Findley's research addresses civil wars, terrorism, international relations, and development. He uses field experiments, statistical and computational models, and some interviews. He conducts ongoing fieldwork in Uganda, South Africa, and Malawi.
Publications appear (or are forthcoming) in American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, Journal of Conflict Resolution, Journal of Peace Research, Public Choice, Complexity, and World Development, among others.
Findley also works extensively with international development organizations. In particular, his work geocoding foreign aid has been adopted by World Bank, USAID, African Development Bank, International Aid Transparency Initiative, and many aid recipient countries.