Senior Research Associate

Washington, DC
Full Time


Democracy Fund is an independent and nonpartisan, private foundation that confronts deep-rooted challenges in American democracy while defending against new threats. Since 2014, we have made grants of more than $275 million in support of those working to strengthen our democracy through the pursuit of a vibrant and diverse public square, fee and fair elections, effective and accountable government, and a just and inclusive society. In addition to grantmaking, Democracy Fund advocates for better solutions and works with partners to grow philanthropic support for our democracy.

Democracy Fund champions leaders and organizations who defend democracy and challenge our political system to be more open, just, resilient, and trustworthy. We believe experimentation, learning, and adaptation are key to the health and resilience of any system, whether it is our organization or the American political system. As grantmakers, we focus on listening and being of service to our grantees, who are visionaries and our collaborators, and on ways we can more deeply embed diversity, equity, and inclusion as our values central to the success of our work and mission. To learn more, visit and

The Research team, a key strategic partner for program teams across Democracy Fund, is one of the more public-facing parts of the organization. Through original data collection, analysis, and synthesis, we improve the organization’s strategic and tactical decisions, as well as guide and inspire other funders in the democracy space. In addition to communicating findings internally, we partner with outside experts and academics to disseminate that work publicly, increasing its potential impact.

The Research team is seeking a highly motivated and skilled senior research associate to support the work of the associate research director. This new position is a unique opportunity to help launch a new research and funder-influence effort, which includes original data collection, analysis, and the creation of high-profile, public-facing work on the health and well-being of American democracy. Our team is highly collaborative and passionate about helping our organization and others working in the democracy space make sense of the current, tumultuous political environment.

We are looking for someone who loves working in a mission-driven, entrepreneurial environment and brings a keen attention to detail. Ideal candidates will have strong analytical and research skills, project management experience, proven writing ability, and the ability to manage multiple tasks while collaborating with different stakeholders across the organization. They will also have a strong interest and knowledge of American politics, including political beliefs and behaviors of Americans, political institutions, or other topics related to the study of our democracy.

This position will report directly to, and work closely with, the associate research director and advance the team’s purpose by taking on a variety of research-based, analytical, and administrative tasks as well as project management.

  • Design and manage research projects, including those conducted in partnership with outside expert, academics, and consultants.
  • Conduct quantitative data collection and cleaning from a wide variety of sources, including but not limited to survey data, administrative data, census products, and other scholarly data collection efforts.
  • Lead analysis and synthesis of developments within American democracy - identifying trends within and between different topic areas.
  • Propose ideas for blog posts, briefs, and reports.
  • Author and co-author reports, blog posts, and briefs.
  • Manage the development of resources – including but not limited to datasets, toplines, cross-tabulations, tables, charts, presentations - for internal use and public dissemination.
  • Respond to research inquiries from staff and external stakeholders.

  • Project management related to research with internal and external partners.
  • Liaise with other teams internally and externally.
  • Complete other administrative tasks as appropriate.

  • Build strong relationships and work collaboratively across the organization.
  • Contribute to a team culture that values collaboration, positivity, transparency, high performance, and continuous learning.
  • Work effectively across functions to creatively solve problems.
  • Actively work to support the success of the entire Democracy Fund team through the development of shared goals and priorities.

  • Passion for strengthening American democracy.
  • Deep commitment to racial equity and justice; ability to bring a racial equity lens to research is a must.
  • A high level of integrity that embodies and reflects Democracy Fund values.
  • Advanced degree (or equivalent experience) in fields relevant to the study of American politics and democracy required.
  • Four to six years of experience conducting research in some capacity.
  • Strong, self-directed project management skills
  • Experience with statistical programs, particularly those skills related to organizing and analyzing datasets (e.g., R, STATA).
  • Strong analytical skills, including proven experience with quantitative and statistical analysis.
  • Ability to dive into new topic areas and quickly absorb new information.
  • Ability to communicate research results clearly and concisely in verbal and written forms; previous experience writing and presenting for a public audience a plus.
  • An outstanding work ethic, strong initiative, dependable, and responsible, with a creative and entrepreneurial mindset.
  • Ability to adapt quickly, work calmly, and maintain good judgment without being stymied by ambiguity.
  • Attention to detail, including exacting standards to maintain accuracy of all work products.
  • Strong proficiency in proactively handling multiple assignments, communicating with manager to prioritize tasks, and meeting deadlines to deliver high-quality results.
  • Ability to work well both independently and as part of a team.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) or equivalent.
  • This role is based in Washington, D.C. Democracy Fund follows a hybrid-remote and in-the-office model, which enables flexibility and meets collaboration needs. New staff are expected to reside in the D.C. Metro area, and all employees are expected in the office several days a month.


Salary range begins at $111,815 per year.


Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to our Jobs page. Applications submitted without a cover letter or lacking the desired years of experience will not be considered. We are unable to include internships as part of the required years of experience needed to qualify for this role. Take this opportunity to tell us about yourself and why you’re interested in joining our team. No calls, please.

Democracy Fund is committed to a diverse workplace, seeking voices and expertise from people from across the political spectrum. Our board, staff, advisors, and grantees include Republicans, Democrats, and Independents. Democracy Fund is an Equal Opportunity Employer, where we encourage candidates of all ages, color, ethnic background, country of origin, religion, disability status, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity to apply.



Apply for this position

We've received your resume. Click here to update it.
Attach resume as .pdf, .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, or .rtf (limit 5MB) or Paste resume

Paste your resume here or Attach resume file

Human Check*