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The Sheila and Robert Challey Institute for Global Innovation and Growth seeks applications for the position of Research Specialist (a year-round, full-time position). We seek candidates who have strong interest and ability to perform quantitative research that aims to shed light on the types of policies and solutions that will contribute to enhanced opportunity and flourishing in North Dakota, the Midwest, and the U.S. The successful candidate will be part of an interdisciplinary team that contributes to the Challey Institute’s vision of identifying bottom up solutions aimed at expanding opportunity and flourishing.


Nature of the Research Position

The successful candidate for this position will be expected to perform research on emerging issues affecting North Dakota and those deemed important to regional stakeholders. Moreover, the candidate will be expected to nimbly adjust their research priorities based on the needs of various state and regional stakeholders. Although the issues researched in this position will largely be determined based on current state/regional needs, examples of the types of issues researched may include:

  • Examining tax policy and its impacts on growth, entrepreneurship, and innovation
  • Assessing existing or proposed regulation and its impacts on economic opportunity
  • Identifying occupational licensing requirements in different industries and their impacts on opportunity and pricing
  • Identifying the types of policies that lead to a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem
  • Examining various sectors of the North Dakota economy, their economic contributions to the state, and policies that enhance their success
  • Identifying challenges unique to rural areas and potential solutions
  • Examining challenges facing North Dakota and the Midwest (e.g. attracting and retaining qualified workers, providing healthcare for rural areas) and policies to mitigate them
  • Identifying and addressing barriers to opportunity on Tribal Lands
  • Quantifying the impact of trade and trade policy on North Dakota, the Midwest, and the Nation
  • Assessing the impacts of proposed policies at the national, state, and local levels (e.g. policies regulating AI, labor regulations, and immigration)


Minimum Qualifications:

  • Masters degree in economics, data science, public policy, statistics, or a related field expected by Summer 2024
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • An understanding of and ability to apply statistical methods to a wide variety of research questions
  • An appreciation of the role of markets and the private sector in solving important societal problems
  • Knowledge of the ways that policies and their unintended effects can influence economic opportunity
  • An ability to manage multiple projects at once
  • An ability and interest in amplifying research findings by writing in public outlets


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience in performing economic, statistical, policy, or related research
  • Experience in analyzing the impacts of public policy on society
  • Experience writing policy briefs and op-eds
  • Experience engaging with different stakeholders
  • Experience collaborating with researchers to attract external funding
  • Experience in presenting research and speaking to internal and/or external audiences


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