  • Working with IJ litigators and other team members to develop and execute original research plans that fit our goals
  • Generating research questions that advance institutional goals
  • Identifying the right methods to address our research questions
  • Manipulating and analyzing large datasets using both descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Mining research literature on diverse topics looking for new ideas, potential collaborators, and methodological insights
  • Drafting surveys and managing their implementation
  • Finding appropriate datasets; when there aren’t any, finding creative ways to build new datasets, working with other team members to collect and organize data, including through public records requests
  • Leading both solo and team research projects
  • Providing guidance on issues of research methods to other team members
  • Helping team members identify and deploy proper research methods
  • Reviewing analytical work by other team members for accuracy and integrity
  • Promoting research findings through original reports, media, and scholarly articles
  • Writing clear, accessible reports to share our findings with journalists, policymakers and the general public
  • Turning those reports into scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Conducting media interviews, testifying before legislatures and city councils, writing media materials, such as op-eds and letters to the editor


Required qualifications include:

  • PhD in the social sciences
  • Experience conducting policy research, such as with a policy institute, in a legislative, executive or regulatory role, or through a university-based research center
  • Outstanding analytical research skills, including proficiency with statistical software such as Stata
  • Top-tier organizational and critical thinking skills
  • An ability to work autonomously on detailed research tasks for long stretches of time, as well as enthusiasm for collaboration with colleagues
  • A drive to solve difficult challenges, both intellectual and practical
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, especially the ability to simplify complex information into clear, persuasive text for non-technical audiences
  • Strong time-management skills and a proven ability to manage multiple projects and meet deadlines
  • Passion for policy research and for advancing IJ’s mission

About IJ

Compensation is commensurate with experience, and IJ offers superior benefits including medical, dental, vision and life insurance, retirement benefits and generous paid leave.

More about the Institute for Justice’s SR Team: IJ’s Strategic Research team creates social science and policy research, but our studies don’t just sit on a library shelf collecting dust. We put our research to work by combining it with IJ’s unique brand of cutting-edge litigation, award-winning communications and top-notch activism and legislative outreach. Our studies have been cited by the White House and the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as leading news outlets nationwide. Our work has helped certify a victorious class action lawsuit against Philadelphia’s civil forfeiture machine, ensure the return of cash wrongfully seized by the IRS, roll back needless occupational licensing, dismantle speech-squelching campaign finance laws, and protect programs that empower parents to choose the best schools for their children.

How to apply

To be considered, please submit a resume, a cover letter, and a writing sample here.

Institute for Justice
Arlington, VA