Research Associate

Policy Washington, District Of Columbia



Organization Overview

Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, West Health includes the nonprofit and nonpartisan Gary and Mary West Health Institute and Gary and Mary West Foundation in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C. These organizations are working together toward a shared mission: lowering the cost of healthcare to enable successful aging with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. For more information, visit and follow @westhealth.

The West Health Policy Center is focused on research and education to identify innovations and policy solutions that can slow the trajectory of rising healthcare costs while improving access to—and the quality of—care, particularly for our nation’s growing population of seniors. Specific areas of focus include reducing growth in U.S. spending on prescription drugs, promoting value-based care models, increasing price transparency and limiting consumer exposure to high out-of-pocket costs.

Position Summary

The research associate will perform policy research and data analysis related to healthcare spending and successful aging while supporting the overall activities of the Policy Center.  Among other activities, the research associate will assist in drafting issue briefs and research papers, analyze healthcare spending and utilization data under the guidance of project managers, produce effective graphics to convey research results and key messages, help implement communications and outreach strategies, and work collaboratively with colleagues across the Policy Center on current projects and explorations of new research opportunities.  The ideal candidate has an educational and employment background in health policy or related field with experience synthesizing data and research to produce effective and clear written materials useful to policymakers and/or the public.


Key policy areas include national, state, employer, and consumer spending on healthcare across all settings of care, drug pricing and spending reforms, value-based care payment policies, and alternative care delivery models for aging.


Essential Duties and Functions

  • Working collaboratively with a team of researchers and policy analysts, help develop and implement research on healthcare costs and successful aging. Contribute constructively at every stage of the project, including:
    • Conducting background research and helping conceptualize policy-relevant project ideas and plans.
    • Helping design and conduct rigorous collection and compilation of quantitative and qualitative data, literature reviews, and other research;
    • Analyzing and communicating results accurately, both verbally and in writing.
    • Drafting policy briefs, working papers, study findings, blog posts, issue backgrounders, and other documents related to specific projects.
    • Supporting contracts with external advisors or researchers.
  • Gather information from the field and build internal knowledge and expertise by
    • Helping build and maintain an internal collection of relevant research
    • Monitoring relevant policy developments and media coverage to identify key emerging trends
    • Reviewing and providing regular summaries of new legislative proposals before Congress or state legislatures as well as regulatory and executive actions.
    • Identifying stakeholders and track positions with supporting documentation to identify potential collaborators and to anticipate arguments/critiques.
    • Attending and reporting on conferences, trainings, and other professional development opportunities.
    • Critically synthesizing information sources, including careful consideration of the limitations and opportunities presented by each; and
    • Building team expertise through internal memos and presentations.
  • Contribute to communication and outreach efforts by helping to develop and execute programming and logistics for convenings of policymakers and other key audiences; research and write web content; prepare talking points and presentations for senior staff; and other tasks as assigned.
  • Contribute to a high level of quality and accuracy in work by rigorously fact-checking Policy Center publications and materials.
  • Contribute to and participate in tasks within the Policy Center as well as broader West Health-related projects and activities.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree is required. 
  • At least one year of applicable experience in a policy or healthcare arena, which may include internships or part-time work during education. 
  • Demonstrated research and analytical skills applied to public policy issues, including an ability to synthesize and summarize large amounts of information and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue. A keen understanding of the importance of such research and disseminating it effectively to policymakers, the media, and the public.
  • Ability to quickly learn the intricacies of healthcare and aging policy through independent research and structured question and answer sessions with senior staff.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ability to synthesize issues effectively and clearly. Ability to write quickly and succinctly as well as to revise and edit based on input from a wide range of reviewers. Ability to produce effective graphics to convey research results and key messages.
  • Strong interpersonal skills. Able to develop and manage productive and collaborative relationships both internally and externally.
  • Proven ability to think strategically and creatively, juggle multiple priorities, adjust to changing circumstances, organize time efficiently, remain attentive to details, and exercise sound judgment in problem-solving.
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Excel and Microsoft PowerPoint required; familiarity with at least one data analysis and visualization program is a plus (e.g., Stata, SAS, Tableau, R).
  • Ability to develop and move complex projects forward with a high degree of independence within a creative, action-oriented, and collegial environment.
  • Demonstrated time and project management skills, including an ability to meet multiple deadlines by maintaining a high level of organization. Ability to establish a systematic course of action to ensure project completion.
  • Political awareness and a nonpartisan perspective and approach would be highly valued. 
  • Able to work in a complex environment with varying partners and extensive analysis and writing skills. Familiarity with healthcare policy and the Medicare and Medicaid programs is a plus.
  • Able to occasionally travel to meetings and conferences.
  • Must be up to date with COVID-19 Vaccinations


Compensation and Benefits


The estimated compensation range for this position is $50,000 - $60,000.

We gladly offer:

                      An up to 10% Annual Performance Bonus

                      Hybrid work schedule

                      Robust Benefits Package including Medical, Dental, and Vision plans

                      401K/403b Retirement Plan Match

                      Professional Reimbursements

                      Generous PTO and Paid Holidays


West Health Policy Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, marital status, age, disability, or veteran's status.