Working with Research Services

A unique opportunity to do analytical work in state government

The policy bandwidth of the Research Services section is one of the widest of any in Washington state government. We engage in a broad range of applied research, project management, and program evaluation methodologies, so team members rarely get pigeon-holed into narrow subject areas.

Research Services is primarily organized around ad hoc, cross-functional project teams.

Types of jobs

Research Services is run similar to a consulting shop. Although we manage a number of ongoing programs, a major portion of our funding comes from fee-based contracts.

Core staff

Core staff positions require a varying range of skills, but ideal candidates possess strong research, writing, and project-management experience. Specialized technical skills – such as in GIS, database programming, or performance measurement – can be helpful but are not required in all positions. Core staff will typically juggle a variety of small and large assignments in ad hoc work teams. This is why strong interpersonal and organizational skills are as important as research skills.

Staff are sometimes hired for their expertise in specific subject areas, but the unit’s policy bandwidth is so broad that what usually matters most is a candidate’s zest for interdisciplinary learning. Some background in statistical methods can be helpful but analytical precision is more central to our overall book of business.

During legislative sessions, most staff assists in producing local government fiscal notes, so an affinity for fiscal analysis and legislative process is a definite plus. Experience is also helpful in grant writing, client relations, and a policy-savvy approach to developing research proposals.

Shorter-term staff and consultants

We use a variety of means to meet our shorter-term staffing needs, including project or non-permanent positions. Tasks range from highly specialized skills to entry-level research assistance. Core staff often starts out in shorter-term positions.