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American Institutes for Research Overview
Washington, DC
1001 to 5000 employees
Nonprofit Organization
$100 to $500 million (USD) per year
The American Institutes for Research (AIR) lives and breathes to enhance human performance. The not-for-profit organization conducts behavioral and social science research on topics related to education and educational assessment, health, international development, and work and ... Read more

Mission: AIR’s mission is to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation towards improving people's lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged.

American Institutes for Research – Why Work For Us?

About Us

AIR is one of the world's largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations. Our overriding goal is to use the best science available to bring the most effective ideas and approaches to enhancing everyday life. For us, making the world a better place is not wishful thinking. It is the goal that drives us.

Founded in 1946 as a not-for-profit organization, we conduct our work with strict independence, objectivity, and non-partisanship. Learn more about our history.

The intellectual diversity of our 1,800 employees enables us to bring together experts from many fields in the search for innovative answers to challenges that span the human life course.

Our Mission

AIR’s mission is to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation towards improving people's lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged.

Our Vision

Within the United States and internationally, AIR will be the preeminent organization that

  • produces improvements in education, health, and the workforce;
  • addresses the needs of individuals, organizations, and communities;
  • designs and advanced statistical and research methods;
  • causes practitioners and organizations to adopt evidence-based practices; and
  • informs public understanding and policymaking by the best evidence.


As an AIR employee, you should feel confident that your health and well-being are among our highest priorities. To that end, AIR offers comprehensive, flexible benefits to our employees and their families. 

Health Benefits

  • Health  Benefits
  • Dental

Retirement & Savings

  • Short Term Disability
  • Long Term Disability
  • Life Insurance
  • Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance

Retirement & Savings

  • Supplemental Retirement Annuity (403(b)) Plan
  • Credit Union Access

Time Away

  • Paid Time Off
  • Bereavement Leave
  • Leave of Absence
  • Sabbatical Leave
  • Jury Duty and Military Leave


  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • Ph.D. Publication Support

Life/Work Benefits

  • Telecommuting/Flexible Work Options
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Legal Services
  • FreshAir Wellness Program


  • MetroCheck Metro Benefits
  • Subsidized Parking

AIR is proud of its tradition of maintaining a work environment that values diversity and nourishes respect for the dignity of each individual. We are committed to continuing our efforts in creating and maintaining a diverse workforce through our recruitment and employment practices.

Diversity and Inclusion at AIR External Video from American Institutes for Research on Vimeo.

Our Culture: Social and Behavioral Science that Changes the World

AIR staff meeting

AIR places a strong emphasis on creating a collegial atmosphere that encourages staff to be creative and supportive of each other. We believe that intellectual diversity and respect for the contributions of each individual is central to our success.

We produce good work because we are a good place to work. Our staff cares about the work they perform, they care about the colleagues they work with, and they care about the clients they serve.

AIR conducts and applies behavioral and social science research to improve people’s lives and well-being, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged. That ideal is the driving force that motivates our staff.

An image of our team at work

Rigorous research and evaluation are necessary to make informed decisions about policies and interventions that aim to improve people’s lives. 

AIR’s research uncovers what works and what does not, and helps document the social and economic benefits of governmental and non-governmental investments.

Our evaluations enable government agencies and other institutions and stakeholders to make evidence-based decisions about the value and utility of policies and practices that directly and profoundly affect people’s lives.

AIR’s research takes many forms and has many uses. Whether applying, adapting or inventing the right tools for the job, we conduct research and evaluations to identify programs and policies that work, pinpoint ways to improve the rest and promote effective resource use. Our domestic and international work informs both project design and implementation by measuring impact and generating practical knowledge. By customizing methods to improve data quality, our Center for Survey and Data Sciences helps our researchers and clients acquire and use primary and administrative data.

Learn More About Our Work:

Research Design, Analysis, and Reporting 

Reliable and thoughtfully designed studies can pave the way for life-changing innovations. 

AIR develops, implements, and continuously improves state of the art research designs including large- and small-scale randomized control trials, comparative interrupted time series and cohort comparison studies, evaluations with regression-discontinuity designs, and statistical matching techniques.

Survey Design, Administration, and Data Acquisition

High quality research requires high quality data.

AIR’s survey methodologists use in-depth knowledge of and experience with best practices in statistics, sociology, psychology, political science, economics, computer science, and business management to collect and prepare data for research.

Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis

AIR researchers specialize in the synthesis of research to inform policy and practice.

