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Researcher/Senior Researcher and Partnership Lead for Tribal Community Partnerships

Job ID 1645-5

Position Description:

Mathematica seeks a senior researcher or researcher who is passionate about partnering with Indigenous communities, including tribal communities, to improve the lives of learners through the application of research and evidence. The new staff member will lead partnerships for the Central regionRegional Education Laboratory(REL Central; CO, KS, NE, ND, SD, MO, and WY). This project centers the needs of local communities by establishing key partnerships to document needs and support local initiatives to address those needs. Project plans are co-designed in deep partnership with the communities they are intended to serve. The role may include:

  • Leading partnerships with tribal agencies, states, districts, educators, and other entities to understand their needs and pursue evidence-informed solutions.
  • Collaborating with interdisciplinary teams, tribal educators, and other local partners to develop, implement, or test strategies for improving program performance, services, and learner outcomes in collaboration with tribal educators and other local partners.
  • Strengthening the capacity of the education community to use evidence to inform policy and practice.
    • Providing thought leadership to Mathematica and REL Central in substantive topics related to tribal communities and evidence-informed strategies to improve outcomes for Indigenous students.
    • Contributing to the professional development of other staff working in REL Central and the Human Services unit.

The new senior researcher or researcher will join Mathematica’s growing interdisciplinary staff with backgrounds in education, child or human development, psychology, sociology, economics, public policy, and data science in the Employment and Education Division (EED) within the Human Services unit. They will contribute to continuing growth in the EED division by leading projects, identifying and obtaining new work, and mentoring junior staff. They will also have opportunities to contribute to other Mathematica projects in a variety of substantive areas, according to their interests and experience. Our current work includes projects on topics such as:

  • Partnering with a Native American-operated non-profit to gather, generate, and disseminate knowledge of culturally relevant practice models that contribute to preventing American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) child maltreatment.
  • In collaboration with partners and community members, running a federally funded center to assess and build the research and evaluation capacities of State, Territory, and Tribal Child Care agencies.
  • Collaborating with a workgroup including AIAN community partners to gather input on design, implementation, and dissemination for a national study of children and families participating in Head Start programs operated by federally recognized tribes.
  • Facilitating a networked improvement community made up of school districts using continuous improvement to address student absenteeism and lost contact due to the pandemic.
  • Supporting grantees to use evidence to inform the design, improvement, and scaling of products and programs with the goal of improving outcomes for students from historically underserved groups.
  • Partnering with foundations to refine their grantmaking strategy or assess the contribution of their grantmaking portfolios.

Mathematica applies expertise at the intersection of data, methods, policy, and practice to improve well-being around the world. We collaborate closely with public- and private-sector partners to translate big questions into deep insights that improve programs, refine strategies, and enhance understanding. Our work yields actionable information to guide decisions in wide-ranging policy areas, from health, education, early childhood, and family support to nutrition, employment, disability, and international development. Mathematica offers our employees competitive salaries, and a comprehensive benefits package, as well as the advantages of being 100 percent employee owned. As an employee stock owner, you will experience financial benefits of Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) holdings that have increased in tandem with the company’s growth and financial strength. You will also be part of an independent, employee-owned firm that is able to define and further our mission, enhance our quality and accountability, and steadily grow our financial strength.

One of Mathematica’s core values is a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our efforts are more robust because they are informed by a variety of diverse perspectives, and our mission to improve societal well-being is strengthened by a greater understanding of issues and challenges facing the populations we serve. Mathematica’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion is woven into our everyday actions, policies, and practices—including decisions regarding recruitment, training, compensation, and promotion. We are dedicated to maintaining a work environment in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity. We offer Employee Resources Groups on a variety of topics, local diversity and inclusion activities in each office, and a Diversity council.

Position Requirements:

  • Experience partnering with tribal communities to develop and improve programs and improve outcomes for Indigenous learners, preferably in the K-12 or early childhood education areas.
  • Familiarity with state and federal policies, programs, and approaches for serving tribal educators, students, and communities.
  • Interest in co-developing a portfolio of projects focused on tribal/Indigenous education and collaborating on a broad variety of education and health-related projects.
  • Demonstrated commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion through prior work.
    • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including experience facilitating meetings, adult learning sessions and communicating research findings to non-technical audiences.
    • Strong interpersonal skills, including a demonstrated ability to deal tactfully and diplomatically with clients and other external stakeholders and to lead a team with collaborators, including subcontractors and consultants, to work toward improving student and educator outcomes.

Staff with demonstrated knowledge of the lived experiences of tribal/Indigenous learners and communities and experience in one or more of the following areas are preferred:

  • Working on projects focused on culture-based education in indigenous settings or co-designing culture-based curricula.
  • Partnering with tribal clients or educators of Indigenous learners to understand the challenges they face and working collaboratively with them to develop innovative solutions to identified challenges or to study strategies to improve outcomes for Indigenous learners.
  • Teaching (early childhood through grade 12).
  • Designing and implementing innovative and effective adult learning programs for educators.
  • Working collaboratively with educators to develop, implement, or test strategies for improving program performance and services.
  • Interacting with state and local education agencies or other program practitioners. Candidates with direct experience working with state and local education agencies, Native American tribes, and tribal education departments, especially in the Central region (CO, KS, NE, ND, SD, MO, WY), are particularly encouraged to apply.
  • Working on federally funded programs and projects such as the Regional Educational Laboratory system.
  • Employing participatory research methods and the principles of equitable evaluation, including incorporating education community members’ voices into research design, execution, and the interpretation of results.
  • Employing rapid-cycle evaluation, continuous quality improvement, or human centered design methods.
  • Ph.D. or master’s degree in relevant field (for example, public policy, economics, sociology, education, psychology, social work, public health, or other social sciences). We will consider candidates without an advanced degree who demonstrate substantial relevant experience.

Candidates with ten or more years of experience working with programs, including experience leading teams, will be considered for the senior researcher role. At the senior level, a Ph.D. or master’s degree in a relevant field is preferred.

We take pride in our employees and in their commitment to excellence. We encourage staff to collaborate in developing creative solutions to difficult problems and to share the responsibility and enjoyment of carrying out complex projects. This collegial spirit has helped us earn our reputation for innovative and high-quality work. As a winner of the "Excellence in Diversity Award," we know that building an inclusive culture based on the diverse strengths of employees from different backgrounds is key to our success. 

A cover letter and resume must be submitted at the time of application via our online application system. Candidates will be considered on a rolling basis in the order that applications are received.

We offer remote flexibility. The ideal candidate would be located in the REL Central region: CO, KS, MO, NE, ND, SD, or WY. We will also consider candidates who would locate in one of our offices. Available locations: Princeton, NJ; Washington, DC; Chicago, IL; Oakland, CA; Cambridge, MA; Seattle, WA; Ann Arbor, MI

This position offers an anticipated annual base salary range of $90,000-$130,000 (researcher); and $115,000 - $155,000 (senior researcher).

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state, or local protected class. We welcome all candidates to consider joining our team.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer and do not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, status as a veteran, and basis of disability or any other federal, state or local protected class.

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