Senior Research Analyst

Arlington, VA
Full Time
Strategic Research

Do you want to use your empirical research skills to advance individual rights? This is what the Institute for Justice’s Strategic Research team does every day, creating data-driven research used by journalists, lawmakers, advocates, and courts to bring light to government abuse and achieve reform. We are seeking entrepreneurial researchers to join our team in leadership roles. Title is negotiable to reflect research and managerial skills and experience. 

Primary Responsibilities: 

  • Developing and executing research plans on a wide range of cutting-edge topics, such as civil forfeiture, occupational licensing, qualified immunity, zoning/housing, and 4th Amendment rights. 

    • Working closely with IJ attorneys and researchers to generate research questions that advance our issues and to identify the strongest methods to answer them. 
    • Finding datasets or creative ways to build them, as well as managing data collection. 

    • Manipulating and analyzing large datasets with both descriptive and inferential statistics, as well as drafting and managing surveys. 

    • Mining research literature for new ideas, potential collaborators, and methodological insights. 

    • Leading both solo and team projects. 

  • Managing and mentoring junior researchers and assistants to maintain high standards of accuracy, methodological rigor, and integrity. 

  • Ensuring research findings reach key audiences, such as journalists and lawmakers, to bring important issues to prominence and create policy change. 

    • Writing clear, accessible reports for general audiences, as well as articles for peer-reviewed journals. 

    • Conducting media interviews; testifying before legislatures and city councils; writing media materials, such as op-eds and letters to the editor; speaking at public events. 

    • Strategizing with IJ’s communications, legislative, activism, and research teams to maximize distribution and impact. 


  • Strong background in research design and statistical analysis, preferably including managing project teams:
    • Ph.D. in social sciences or statistics with an emphasis on research methods, applied statistics, or applied economics; or master’s degree in applied statistics or applied economics with three years’ experience. 
    • Experience conducting original analytical research, such as with a policy institute, in a legislative, executive, or regulatory role, or through a university-based research center. 
    • Strong skills with statistical software such as Stata; proficiency with Python, R, or GIS is helpful.
  • Proficient in using descriptive and inferential analysis to answer research questions.
  • Demonstrated ability to generate research ideas, develop research plans, and manage projects to completion.
  • Experience with both original data collection (whether through public records requests, web scraping, document review, or other means) and use of datasets from government or non-governmental sources preferred.
  • Capable of identifying relevant scholarly and non-scholarly literature to generate research ideas and solve methodological problems.
  • Experience managing junior researchers and ensuring accurate and high-quality products.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, especially for non-technical audiences. 
  • Proven ability to handle multiple projects and meet deadlines. 
  • Strong problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. 
  • Self-motivation and enthusiasm for collaboration. 
  • Passion for IJ’s mission of championing property rights, economic liberty, free speech, and educational choice. 


  • Hybrid work schedule 
  • Flexible work hours with our core business hours of 10am and 4pm 
  • Smart casual dress code; casual Fridays
  • Health, Dental, and Vision insurance (IJ covers 100% of individual premiums) 
  • Free Short-Term Disability, Long-Term Disability, and Life insurance plans 
  • HSA employer contributions 
  • 401(k) with employer matches 
  • ​​​​​​​Generous PTO including a paid personal day and 12 paid holidays 

To apply, please submit a resume, a writing sample, and a cover letter detailing why you are interested in working at IJ. We are currently accepting applications on a rolling basis.
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. SupremeCourt, as well as leadingnewsoutlets nationwide. They have been published in leading peer-reviewed journals. Our work 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. 


IJ is an equal opportunity employer.

Don’t meet every single requirement? Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply to jobs unless they meet every single qualification. At IJ we value a diverse workplace, so if you’re excited about this role but your past experience doesn’t align perfectly with every qualification in the job description, we encourage you to apply anyway. You may be just the right candidate for this or other roles.

To learn more about our culture and benefits, visit our Working at IJ page.



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