Wisconsin Policy Forum Full Time Researcher

The Researcher will play a key role in furthering the organization’s commitment to researching, analyzing, and facilitating the advancement of informed public policy decision-making at the state and local level in Wisconsin. Primary activities will include serving as a primary or secondary investigator on research projects; researching and writing research briefs and lengthier research reports for publication on the organization’s website and distribution to elected and civic officials; collecting, analyzing, and synthesizing data from various sources, including Wisconsin state government departments and local governments and school districts; and developing effective ways to use and visualize data in Forum publications and via other communications strategies.

While all areas of policy research potentially will fall under the position’s purview, a particular emphasis on issues impacting government and school district finances and operations can be expected. Candidates who possess knowledge of and interest in working on such issues are ideal for this position. The Forum encourages candidates with diverse backgrounds to apply.


  • Conduct objective, high-quality public policy research on matters impacting local governments, school districts, and state government in Wisconsin.
  • Assist in the planning and design of research methods, including quantitative data collection instruments, and conduct data and statistical analysis.
  • Report and publicize research findings by writing research briefs and lengthier reports; constructing presentations and data visualization tools; and presenting findings orally to interested groups.
  • Assemble and maintain databases related to state of Wisconsin, local government, and school district finances and performance.
  • Help staff Forum policy committees by participating in committee meetings, communicating progress to committee members, and soliciting feedback.
  • Conduct other duties as assigned consistent with a small nonprofit organizational environment in which all staff members work closely together to achieve the organization’s mission.


  • Master’s degree in a related field preferred. Preferred fields include public policy, public administration, political science, finance, economics, statistics. Bachelor’s degree in a related field and substantive work experience may be substituted.
  • 1–3 years of related experience preferred, particularly in government or policy research setting. Strong academic credentials may be substituted.
  • Knowledge of basic research principles and research design, including quantitative research. Background in statistical analysis preferred.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to produce concise, high-level summaries and briefings.
  • Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel required; experience with Tableau or other data visualization tools preferred.
  • Strong technical and analytical skillset, attention to details, and strong organizational skills.
  • Ability to work with a variety of stakeholders and audiences.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a member of a team. The Forum values a productive, respectful, and collegial staff culture. All positions require a positive, “can-do” demeanor.
  • Commitment to the Forum’s mission as a reliable, objective, nonpartisan research organization.


A total compensation package starting in the $50,000 range will be offered based on the qualifications and experience of the successful applicant. Those who have an extensive combination of academic credentials and professional experience may be considered for a higher starting compensation package. Available benefits include health/dental/vision insurance package, employer-paid life/disability coverage, employer-paid parking, and a generous matching 401(k) program. The Wisconsin Policy Forum is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive workplace.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter via e-mail to Jason Stein, research director, at jstein@wispolicyforum.org.