Research Associates at the Environmental Law Institute (ELI) help grow dynamic initiatives in the environmental law and policy research space. The Research Associate position is a two-year entry-level position that begins in Summer 2024 and ends in Summer 2026.


ELI, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., is a leading center of environmental research, policy analysis, and training. Founded at the beginning of the modern environmental era five decades ago, ELI has played a pivotal role in the evolution of environmental law. Today, ELI is an internationally recognized independent research and education organization whose interdisciplinary staff of lawyers and scientists works to develop creative solutions to critical problems in environmental law, policy, and management worldwide. Support for the Institute’s research and training programs comes from a mix of private foundations and government agencies.



Each year, ELI hires college graduates to serve as Research Associates. These staff members work directly with the 15–20 lawyers, scientists, and policy experts in the Research and Policy Division on projects addressing environmental and natural resource protection, climate, public health, environmental justice, and pollution prevention. A typical workload combines research and administration.


The Research and Policy Division publishes research studies and conducts a variety of training courses and workshops. Specific subject areas include air and water quality, climate change, renewable energy, hazardous waste, international environmental policy and institutions, sustainable land use, biodiversity and species conservation, wetlands management, freshwater and ocean policy, environmental health, and environmental enforcement.

In addition to researching and writing for these studies, Research Associates help coordinate and plan various professional events at ELI, including seminars, conferences, training courses, and workshops. Other work may include creating and updating ELI web pages (no previous experience required), communications, and managing interns.

Previous Research Associates have gone on to law school, graduate school, government, and other positions in the environmental field.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO THRIVE IN THIS ROLE? (1) superior academic research, writing, and interpersonal communication skills, and (2) a strong desire to gain knowledge in the environmental field.

  • An undergraduate background in environmental or related issues is preferred.
  • Foreign language skills can be helpful but are not required.


Compensation: $53,500 annual salary, with excellent benefits including:

  • Health/Dental/Vision insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Employer paid life insurance & disability insurance
  • Long Term Care insurance
  • Pre-tax transportation benefit
  • Fitness Incentive
  • 403(b) Retirement Savings Account with employer match
  • Paid time off


Interested candidates apply online through ELI’s application portal at: Applications must include the following as separate PDF documents:

  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume (must include overall undergraduate GPA)
  3. Analytical writing sample of 3-5 pages in length

We will notify you before contacting any references.

Please note that to ensure the health and safety of the ELI workforce, any offer of employment from ELI is contingent on candidates providing proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.  ELI management will consider requests for religious or medical exceptions, consistent with applicable law. This position requires that you must be physically present in the DC metro area (where ELI’s office is located).

Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm EST on Friday, January 19, 2024. You must use ELI’s online application system; ELI cannot accept applications submitted by email, USPS or other shipping service, or hand delivery. No phone calls, please.

Please direct any questions to Dara Albrecht, RA hiring coordinator, at


ELI is an equal opportunity employer firmly committed to achieving an inclusive, diverse workforce that values every individual. We firmly believe that hiring individuals with varying perspectives and backgrounds contributes to our success as an organization, and we strive to create an environment that fosters inclusiveness. As such, minority candidates and candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.