AIR's Youth, Family, and Community Development program area is seeking a Senior Researcher focused on youth development to support teams aiming to build evidence on equitable pathways to thriving for youth, families, and communities through cross sector collaboration with programs, providers, and systems. Related projects aim to use culturally responsive science to focus around one or more areas of youth development including but not limited to: arts, community schools, nature and environmental education, out-of-school time, sports, youth engagement, and youth leadership development.
The Senior Researcher will provide project leadership for major contract and grant research and evaluation projects. This role is responsible for conceptualizing the vision for this work, providing support for project teams in developing and carrying out the work, following sound project management practices to ensure the timely completion of all deliverables within budget, and with high quality research standards that meet client requirements. AIR is seeking a Senior Researcher who values diversity, equity, and inclusion. The ideal candidate is committed to a strengths-based perspective as well as mitigating the impacts of both personal and systemic biases in research. This position will require collaboration within and outside AIR, including with program providers, subject matter experts, as well as federal, state, and local agency officials.
Candidates hired for the position might initially start working remotely but will eventually have the option to work from one of our offices located in Arlington, VA; Rockville, MD; Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Chapel Hill, NC or Waltham, MA or continue to work remotely.
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, AIR is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance to solve some of the most urgent challenges in the U.S. and around the world. We advance evidence in the areas of education, health, the workforce, human services, and international development to create a better, more equitable world.
AIR's commitment to diversity goes beyond legal compliance to its full integration in our strategy, operations, and work environment. At AIR, we define diversity broadly, considering everyone's unique life and community experiences. We believe that embracing diverse perspectives, abilities/disabilities, racial/ethnic and cultural backgrounds, styles, ages, genders, gender identities and expressions, education backgrounds, and life stories drives innovation and employee engagement. Learn more about AIR's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy and hear from our staff by clicking here.
The responsibilities for the position include:
Manage day-to-day project operations in principal investigator, project director, and/or task lead roles.
Manage collaborative project teams preparing timelines, coordinating staff on task assignments, and overseeing products to ensure they are completed on time, on budget, and with quality.
Conceptualize problems and identify questions in youth development research and evaluation, and design studies to address them.
Use content knowledge and experience in youth development to design and execute relevant and responsive projects for the field.
Develop study designs, including appropriate research questions and aligned methods and analytic plans.
Lead and contribute to research proposals for Federal, state, foundation, and other clients.
Develop and implement creative solutions to practical challenges in applied research.
Lead the collection and analyses of data.
Oversee the design and planning of qualitative and/or quantitative data collection instruments including interview protocols, focus group protocols, and surveys.
Oversee field-based data collection activities including interviews, structured observations, focus groups, and document review.
Lead and/or oversee data analyses of survey, interview, observation, and/or extant data using the appropriate analysis tools.
Communicate study progress and findings.
Write reports, including briefs, charts, and graphs that describe and interpret findings of analyses for clients.
Clearly communicate with clients and represent AIR in a professional manner.
Communicate effectively, orally or in writing, with clients, site-based staff, and other stakeholders.
Maintain positive and collaborative relationships.
Manage client and stakeholder relationships in ways that are respectful and demonstrate knowledge of the field and policy landscape.
Contribute substantively, thoughtfully, and creatively to project teams.
Demonstrate cultural and linguistic competence and sensitivity in all interactions with colleagues, stakeholders, and project participants.
Education, Knowledge, and Experience:
PhD in related subject area (e.g., Child/Youth/Human Development, Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Public Policy, or related field) with 3+ years of relevant experience or Master's degree with 7+ years of relevant experience
Firm understanding of implementation science
Ability to take big ideas and develop work plans and timelines
Experience at contract research and/or evaluation organization(s)
Experience with data collection methodologies (including but not limited to structured interviews, observations, survey research) and analysis activities (including but not limited to experience with quantitative and/or qualitative analytic software packages [such as STATA, R, EXCEL, NViVO, and Access])
Experience managing project and/or task teams on research and evaluation projects
Experience building and maintaining client and partner relationships
Experience with business pursuit (e.g., grant and proposal writing)
Excellent interpersonal skills to ensure effective communication with individuals at all levels and from diverse backgrounds
Strong attention to detail with commitment to accuracy when writing
AIR requires all new hires to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or receive a legally required exemption from AIR, as a condition of employment. AIR will ask candidates to verify their vaccination status only after a conditional offer of employment is made. Applicants should not provide information about their vaccination status or need for exemption prior to receiving a conditional offer of employment from AIR
Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the U.S. on a full-time basis. Employment-based visa sponsorship (including H-1B sponsorship) is not available for this position. Depending on project work, qualified candidates may need to meet certain residency requirements.
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability.
AIR adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks.
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American Institutes For Research