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Human Services Researcher

Job ID 1153-5

Position Description:

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 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.

Currently, we are looking for researchers to join our vibrant and growing Human Services division. This position supports ongoing project teams throughout the division in the planning and execution of projects for clients such as: The U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Education, Health and Human Services, Justice,  and Labor, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and numerous state and local agencies. Mathematica is seeking researchers who will conduct studies and support program improvement in family support, education, child development and welfare, nutrition, employment, criminal justice, and related topics.

The following projects illustrate the type of work we currently have under way.

  • Working collaboratively to improve programs using rapid cycle evaluation to iteratively test implementation strategies and gather information on their success
  • Assessing the implementation, cost, and quality of early childhood education
  • Conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses to determine the effectiveness of interventions, programs, policies, and practices across a range of populations and policy areas
  • Providing evaluation technical assistance to grantees implementing programs to reduce youth homelessness and teen pregnancy
  • Improving child welfare outcomes for children and families through predictive analytics
  • Evaluating strategies for strengthening the engagement of fathers and paternal relatives
  • Advising workforce development programs and state TANF agencies on evidence-based ways to increase program engagement and on a continuous improvement approaches to learn, innovate, and improve
  • Helping states and school districts build capacity to use data and strengthen supports for educators and students
  • Evaluating teacher training and professional development, literacy and STEM curriculum, school choice, and school improvement programs
  • Assessing barriers to participation in nutrition assistance programs such as SNAP and their effectiveness on the food security and well-being of families with low incomes
  • Assessing the costs and nutritional value of school meals
  • Evaluating programs that provide coaching for populations with barriers to employment

Duties may include:

  • Assessing the strength of study designs and summarizing large and diverse sets of existing research through systematic reviews and meta-analyses
  • Guiding program staff and policymakers in the use of evidence to make decisions about program selection and adaptation
  • Designing rigorous methods for evaluating programs and policies, applying machine-learning techniques, conducting analyses, reviewing and synthesizing existing evidence, drafting briefs and reports, and developing data visualizations to enhance the accessibility of findings
  • Bringing an equity focused lens to research and evaluation design, execution, and reporting
  • Helping program administrators and policymakers make decisions by cleaning, organizing, analyzing, and presenting large amounts of data
  • Collaborating with state and local organizations through conducting evaluations or refining their programs
  • Applying principles of equitable evaluation and incorporating diverse stakeholder, participant, and community voices to contextualize findings
  • Presenting findings and developing innovative approaches to disseminating information to policy, practitioner, and researcher audiences

Position Requirements:

  • Ph.D. or Masters with equivalent experience in public policy, social work, sociology, psychology, education, economics, statistics, data science/data analytics, demography, or a related field
  • Strong quantitative and/or qualitative analytical skills
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including an ability to translate complex research methods and findings for a practitioner and policy audience
  • Ability to work well in teams
  • Work experience at a human services program or agency, school district, child welfare agency, state or federal government, or foundations is desirable

One of Mathematica’s core values is a deep commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Our research is more robust because it is 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. 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.

A cover letter, CV, and writing sample or job market paper must be submitted at the time of application via our online application system.  The deadline for applying to be considered for an interview is November 30, 2020

Additionally, three letters of recommendation should be submitted directly by your references to HumanResources@mathematica-mpr.com.

Available locations: Princeton, NJ; Washington, DC; Cambridge, MA; Ann Arbor, MI; Oakland, CA; Seattle, WA; Chicago, IL

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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