Job Opening Description

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Research Assistant, Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology (CSST)

The Brookings Institution

Equal-Opportunity Employer: It is Brookings policy to provide equal employment opportunity for all of its employees and applicants without regard to their actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, ancestry, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, citizenship status, family responsibilities, gender identity or expression, genetic information, matriculation, political affiliation, veteran status, or any other prohibited basis of discrimination as required by law.

Research Assistant, Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology (CSST) (Job ID: 2021-2773)


Job ID: 2021-2773
Type: Regular, Introductory
# of Openings: 1
Category: Research
1. Resident Employee


Join one of the most influential, most quoted and most trusted think tanks!

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Our mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.

We bring together leading experts in government and academia from all over the world, rooted in open-minded inquiry and representing diverse points of view, who provide the highest quality research, policy recommendations, and analysis. Research topics cover a full range of public policy issues in economics, foreign policy, development, governance and metropolitan policy.

With fair and transparent business practices, clear communication, mutual respect, and a collaborative atmosphere that offers both professional and personal development opportunities, Brookings offers an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values the efforts of all contributors.

Foreign Policy at Brookings

Foreign Policy at Brookings is a leading center of policy-relevant scholarship exploring the rapidly re-ordering geopolitics of the major powers, and the disordering relations among states and transnational actors. In line with Brookings’s core values of quality, independence, and impact, our scholars provide concrete policy recommendations for how U.S. strategy, the international security architecture, and leading states should adapt to changing threats and opportunities.

Position Location: This position is based in Brookings’ Washington, DC office. The person hired for this position must be willing to move to or currently reside in Washington DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia by their date of hire.

Operating status: Brookings eligible employees are currently authorized to work remotely but will be moving towards a hybrid plan later this year, which will require working both in the office and remotely. All vaccinated Brookings employees who wish to work from the office can do so. Brookings policies on masks and other pandemic mitigation measures will continue to be informed by DC and CDC guidelines.

Vaccine Policy: Brookings has made the safety of our staff and our surrounding community a top priority. As part of that commitment, Brookings recently announced that staff on Brookings campus this fall are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Brookings will require all staff and visitors to submit proof of complete vaccination against COVID-19 to be in Brookings buildings.

As a visitor and/or a new employee at Brookings, you will be required to comply with the vaccination policy. Individuals invited for an in-person job interview or hired as an employee that (i) have a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination, or (ii) who object to being vaccinated based on a sincerely held religious belief, may request a reasonable accommodation.


Ready to contribute to Brookings success?

The Research Assistant provides comprehensive professional research support to scholars in the Foreign Policy program’s Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology (CSST), as well as administrative support and coordination for CSST operations and events. In addition to research support, the Research Assistant also serves as point of contact for travel and scheduling for certain scholars, helps organize events, and works as a team member to provide general programmatic support across the Center.

Research and Event Support (60%)

* Supports CSST scholars, as assigned, in all aspects of policy research on specific topics and projects, which may include both long- and short-term projects. This may include direct assignments, literature reviews, data collection, and compilation of summaries, bibliographies, and chronologies in the fields of technology and national security, U.S. defense and security policy and Department of Defense operations, and/or the international order.
* Monitors and summarizes current developments relating to research areas.
* Collects data from various sources including libraries, databases, government documents, and personal contacts. Reads sources for relevance to research themes.
* Updates and checks existing data and footnotes. Checks facts, edits copy, and proofreads publications.
* Writes summary reports, briefing memos, and bibliographies; synthesizes research and assists as requested with drafting, editing, and/or proofreading remarks, blog posts, articles, and presentations.
* Works with Communications staff to update Center and scholar pages on the Brookings website, post CSST content and event information to the website, and promote CSST content on social media.
* Coordinates with CSST and Communications staff to ensure publications are distributed to relevant and interested parties in a timely and efficient manner.
* Assists CSST scholars and staff in planning and scheduling conferences (including major CSST events in Washington, D.C., and abroad), roundtables, briefings, meetings, associated travel, and other events.
* Drafts event invitations and summaries with supervision and editing.
* Under guidance from CSST scholars and associate director, manages implementation of relevant CSST events and coordinates among Foreign Policy (FP) Communications staff, Central Communications, and Conference Services to facilitate logistical arrangements for events and conferences. Reserves meeting spaces, arranges for catering, and procures audio-visual equipment and necessary event services. Coordinates development of invitations, announcements, and guest lists and liaises with event speakers and their staffs. Proactively monitors event-day implementation of plans and resolves problems.
* Tracks costs and retains receipts for conferences, meetings, roundtables, and events.
* Maintains calendar and record of events and activities and conveys information to relevant FP staff.
* Coordinates the maintenance and updating of mailing and invitation lists for CSST publications and events, as well as other contacts databases of officials, experts, journalists and regional actors relevant to transatlantic affairs, Europe, and the broader region.
* Keeps detailed and accurate records of event participants and materials.

