Research Analyst

Arlington, VA
Full Time
Strategic Research
Mid Level

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 at our headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Working with IJ litigators and other team members to develop and execute original 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.
  • Ensuring research findings reach key audiences, such as journalists and lawmakers, who can use it 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.
    • Master’s degree in political science, economics, public policy, applied statistics, or a related field.
    • Two years’ 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.
    • Proficiency 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.
  • Experience working with quantitative data such as:
    • Identifying, downloading, and manipulating datasets from various sources, including census data, crime data, labor statistics, or other government or non-governmental sources.
    • Collecting original data through various methods including public records/FOIA requests, contacting government agencies, web scraping, or systematic review of government documents, statutes, regulations, or legislation.
    • Entering data manually or coding qualitative data.
    • Organizing, merging, transforming, and cleaning data in preparation for analysis.
  • Capable of identifying and summarizing relevant scholarly and non-scholarly literature to explore potential research ideas or answer specific questions.
  • 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 individual rights and challenging government abuse.


  • 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 and a cover letter detailing how your experience will ensure success in this position. Additionally, we encourage you to express your interest in the Institute for Justice's mission and share any insights on how your values align with our work. 

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.

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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