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Research Associate (Health Policy)
Urban Institute in the Washington, DC
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Date Posted 03/22/2019
Employment Type Full-time
Application Deadline Open until filled

Who we are:

At the nonprofit Urban Institute, we believe in the power of evidence to improve lives and strengthen communities.  Our employees are empowered to influence policy, open minds, shape decisions and offer solutions.  We encourage intellectual honesty, innovation, diversity, and mutual respect, and our analysis elevates the debate, wherever it takes place.


How you’ll contribute:

The Health Policy Center analyzes trends and underlying causes of changes in health insurance coverage, access to care, and use of health care services by the entire U.S. population. Researchers address issues that arise from the inevitable trade-offs among health care costs, access, and quality. The center's focus has been on Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance markets and health care reform.



  • Conducting assigned parts of health policy research projects under the general direction of more senior staff members.

  • Assisting in the development of the Health Insurance Policy Simulation Model (HIPSM) and a new microsimulation model for Medicare.

    • Analyzing and combining data from multiple data sources on health coverage and spending, such as the American Community Survey, the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, and the National Health Interview Survey.

    • Enhancing the capability of the models to simulate health coverage choices and cost implications based on the relevant econometric literature and current program administrative data.

    • Enhancing the capabilities of the model in order that it be able to simulate the cost and coverage implications of newly proposed policies.

    • Following good coding practices when modifying the large amount of code that makes up a model, such as documentation and version control.

  • Analyzing the impact of policy proposals on health coverage and costs using microsimulation models and presenting the results. Projects will include quick turn-around briefs about policies relevant to Congressional bills or current court cases, more traditional journal articles, and technical assistance provided to state governments.





What you’ll bring:

The successful candidate will have:

  • A PhD in Health Policy,  Economics,  Statistics, or a related Social Science discipline;  or a Masters degree and  the combination of the quantitative, analytical, and writing skills, relevant substantive knowledge, and social policy research experience needed to perform the duties described above.

  • Extensive experience in programming with statistical software.  STATA is preferred, though R and SAS may be used as well.

  • Prior experience with microsimulation and/or econometric discrete choice models preferred.

  • Knowledge of a general language such as C or Python is helpful as this position requires collaboration with other programmers in relatively large software projects.

  • Background in health policy a plus.

  • Strong presentation, written and oral communication skills. Prior proposal and or grant writing experience preferred.




What you’ll experience:

Working in the Nation’s Capital, the epicenter of public policy among a network of policy experts, you can expect to have an impact on policy areas you care about and work with great colleagues who are smart, mission-driven, and collaborative.  You will blend academic rigor with on-the-ground collaboration, be encouraged and supported to fulfill your potential through meaningful work that matters and, enjoy a welcoming workplace free from harassment, discrimination and intolerance.

In addition, we offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes: medical, dental, disability, and life insurance coverage.  Competitive paid time off allowance, and eligibility to participate in a generous retirement savings plan plus elect a pretax benefit for commuting expenses.


The Urban Institute is committed to Equal Employment Opportunity without regard for race, ethnicity, gender, protected veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected status under applicable law.

The Urban Institute is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Women/Disabilities/Veterans.

*Please mention to employers when applying for this job*
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