General Programmatic and Administrative Support (40%)

* Provides administrative support and coordination to CSST scholars as needed.
* Assists with scheduling, travel, managing contact lists, handling correspondence, and other administrative duties as requested.
* Works closely with CSST and Brookings Institution staff to ensure Center’s activities are carried out in accordance with guidelines and processes of the Foreign Policy program and the Institution.
* Updates and compiles information for CSST staff meeting agendas.
* Assists CSST Associate Director in preparing financial reports, coding expenses and invoices, tracking payment requests, and completing timesheets.
* Meets regularly with Center staff to coordinate networking activities, schedules, and programmatic duties.
* Works with the Associate Director to orient new CSST staff and handles exit procedures.
* Manages CSST intern(s) and intern selection process in cooperation with other CSST staff.
* Handles staff travel planning and reimbursement requests and reimbursements from conference and event participants.
* Conducts other relevant work and participates in CSST activities as needed.


Ready to make an impact? In this role, you will support Brookings values of collegiality, respect, inclusion, diversity and community, and bring the following qualifications:

Education/Experience Requirements:

A bachelor’s degree is required; a degree in international relations, security/strategic studies, political science, regional studies, history, and/or hard sciences is preferred. Relevant experience, including experience in research support, event coordination and planning, and project management, is required. Experience, through internships or school research projects, on technology and national security, U.S. defense and security policy and Department of Defense operations, and/or the international order is preferred and should be highlighted in the cover letter.

Knowledge/Skills Requirements:

Research: Must possess strong knowledge of U.S. grand strategy, national security and defense policy, and general U.S. foreign policy, and must develop deep and detailed knowledge of specific policy issues in support of scholars’ work. Must be able to conduct directed, professional foreign policy research using primary and secondary sources. Must be able to conduct literature reviews under guidance and compile, organize, and proofread bibliographies and chronologies.

Writing: Strong writing skills are required. Must be able to able to draft literature reviews, event invitations, formal correspondence, and short publications or sections in longer papers with supervision from a scholar. Must be able to fact check and copy edit publications.

Organizational skills: Must possess excellent organizational skills with high level of attention to detail. Must be able to multi-task and complete tasks in a timely manner. Must be able to help organize large and small events with high-level participants.

Communication skills: Must have outstanding written and oral communications skills. Must be able to interact professionally and productively with all levels of internal and external stakeholders. Professional fluency in English is required.

Interpersonal skills: Must possess the poise, tact, discretion, and mature judgment to handle issues and respond appropriately and professionally in fast-paced environment.

Technical skills: Must be able to effectively use the Internet and should possess advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, including Office 365. A demonstrated ability to visualize how data and concepts can be communicated in different formats is preferred.

Must be legally authorized to work for any employer in the United States.

Additional Information:

What can we offer you? Brookings provides a generous benefit package that is comprehensive and includes both traditional benefits and unique offerings.

Brookings requires that all applicants submit a cover letter and resume. Please attach your cover letter and resume as one document when you apply. Please note: if you have applied to more than one Brookings job opening you should add a position-specific cover letter as a separate attachment.

Successful completion of a background investigation is required for employment at Brookings.

Brookings welcomes and celebrates diversity in all its forms. We welcome applications that reflect a variety of backgrounds based on ideology, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, veteran status, first generation college goers, and other factors protected by law. Brookings is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer that is committed to promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace.

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