Who We Are

Peace is our commitment. The United States Institute of Peace represents the American people’s shared values and commitment to peace worldwide. We know that Peace is Security – it advances both U.S. and international security by preventing, managing, and mitigating violent conflict.

We are an independent, non-partisan institution and are actively engaged with peacebuilding efforts around the world. Together we tackle the most challenging problems and hold fast to the possibility of a more peaceful world. To learn more about USIP programs and job openings, go to https://www.usip.org/about/careers.

If you have a passion for making the world a better place and want to have a front-row seat on the world stage,

USIP is the place for you.


The United States Institute of Peace seeks a Research Assistant (RA) for the Learning, Evaluation, and Research (LER) team. The LER team serves as the Institute’s hub for project design, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), research, and learning. The position provides a unique opportunity for a graduate or doctoral student to be a part of a team dedicated to strengthening USIP’s processes and practice for organizational learning. The RA will accomplish this by supporting the team’s activities related to project design, M&E, research, and learning.

Desirable applicants will be dynamic, creative thinkers committed to understanding how to credibly monitor and evaluate complex programming in conflict-affected environments and how to foster learning processes that improve program implementation. Applicants must be organized, analytical, attentive to detail, excellent communicators, and able to work effectively in a highly collaborative environment.

Please note that while this position is based out of USIP’s headquarters in Washington, DC, all staff are currently working remotely due to COVID-19. It is anticipated that the RA will also work remotely for the foreseeable future (until the Institute resumes normal operations).

Pay: Starting at $15.20-15.75 per hour

Work Schedule: An average of 20 hours per week; up to 40 hours when school is not in session.

Work Location: This position is based at USIP’s Washington, D.C., headquarters, but will be 100% telework until the headquarters building re-opens to USIP staff.

Expected Project Dates: September 2021 through August 2022 with the possibility of extension depending on performance and graduation date.


Support project design, M&E, research, and learning efforts, including, but not limited to:

  • Managing a database of project results.
  • Conducting desk research and primary data collection for internal project evaluations, case studies, and other potential initiatives.
  • Assisting with cleaning, managing, analyzing, and visualizing monitoring data.
  • Updating and creating content on USIP’s internal learning site, including providing information on events and trainings, drafting blog posts, and building out LER’s evaluation and resource libraries.
  • Assisting with the planning, organization, and delivery of learning events and activities that support the goals of programmatic teams.
  • Support development and delivery of monitoring, evaluation, learning, and research training modules and guidance materials.
  • Assist in administrative tasks, such as supporting event logistics and taking notes during meetings and events.
  • Contribute collaboratively to LER and Institute-wide projects that seek to improve the rigor and monitoring systems for our programming.
  • Managing a database of project results.

    Perform other duties as assigned.


    Current M.A or Ph.D. student in Washington, DC area studying international relations, conflict resolution, political science, economics, or a related field.
  • Coursework or previous experience in program design, monitoring, evaluation, learning, and/or applied research.
  • Experience in cleaning, managing, analyzing, and visualizing data and information in Excel and/or other statistical analysis software (Stata, SPSS, R).
  • SharePoint experience is preferred, but not required.
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Experience working/studying remotely and proficient with online meeting tools, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc. preferred.
  • Must be a quick learner, well-organized, and attentive to detail.
  • Must be able to multi-task and work under deadlines in a dynamic environment.
  • Must have the ability to work in a team as well as independently.

    USIP’s Research Assistant program is administered through the Consortium of Universities in the Washington Metropolitan area. Any full-time university student in the Washington area is eligible for these openings; non-students are not eligible.

    HOW TO APPLY To be considered for this position, please submit a complete application package consisting of:

    • Cover letter
    • Resume
    • A brief writing sample demonstrating your research and writing ability
  • Cover letter

    For questions about this position please email recruitment@usip.org.

    Do not send resumes or attachments to this email address.

    Only those applicants that are selected for further discussions will be contacted.

    No Phone Calls. Interviews will be scheduled by appointment only.

    USIP is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy and practice of USIP to offer equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants and employees without regard to race, color, age, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, HIV/AIDS status, political affiliations or belief, pregnancy, or any other characteristic protected by law.