Frequently Asked Questions About Employment at RAND

The following questions refer only to research opportunities:

How can I apply for a job at RAND?

Go to Scroll through the list of open positions or use the search parameters at the top to search by location, job category, and/or full- or part-time status. If you know the Job Opening ID Number, enter the number in the search field and click the Search button. Click on the job title to see the full job description. If you meet all the qualifications and would like to apply, click on the Apply button and follow the instructions.

Can I talk with someone to learn more about the job?

We discourage this practice, since we don't have enough personnel to handle inquiries. However, we have made every effort to make our job descriptions as clear and comprehensive as possible. If you review the job description for the position you're interested in, you'll probably find that it answers most of your questions.

Can I arrange an informational interview?

We don't give informational interviews, since we don't have enough personnel to handle such interviews effectively. However, if you check our website, you'll find a wealth of information about RAND, including our history, organizational structure, and the current topics on our research agenda.

Do you require references? How many?

No references are required when you submit your application. If your application is successful and we decide to move forward, we'll contact you about the next steps in the process, which could include supplying references. As a general rule, three references are needed.

What is the salary range for the position I'm interested in?

Hiring ranges are included in job postings. You'll find that RAND pays competitive market rates and offers excellent benefits. See the Benefits page for more information.

I've submitted my application. How do I know you've received it?

RAND applications must be submitted online. If you did not receive an immediate email confirmation please check your spam filter and log in to your profile to make sure your email address is correct.

What should I include in my cover letter?

It should answer the following questions:

  1. What position are you applying for?
  2. Why are you qualified for the position?
  3. Why are you interested in RAND?

How long before I can expect to hear from you?

We're sorry not to be able to provide specific guidelines. We review each application very carefully, including cover letter, resume, and (if applicable) writing samples. The exact timing depends on the volume of applications and the workload of the reviewers.

If my application is successful, what happens next?

Next steps depend on the needs and practices of the research division or department. Such steps could include a skills assessment for administrative roles or interviews. For research roles, an in-person presentation to your prospective colleagues at RAND may be part of the process. We'll discuss next steps with you in detail, and we'll make sure you have time to prepare.

Will I be notified if the position is filled?

You'll be notified if we decide to move forward with your application, or to pass at this time.

If my application is not successful, will RAND keep it on file?

No. We rely on you to reapply if your qualifications change or if a new position opens that is more closely aligned with your qualifications.

If my application is not successful, when should I reapply?

We encourage you to wait at least six months. That gives a reasonable amount of time for your qualifications or our needs to change.

How do I change any of my contact information?

Log in to edit your personal information/account settings.

Will I need a security clearance to work at RAND?

You generally do not need a security clearance to apply for a position. However, once you are hired, many positions require that you either have or are able to obtain a security clearance. Check the job description to see if a clearance is required.

What is your visa policy?

RAND will sponsor visas (temporary work permits) only for research professionals in selected job categories and these categories may be revised to recognize changes in RAND's needs or in job titles. The current list includes all RAND researcher titles that are graded “associate,” “full,” and “senior,” and Quantitative Analysts. It excludes all grades of administrators, research administrators, and research assistants.

RAND will not sponsor visas for independent contractors, adjunct staff members, temporary workers, term employees, or part-time employees who work less than 20 hours per week. RAND will not sponsor or finance visas for any other classifications of staff.

RAND's Human Resources department will assist in preparing the required documentation for the petition for permanent residency to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) but cannot guarantee approval. RAND will not pay attorneys' fees and costs associated with this process.

I'd like to work in a specific research area. How can I make sure my application is submitted to that area?

Specify your area of interest in your cover letter. We'll make sure your application is forwarded to the appropriate research leader.

Why is a writing sample required for my position? It doesn't seem relevant.

Excellent communication skills are required for research and analysis positions at RAND. If you're applying for such a position, your writing sample is very important in the evaluation of your application.

All of my writing samples are classified. What should I do?

We prefer an unclassified sample, since it speeds up the review process. Only unclassified samples may be attached to your online application.

However, if your best samples are classified, create a document in one of the following formats: .pdf, .docx, .doc, .txt, .rtf, .html, .htm, or .ppt. Include your name, application date, and position applied for, and state, “I only have classified documents.” Upload it as your writing sample during the application process.

My writing samples are print-only, and therefore cannot be electronically attached to my application. What should I do?

You may send them to us via U.S. mail following these guidelines:

  1. Mail to:
    RAND Human Resources
    4570 Fifth Avenue
    Suite 600
    Pittsburgh, PA 15213
  2. Indicate "Writing Sample" on outside of envelope
  3. Specify your return address


Writing samples will not be returned.

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