Policy Research Associate

Washington, DC

National Journal’s Presentation Center is hiring a Policy Research Associate to join our team of experts producing insight and intelligence on how Washington works. 

National Journal is a premier research and insights company committed to helping organizations effectively navigate Washington. Best known as one of Washington’s most trusted media brands for nearly 50 years, our expertise is unmatched with teams of specialists dedicated to government affairs, communications, and political research, in addition to exceptional journalism. Our mission is to equip the thousands of government and business leaders in the nation’s capital with the intelligence, insights, and connections they need to save time, increase efficiency, and deliver success.

This position will primarily focus its research on elections, courts, and congress, but will have the opportunity to explore other policy areas as well. A great fit for this position would be an individual with a passion for elections, as well as an interest in innovating new ways to visualize election data.

This role will be part of the National Journal’s new two-year associate program. This new program’s curriculum is intended to give all of our associates the benefit of comprehensive training plus real-world experience in analysis, research methods, and approach to insight-led reporting. The training will range from identifying client challenges and synthesizing research findings to visualizing data and communicating insight.

What is National Journal’s Presentation Center? 

We analyze, synthesize, and visualize news and information related to policy and politics, publishing content exclusively for senior public policy practitioners and government affairs executives. Our diverse membership includes policymakers and senior professionals from the world’s leading companies, nonprofits, and associations.

Each week, we publish hundreds of slides, curating and translating complex policy information and election analysis into easy-to-edit slides and charts. Using this background and our expertise, we create custom content tailored to members’ needs, delivering 40-60 bespoke deliverables a week.

You are the ideal Policy Research Associate if:

  • You are excited by all types of research—both quantitative and qualitative—and apply a high level of rigor and strong data hygiene practices to all phases of the work

  • You “nerd out” when presented with data outputs, and you creatively apply tools to uncover critical (and unexpected) trends in data

  • You know when to shift gears, when to dive deep into data exploration and when to distill the information gathered to produce actionable insight, keeping to project deadlines

  • You know that research must be made accessible to be consumed and are skilled at producing graphically-oriented research summaries

  • You are always excited by the prospect of teaching what you’ve learned, putting your superior writing skills and excellent oral communication skills to good use

  • You listen and quickly adapt when requirements change, exhibiting a willingness to “go above and beyond” in service to others, you are equally effective working independently or in a team

  • You are skilled at identifying the appropriate way to present given complex material based on the intended message, context, and audience

  • You are a “policy wonk,” and while you may be deep on one topic, you are conversant and knowledgeable across several topic areas

In this role, the Policy Research Associate:

  • Synthesizes and analyzes data, contextualizing and interpreting research findings within larger ideas, topics, and trends

  • Creates high-quality presentations based on primary (quantitative and qualitative) data sources and secondary news sources

  • Extracts key insights for an executive audience, conveying them in clear, concise written and visual summaries, employing data-driven charts, maps and graphics where appropriate

  • Explains public policy issues for a non-Washington audience, develops expertise in a particular policy area, like infrastructure, trade, health care, or the federal budget, and plans and oversees content production within a defined policy area

  • Produces content for publication in “white label” slides and decks, published through newsletters and on the website; transforms member-provided public policy messaging in a creative, useful, and insightful manner

  • Plans content pushes, refines and shapes findings and ideas with the support of senior researchers; engages with members—our clients—to clarify inbound research requests

  • To perform this job successfully, each essential competency and responsibility must be performed satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable an individual with disabilities to perform essential functions. Other duties may be assigned to meet organizational goals.

Qualifications of the ideal candidate:

  • Bachelor’s degree and 0-1 years (post-undergraduate) experience in research in a professional setting

  • Excellent data management skills and ability to synthesize quantitative/qualitative research, distilling large amounts of information into concise bullets, charts, and graphics 

  • Experience analyzing and visualizing data, proficiency with Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, experience with mapping and/or visualization software is a plus

  • Outstanding time management and judgment, demonstrated proficiency managing competing project priorities and adhering to timelines

  • Demonstrated interest in public policy and politics and outstanding client-service ethic

  • Entrepreneurial spirit; track record of building new initiatives from conception to execution

  • Creative thinking and resourcefulness in problem-solving

  • Prodigious work ethic and spirit of generosity

  • Active contributor to a diverse and inclusive workplace

Employment Type: Full-time, two-year contract

Compensation: The salary range for this role is $45,000-$50,000

Location:  This job is based in Washington, DC. National Journal is operating on a hybrid basis, with employees required to be in the office every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. 

About Us

Across National Journal Group, generally, the firm looks for two “pillar gifts” in you, and everyone else.  In all of us, these are more aspirational than actual, but they are central in our intentions –

  • Force of Ideas:  At the center of National Journal Group work are the ideas within our writing.  We believe that ideas – to the good and not – have consequences.  Our highest work is bringing rigor, insight, intellectual honesty, to that ultimate purpose of separating the bad from the good, and giving voice to the latter.

  • Spirit of Generosity:  National Journal Group seeks in its ranks a spirit of generosity – a natural disposition in each colleague toward service and selfless conduct.  National Journal Group writing should be cut from the same cloth –critical on the merits but informed by charity and forbearance in measuring motive and personal character.

National Journal is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We do not discriminate against our applicants because of race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity, sexual orientation, and pregnancy), national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other status protected by applicable law.