Posted: Nov 17, 2022

Policy Researcher

RAND Corporation - Santa Monica, CA
Application Deadline: Jan 15, 2023

Position Description

RAND is seeking policy researchers with strong methodological skills to conduct research on high-priority policy problems. Researchers at RAND work on collaborative research teams, producing objective, scientific analyses in peer-reviewed journals and technical reports to guide policymakers on a diverse set of issues.  Staff members have opportunities to teach in the Pardee RAND Graduate School and to collaborate on projects across various research topics including health, education, education, labor, social and economic wellbeing, national security, and homeland security.


All research positions require:

    • Strong training in either quantitative or qualitative research methods
    • Excellent analytic skills
    • Intellectual curiosity and motivation to work to address critical policy challenges
    • The ability to work effectively as a member of inclusive, multidisciplinary teams
    • A strong commitment to RAND's core values of quality and objectivity

Applicants must have demonstrated experience in two or more of the following areas:

    • Experimental and quasi-experimental study design
    • Analyzing qualitative data using coding software
    • Advanced statistical analysis, such as methods that support causal inference, multi-level modeling, growth modeling, factor analysis, etc.
    • Analysis of secondary data, including longitudinal cohort studies and/or administrative databases
    • Application of machine learning/artificial intelligence methods

In addition, senior-level research positions require a demonstrated ability to conceptualize research studies, obtain extramural funding, mentor and develop junior staff members, lead and direct multi-disciplinary teams, set project standards and monitor progress, and communicate interim and final results to the RAND community as well as to policy-making audiences.

Specializations of interest include:

    • Labor
    • Post-secondary education
    • Workforce development
    • Racial equity

Education Requirements

PhD in public policy, education policy, labor policy, policy analysis, demography, or closely related fields (you may also apply if you are at the dissertation stage and expect to complete your PhD within 12 months). 


Positions are available at all levels of experience. A record of peer-reviewed publications consistent with experience is expected.

Application Materials

    • CV, cover letter, and writing sample are required (PDF documents are preferred). One writing sample is sufficient if it is a published journal article from a refereed source, otherwise two writing samples are required (e.g., a draft first-authored journal article or a job market paper).
    • References will be required upon request. For applicants with fewer than 5 years of experience post-PhD completion, three (3) letters of recommendation will be required in lieu of references, which should be emailed directly to [email protected] with a note referencing the Policy Researcher position.
    • Applications will be accepted through January 15, 2023

About the RAND Corporation

RAND is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy research organization. We develop solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous. RAND values objectivity and integrity in both its research processes and internal interactions. We emphasize a collegial environment that respects the contributions and dignity of all staff. Diversity is essential to RAND’s mission of improving policy and decisionmaking through research. Employee Resource Groups: Black Employees Leading in Inclusion, Equity, Vision, and Education; Disability Empowerment and Visibility Organization; Enrichment for Asian American and Pacific Islander Culture and Heritage; Latinx y Más; LGBTQ+.


Pittsburgh, PA; Santa Monica, CA; Washington DC; or Boston, MA

Equal Opportunity Employer: race/color/religion/sex/sexual orientation/gender identity/national origin/disability/vet