We conduct systematic reviews of both published and unpublished research, and design and operate evaluation clearinghouses. This work includes extensive literature searches, review of the quality of research, synthesis of the evidence, statistical meta-analysis to combine data across studies, and communication of the results to the field.

Measurement and Psychometrics

AIR is a leader in the development and application of new psychometric techniques, designed to increase the validity and reliability of our data. 

AIR consistently achieves exceptional measurement quality in our high-stakes testing. Our expertise includes Item Response Theory (IRT) modeling, classical item analysis, Generalizability Theory models, exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, establishing cut scores and performance standards, and developing and implementing efficient pilot- and field-testing procedures.

Value-Added and Student Growth Measure Services

AIR leads the field in the development and implementation of value-added or student growth measures in education. 

We have a robust infrastructure for estimating, evaluating, modifying, and enhancing any statistical model currently in use, and we are not tied to any particular growth or value-added model. In general, our approach is to work with clients through a facilitated process involving stakeholders to review and select a model that best meets their needs. For almost a decade, we have helped clients choose a statistical modeling approach that is appropriate given their available data and policy priorities and help them develop strategies to use and disseminate these sensitive data in an appropriate and productive way.

Rapid-Cycle Evaluations

AIR designs and conducts rapid-cycle studies using innovative methods to accelerate program development and maximize impact.

AIR experts in quantitative research methods design and conduct rapid-cycle evaluations to inform local decision-making and continuous improvement of programs, initiatives, and strategies. The purpose of AIR’s rapid-cycle evaluations is to provide actionable information to developers and stakeholders in the field about what works, for whom, and under what conditions, and to maximize the potential impact.

Some of our summer interns!

Here at AIR, we believe in next generation talent! That is why our organization hosts a 10 week Summer Internship Program each year, May to August. This internship provides undergraduate and graduate students with a focused and challenging learning experience in areas of applied contract research, evaluation, software and product development and various corporate functions.

AIR provides its interns with meaningful, hands-on work experience that includes the opportunity to work alongside subject-matter experts on projects in a variety of fields. Our interns also participate in internship-specific events that give them opportunities to network with AIR employees, obtain career insights and advice, and showcase their work to AIR’s leadership team. 

Here are Ten (10) Things You Should Know about Our Internship Program: 

  1. AIR’s Summer Internship Program offers competitive pay based on your level of education.
  2. You are eligible to participate as long as you are currently enrolled in the required degree program and you meet the minimum qualifications.
  3. All internships are posted on our AIR Careers page: ( Here, you can apply for open opportunities that align with your career interest. 
  4. AIR Interns work full-time for ten weeks during the summer months, May - August. Our Fall and Spring internships are part-time during the semester.
  5. Interns have several opportunities to network with and get to know leaders throughout the organization. 
  6. Interns receive hands on project experience in some of the most unique and challenging subject areas. 
  7. Successful interns may be invited back for future internship opportunities or upon graduation, full-time career opportunities.
  8. Interns participate in an end of year poster session contest where winners receive big rewards!
  9. We welcome students with a Visa to apply. 

10. Interns participate in an annual AIR Intern Alumni Networking event, which is held every summer. Here they get to know past interns who have built meaningful careers at AIR.

We hire from a variety of majors!

American Institutes for Research Reviews

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American Institutes for Research President, CEO and Director David Myers
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    "Great place to work"

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    Current Employee - Senior Researcher in Washington, DC
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    I have been working at American Institutes for Research full-time (More than 3 years)


    Great experience for conducting research that matters for governments. Smart colleagues that work hard. Strong research assistants and good organization.


    Hard work is needed. Large organization, which brings some bureaucracy. Not always clear how organizational structures work. Overall a great place to work.

    Advice to Management

    Continue on the current path and invest strategically in new research opportunities for the long term. Provide incentives to research associates to stay longer.

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American Institutes for Research Photos

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American Institutes for Research Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




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    Research Assistant Interview

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    I applied online. The process took 3 weeks. I interviewed at American Institutes for Research in April 2016.


    The recurter called and told me the description of the job. Made an appointment for a phone interview. On the phone interview day nothing hard was asked... The interviewer mainly described the job and asked if that is something I would be interested in

    Interview Questions

    • They just want to know if what they are offering you is something that you would interested in doing   Answer Question
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American Institutes for Research Awards & Accolades

  • J.E. Wallace Wallin Lifetime Achievement Award, Council for Exceptional Children, 2012
  • Elected President of the Association for Education Finance and Policy,, 2012
  • The Post 200, Washington Post, 2011
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