Research Assistant

Arlington, VA
Full Time
Strategic Research
Entry 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.

On our team, the Research Assistant plays a vital role in creating cutting-edge social science and policy work that complements IJ’s litigation and advocacy. The Research Assistant identifies, gathers, and organizes data; manages public record requests; conducts literature reviews; and helps ensure the quality of our work by reviewing data for accuracy and integrity.


  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in the social sciences.
  • Proficient with Excel; experience with Stata, R, Python, or SPSS preferred.
  • Experience working with quantitative data, preferably in a professional setting, 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, 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.
  • Proficient in generating descriptive statistics; experience with inferential statistics is a plus.
  • Self-motivation and ability to work independently on detailed research tasks for long stretches of time, as well as the ability to work collaboratively on a team.
  • Dedication to accuracy and meeting deadlines.
  • 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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