Job Opportunities

Policy Analyst

The Sycamore Institute seeks a full-time Policy Analyst to join its bipartisan team. Sycamore provides accessible, reliable data and research to foster dialogue and elevate discourse in the policymaking process. The Policy Analyst is a key member of Sycamore’s small but high-producing research team with responsibility for data analysis, research, and writing on a range of public policy issues that affect and connect Tennesseans’ health and prosperity.

We are seeking a candidate who has strong quantitative and analytical skills; thrives in a fast-paced, dynamic, and collaborative office environment; and possesses strong writing, oral communication, problem-solving, time management, and relationship management skills. The position reports to the Policy Director and is located in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

Job Responsibilities

  • Research and write reports on diverse policy issues that affect and connect the health and economic prosperity of Tennesseans — consistent with Sycamore’s research priorities and strategic plan.
  • Use quantitative and qualitative analytic skills to identify and explain the impact of policies and proposals in a way that is accessible for Sycamore’s target audiences (i.e. policymakers, the media, policy influencers, and the public).
  • Pull and interpret Tennessee-specific data from large, publicly-available datasets.
  • Stay abreast of literature, national policy, and state activity relevant to Sycamore’s research priorities.
  • Take initiative to identify emerging issues, research questions, and methods and how they are relevant for Tennessee and Tennesseans.
  • Provide information and technical assistance in response to requests from policymakers and other stakeholders.
  • Participate in internal staff meetings and trainings, including those related to strategic planning, resource utilization, and scheduling.
  • Perform other duties, as assigned, related to the mission of Sycamore.
  • Additional responsibilities and duties may vary – depending upon the experience and skillset of the analyst.

Candidate Qualifications

The successful applicant will have:     

 Research & Statistical Skills

  • The ability to work proficiently and independently in R and/or STATA.
  • Knowledge of statistical methods and interdisciplinary research approaches.
  • Demonstrated experience analyzing and interpreting raw data from large, publicly-available datasets, such as those from the U.S. Census Bureau (e.g. American Community Survey), the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Opportunity Insights.
  • Ability to synthesize information and data from multiple sources and translate complex ideas into accessible, actionable analysis for a broad audience.

Diverse Interests

  • An openness and interest in working on multiple areas of policy that affect and connect Tennesseans’ health and prosperity of Tennesseans — including, but not limited to, economic mobility, criminal justice, financial security, education, early childhood, housing and land use, social capital, public finance, and public health.
  • Initiative to learn new skills and information to fulfill the duties of the position and improve Sycamore’s ability to deliver on its mission in new, innovative ways.

Other Core Competencies

  • Excellent writing, communication, analytic and organizational skills.
  • Capacity to work well both independently and collaboratively.
  • Capacity to problem-solve when faced with unexpected obstacles.
  • Ability to provide objective, unbiased analysis of politically-charged issues.
  • Commitment to having open dialogue on complex and sometimes difficult policy issues — including a willingness to share and listen to people with different perspectives.
  • Ability to be a self-starter and manage and prioritize multiple projects and requests to achieve quality results in a timely manner.
  • Ability to maintain performance and self-control under pressure or adversity.
  • Attention to detail.


  • Preference will be given to candidates with a master’s degree in economics, government, public policy, public administration, public health, urban planning, or relevant field OR relevant practical experience.

Sycamore is committed to building a diverse staff and strongly encourages applications from candidates of color, individuals with disabilities, and those with backgrounds that are traditionally underrepresented in public policy.

Working at Sycamore

As a member of the Sycamore team, you can expect to have an impact on policy areas you care about and work with great colleagues who are fun, smart, mission-driven, and collaborative. At the Sycamore Institute, our internal culture is as important to our work as high-quality research. We embrace collaboration, complexity, intellectual honesty, empathy, and disagreement. We reward skill, innovation, and hard work and provide ample flexibility and meaningful opportunities to learn and grow in ways that benefit both you and the organization.

We offer a comprehensive benefits package that meets employees’ needs during the various stages of their life – including paid time off and parental leave, medical and life insurance with dental and disability options, and a 401(k) matching option. The salary for the Policy Analyst position ranges from $50,000-$65,000, depending on level of skill and experience.

About Sycamore

Founded in 2015, the Sycamore Institute is an independent, nonpartisan public policy research center whose mission is to provide accessible, reliable data and research in pursuit of sound, sustainable policies that improve the lives of all Tennesseans. Sycamore exists to help policymakers, the media, and the public understand complex issues that affect and connect Tennesseans’ health and prosperity. We are:

  • Independent – Sycamore takes a neutral and objective approach to analyze and explain public policy issues. We are not beholden to any political, government, academic, or other organization.
  • Nonpartisan – Our leadership and staff come from across the political spectrum, but we all believe that data and evidence create the best foundation for effective public policy.
  • Researchers – Sycamore provides information, analysis, and opportunities for learning and discussion. We are not lobbyists or advocates for particular legislative proposals, political perspectives, or party agendas.

To Apply

Email a cover letter, resumé, and writing sample (no more than 4 pages) to No calls or in-person application submissions please.

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