Research Assistant at US Institute of Peace

Who We Are
Peace is our commitment. The United States Institute of Peace represents the American people’s shared values and commitment to peace around the world. 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 toughest problems and hold fast to the possibility of a more peaceful world. (To learn more about USIP programs and job openings, go to

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.

Conflict-affected environments suffer from weak or dysfunctional governance institutions, including in the security sector, which often fails in its most basic mission – protecting the people and its government. Challenges to governance in fragile environments may include a variety of factors that perpetuate vulnerabilities to good governance. For example, security institutions and forces are often poorly governed, ineffective, illegitimate, predatory, or absent; in fragile environments, the security sector itself often generates insecurity and instability. Addressing these challenges to good governance and effective security sector engagement are key priority actions in attending to the needs of fragile states. The Research Assistant will support USIP research, training, and outreach on security sector governance and reform, as well as broader challenges to good governance through data collection, analysis, and curriculum development for USIP courses.

Pay: $15.00-$20.00/hour

Work schedule: 20 Hours/Week Expected

Start Date: June 2021

• Support the Director for Governance, Justice, and Security (GJS), and the Security Governance Advisor on their analytical work by providing research support through data collection and analysis, in the fields of governance, and security sector reform for publications that may include articles, reports, blogs, podcasts as well as participation in events identified by USIP;
• Support the Director for GJS in coordinating a research project on authoritarianism and on the development of a strategic approach to the institute’s work in governance.
• Support the Security Sector Governance and Reform (SSG/R) Hub’s curriculum development and logistical preparation of a course on a peacebuilding approach to SSG/R;
• Support research for an evidence review on SSG/R;
• Draft research memos, case studies, literature reviews, and annotated bibliographies through independent desk research in the fields of governance and security sector reform.
• Provide communications and writing support to the Director and Security Governance Advisor, including summaries, write-ups, and notetaking at relevant events for the governance and SSG/R programs;
• Support the publication of USIP Special Reports, blogs, and op-eds, and support publication-focused events, as necessary;
• Compile and craft periodic updates, or (co-)author blogs, for the USIP SSG/R project page on;
• Assist with event planning and execution to ensure the successful advancement of portfolios;
• Perform other research and minor administrative duties, as needed, to ensure successful implementation of programmatic initiatives.

Performs other duties as assigned.

• Must be a full-time university student.
• Bachelor’s degree is required. Master’s Degree in international relations, international security, governance, international peace and conflict resolution, or another related subject is preferred.
• Superior research, writing, and analytical skills.
• One year of research experience related to governance, security sector reform or conflict prevention is required.
• Bachelor’s degree is required. Master’s Degree in international relations, international security, governance, international peace and conflict resolution, or another related subject is preferred.
• Ability to translate and synthesize complex themes, ideas or data into compelling and accessible summaries or memos.
• Excellent organizational, communication and collaborative skills, and solid attention to detail.

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.

All USIP contract and employee positions are contingent upon the favorable completion of a suitability background investigation.

Compensation is commensurate with qualifications and experience.

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

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. A brief writing sample demonstrating your research and writing ability

For questions about this position please email 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.

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