Research Associate

  • Protect Democracy
  • Jul 28, 2023
Full time Proofreading Public Policy Research

Job Description

Protect Democracy seeks highly motivated Research Associates who are passionate about protecting and strengthening our democracy by contributing to research products that form the foundation of our advocacy strategies. 

Our research products, both qualitative and quantitative and short- and long-form, often seek to introduce ideas to the public discourse that can drive policy change on democracy issues. You can view some of our existing research here. For example, our report Towards Non-Recurrence: Accountability Options for Trump-Era Transgressions (December 2019) helped us introduce ideas into the public discourse about the value of and framework for accountability to prevent future abuses after the Trump era. That work provided the foundation for our advocacy and additional written products to create accountability for the January 6th insurrection. You can find other examples here

In this role, you will provide foundational research and writing support – under the direction of researchers, policy advocates, and/or attorneys – to advance Protect Democracy’s mission. This is an excellent opportunity for either a recent graduate with research experience, or a more seasoned researcher to expand their skill set, contribute to the research projects that we produce and publish, and make an indelible impact on our mission.

We do not expect that any one candidate will have all of the experiences and requirements listed — our current team comes from a variety of professional backgrounds, including academia and the public and private sectors. We encourage you to apply if the job description gets you excited about the role and the work of Protect Democracy. 

We also encourage candidates from diverse backgrounds and from across the political and ideological spectrum to apply. You can work remotely from any location in the United States.

Research Associate responsibilities include:

  • Work on diverse, multi-disciplinary teams to support Protect Democracy’s policy research priorities

  • Conduct literature reviews, produce abstracts of source materials, and prepare bibliographies

  • Contribute to, propose ideas for, and write white papers, reports, blog posts, and other research products

  • Analyze and summarize information for review and publication

  • Support research project management, including designing project plans, setting timelines, and evaluating project progress and processes

  • Perform substantive fact-checking

  • Prepare charts, graphics, and other support materials for publication

  • Track news and policy developments

  • Support the team’s engagement with external partners and experts in the field

  • Present research findings to teammates and communicate clearly for a non-research audience

  • Perform copy editing and administrative tasks as required

The ideal candidate brings:

  • Bachelor's degree or Master’s Degree, preferred in political science, public policy, economics, statistics, or a related field

  • 1-5 years of professional work experience and/or postgraduate education

  • Prior experience leading or supporting complex research projects and ability to synthesize large bodies of knowledge

  • Familiarity with basic standards of rigorous research (e.g. systems of citation, professional standards for research integrity, formatting conventions, etc.)

  • Ability to navigate academic libraries, databases, and/or journal resources

  • Creativity in envisioning and proposing potential research projects that advance Protect Democracy’s mission

  • Exceptional writing, editing and proofreading skills

  • Strong communication skills, including ability to engage with external partners and experts, as well as non-researcher audiences

  • Ability to foster collaborative relationships and work in a team environment with people with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives

  • Rigorous attention to detail and the highest standards for excellence in execution

  • Ability to track, prioritize, and balance a diverse set of responsibilities

  • Growth mindset and enthusiasm for giving and receiving feedback up, down and sideways

  • Passion for protecting and improving our democracy


The starting salary range for this role is $58,916 to $64,528 for recent college graduates with some relevant experience and $69,072 to $81,261 for candidates with more experience and/or a relevant advanced degree, commensurate with the candidate’s degree of experience, capabilities and skills, and in alignment with internal equity.

About Protect Democracy

  • Flexible location. You can work from any location in the United States as long as your location allows you to complete the demands of the position and mission. All staff are required to travel at least two times per year to internal team retreats. (Accommodations to this requirement will be made only in exceptional circumstances.) We currently have staff in Washington, DC, New York, Massachusetts, California, Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Utah, Kentucky, Washington, Florida, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Colorado, Maryland, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Texas. We offer shared workspaces in many of these locations for staff members who enjoy working in an office environment.

  • Commitment to a diverse workplace. Protect Democracy is an equal opportunity employer. Our culture principles emphasize that there is strength in diversity as we believe diverse teams are more innovative, creative, and productive. Protect Democracy encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veteran status.

  • Competitive pay and phenomenal benefits. In addition to a competitive salary, our benefits package includes an unlimited vacation and sick leave policy, along with 12 paid holidays, 4 weeks of paid family medical leave, and 18 weeks of paid parental leave. We also offer a 401(k) plan with up to 6% employer match that vests immediately, full coverage for an excellent health care plan that includes both dental and vision insurance, long-term disability and life insurance for all employees, a home office stipend, and as budget allows, discretionary bonuses.

  • Ample opportunities for personal & professional development. Candidates who do not meet all listed criteria should still apply, as our organizational structure focuses on providing mentorship and opportunities for professional growth.

To apply for this position, please complete the application at the bottom of this page. As part of your application, you will be asked to upload your resume and cover letter as a single PDF. Applications missing any of the required materials will be considered incomplete and not reviewed. Complete applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Please contact if you require accommodations at any point in the application process.



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