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The Sycamore Institute

Policy Analyst/Senior Policy Analyst

The Sycamore Institute


Job Summary

The Sycamore Institute, an independent public policy research center for Tennessee, seeks a full-time Policy Analyst/Senior Policy Analyst to join its bipartisan team. Sycamore uses data and impartial analysis to help Tennesseans identify, understand, and solve big challenges.

The policy analyst is a key member of Sycamore’s small but high-producing research team. They are responsible 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.

This in-person position reports to the Deputy 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 to Sycamore’s target audiences (i.e. policymakers, journalists, policy influencers, and the public).
  • Download, analyze, and interpret Tennessee-specific data from large, publicly-available datasets.
  • Stay abreast of the literature, national policy, and state activity relevant to Sycamore’s research priorities.
  • Take the 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 training, 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 on the experience and skill set of the analyst


 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 an 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.

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

Additional Information


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 and official title for the policy analyst role will be based on skill level and years of relevant, full-time work experience within the following ranges:

  • Policy Analyst (0-5 years): $55,000-$70,000
  • Senior Policy Analyst (5+ years): $70,000-$90,000

How to Apply

About the Sycamore Institute

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.

The Sycamore Institute 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 analyzing and explaining 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 All writing samples will be screened for the use of AI-generated text. No calls or in-person submissions, please.

The Sycamore Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes qualified candidates from all backgrounds and experience to apply for this position.


  • Date Posted: August 9, 2023
  • Type: Full-Time
  • Job Function: Analytics / Evaluation
  • Service Area: Government
  • Salary Range: $55,000-$90,000
  • Working Hours: 40 hrs/wk