Research Associate, Education

Reports to: Director, Early Childhood Policy or Senior Director, Higher Education Policy
Staff reporting to this position: None
Department: Education
Position classification: Exempt, full time; Union - Level 3
Minimum compensation: $54,000


American Progress has an immediate opening for a Research Associate in its Education department. Depending on the candidate’s skill set and experience, the Research Associate will conduct and support research and analysis on education policy issues for either the Early Childhood Policy team or the Higher Education Policy team. The Education department incorporates three teams—Early Childhood Policy, K-12 Education Policy, and Higher Education Policy—and aims to change America’s approach to early childhood, K-12 education, higher education, and lifelong learning by ensuring equitable access to resources, developing community-centered policies, and promoting the ability to participate fully in an inclusive economy built on a strong democracy. For this research- and writing-intensive role, a successful candidate will be highly detail-oriented and have substantive research experience. They will also work well in a fast-paced environment with competing priorities.

The Research Associate will be driven by American Progress’ mission “to improve the lives of all Americans through bold, progressive ideas as well as strong leadership and concerted action, with the aim of not only changing the conversation, but changing the country.” This work will also include connecting early childhood policy efforts with the organization’s five crosscutting priorities:

  • Strengthening health and ending the pandemic
  • Building an economy for all
  • Tackling climate change and environmental injustice
  • Advancing racial equity and justice
  • Restoring social trust in democracy


  • Conduct and support research and analysis on education policy issues.
  • Assist the department with intensive research tasks and writing for products, including writing literature reviews, drafting talking points, writing background memos, and responding to rapid-response requests.
  • Help develop a range of written products to influence the policy debate on key education issues, including memos, reports, rapid-response statements, and social media.
  • Perform administrative duties, such as helping track publications and timelines; tracking congressional hearings, regulations, and other political developments; and coordinating meetings.
  • Contribute to collaborative relationships across teams at American Progress to ensure alignment with organizationwide efforts.
  • Develop and maintain expertise in assigned areas of responsibility.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Requirements and qualifications: 

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience.
  • At least two years of professional experience, including internships, activist roles, or other positions, and volunteer experience may be considered. Experience in education policy is preferred.
  • Excellent research and writing abilities.
  • Quantitative analytical skills are a plus but not required.
  • Ability to multitask and set priorities under tight deadlines.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work well on a team and across organizations.
  • Commitment to American Progress’ mission and goals.
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial and economic equity.

American Progress offers a full and competitive benefits package. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. This position is part of a bargaining unit represented by IFPTE Local 70 and has a minimum salary of $54,000.

We will continue to monitor COVID-19 and the levels of community spread and adjust plans as needed for in-office work. Any changes to our current hybrid work policy will be communicated at the time of hire. Updates will be posted on American Progress’ Jobs page.

Apply Now

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