Research Assistant/Research Associate, Ocean Policy

  • Reports to: Deputy Director, Ocean Policy
  • Staff reporting to this position: None
  • Department: Energy and Environment
  • Position classification: Exempt, full time


American Progress has an immediate opening for a Research Assistant or Research Associate on the Energy and Environment Policy team to conduct research and analysis of ocean policy. The ideal candidate will have strong writing skills; an attention to detail; a commitment to conserving the ocean, addressing climate change, and improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in ocean policy; and a willingness to work on a wide range of ocean policy issues. The position will report to the Deputy Director for Ocean Policy, and the title will be determined by the candidate’s experience and qualifications.


  • Conduct and support research and analysis on ocean climate, conservation, and equity policy issues in coordination with American Progress’ Energy and Environment Policy team, including conducting literature reviews, proofreading, fact-checking, and editing documents.
  • Help develop a range of written products to influence the policy debate on key ocean conservation, climate, and equity issues, including memos, reports, rapid-response statements, op-eds, and social media.
  • Engage in rapid-response research and writing in response to policy developments.
  • Perform light administrative duties, such as helping track publications and timelines, tracking congressional hearings and other political developments, and coordinating meetings.
  • Represent the Energy and Environment Policy team in external meetings with Capitol Hill staff, coalition partners, and media contacts to advance American Progress’ work.
  • Develop expertise in assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience.
  • At least one year of professional experience in conservation, climate policy, or a related field is required for the Research Assistant role; at least two years of experience to be considered for Research Associate. Ocean-specific experience is preferred but not required.
  • Excellent research and analytical skills, including attention to detail and quantitative skills such as the ability to work with large datasets and understand graphs and charts. Scientific research experience is a plus but not required.
  • Proficient in written and verbal communication, including the ability to communicate technical policy matters to a nontechnical audience.
  • Strong ability to independently plan ahead, prioritize, allocate time, balance projects, and coordinate with internal and external partners.
  • Willingness to take ownership of independent projects.
  • Eagerness to learn and develop expertise in the field of ocean and climate policy.
  • Ability to work under and meet tight deadlines in a team setting.
  • Understand how environmental and ocean issues intersect with racism and economic and social inequality and have a passion for working to dismantle these systems.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals, particularly progressive values including environmental and social justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

This position is part of a bargaining unit represented by IFPTE Local 70. American Progress offers full and competitive benefits packages. The starting annual salary is $46,000 for a Research Assistant or $50,000 for a Research Associate.

To Apply

Please follow the link below to the online application. When completing the application, be sure to combine your cover letter and resume/CV into one Word or PDF file and upload this combined document. The system does not allow for multiple files.

This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.
Please note that only those individuals whose qualifications match the current needs of this position will be considered applicants and will receive responses from American Progress.
Thank you for your interest in American Progress.

Additional information

American Progress operates two separate nonprofit organizations to maximize the progressive agenda: the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “American Progress.” The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research and educational institute. It undertakes research, public education and a limited amount of lobbying. The Center for American Progress Action Fund is a nonpartisan 501(c)(4) tax-exempt organization dedicated to achieving progress through action. It works to transform progressive ideas into policy through rapid-response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing, political advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders. The organizations share office space and employees.

American Progress is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Diversity is more than a commitment at American Progress—it is the foundation of what we do. American Progress recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, disability, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, and all the other characteristics that make us unique.

For more information on the Center for American Progress, please go to For more information on the Center for American Progress Action Fund, please go to