OJT Brokerage

At most graduate schools, students are traditionally assigned to teaching or research assistantships. By contrast, at Pardee RAND, students seek out positions on research projects in the same way as other RAND researchers. RAND has a kind of market economy for project work, through which students' interests, skills, and enthusiasm can lead them to rewarding and diverse opportunities. For Pardee RAND students, like their RAND colleagues, success depends on many of the same skills involved in conducting a job search: proactivity and initiative are especially important.

Students search for potential projects in a variety of ways, from face-to-face meetings to email exchanges. The goal for each student, however, is the same: to develop his or her own network of researchers who work on policy problems or employ specific approaches of interest to the student. Pardee RAND also sponsors a student organization of OJT Brokers whose aim is to market Pardee RAND students within the various RAND research divisions and help students navigate the internal market more successfully.

OJT Brokers work with RAND's research divisions to facilitate positive project experiences for students and researchers. They cover social and economic well-being, health care, education and labor, and national and international security and defense.

Recent activities of brokers have included:

  • engaging with RAND researchers and program managers to promote the work of students and bring forward new project opportunities
  • hosting “Coffee and Conversation” events for RAND researchers and students
  • disseminating calls for applications to students for new project opportunities
  • supporting students in developing networking strategies and outreach materials
  • encouraging students to maintain their online profiles, which helps maximize opportunities for project work
  • leading sessions as part of the first-year OJT Practicum, including training on qualitative coding platforms
  • deploying the annual project-based research survey to determine the nature and quality of work students are given.

2023-2024 OJT Brokers