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Senior Education Researcher, Learning & Strategy, Education and Employment Division

Job ID 1646-5

Position Description:

We are seeking senior education researcherswho are passionate about improving outcomes for pre-K-12 students, postsecondary students, and teachers. The senior researcher(s) will partner with clients and organizations to use data and evidence to inform program improvement, strategy development, policymaking, and product and tool development. We are particularly seeking staff with the skills and experience to lead projects for federal and foundation clients working in the education field. New senior researchers will join our growing interdisciplinary staff with backgrounds in public policy, economics, sociology, education, psychology, social work, and data science in the Education and Employment division (EED) within the Human Services unit. We partner with clients such as the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor, the National Science Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; the W.K. Kellogg Foundation; and numerous state and local agencies. Our current work includes projects on topics such as:

  • Developing and leading partnerships with states, districts, tribal agencies, educators, and other entities to understand needs and pursue evidence-informed solutions.
  • Collaborating with interdisciplinary teams and local partners to develop, implement, or test strategies for improving program performance, services, and learner outcomes in collaboration with local partners.
  • Strengthening the capacity of education practitioners to use evidence to inform policy and decision-making.
  • 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 who are Black, Latino, or experiencing poverty.
  • 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 family support, nutrition, education, early childhood, and employment to health, 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 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—including decisions about 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 Resource Groups for employees who share a common aspect of their identity, local diversity and inclusion activities in each office, and a Diversity Council.

Position Requirements:

  • Engage with clients, their partners, and the communities they serve to understand the challenges they face and work collaboratively with them to develop innovative solutions.
  • Lead interdisciplinary teams to use evidence to inform program design or improvement or organizational strategy, or to provide technical assistance to partners to conduct these activities in the education field.
  • Contribute to business development and proposals for new projects for foundations, the US Department of Education, and state and local education agencies.
  • Work collaboratively with states, districts, tribal agencies, non-profits and other entities to implement and test strategies designed to improve teaching and learning in schools.
  • Oversee project budgets, schedules, and staffing to ensure high-quality project delivery.
  • Communicate with project officers on the financial status of projects, design and technical issues, and project reports and presentations.
  • Provide thought leadership in the area of education through communications, testimony, publications, and conferences in professional, practitioner, and research settings.
  • Contribute to the professional development of other research staff working in the EED division.

Position Requirements:

  • Extensive knowledge of foundation priorities, federal education programs, or the needs of state and local education agencies and their partners.
  • Extensive substantive knowledge of approaches for improving educational outcomes for students—particularly historically marginalized students. Particular areas of need include expertise in topics such as early childhood education, early reading, high quality instructional materials, math instruction, math curriculum, and professional development, STEM, special education services, dual enrollment, college and career readiness, and career and technical education programs. Candidates with substantive knowledge in other education topics are also encouraged to apply.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including experience communicating research questions, designs, and findings in non-technical language to educators, school district leaders, states, federal agencies, foundations, and non-profits.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including a demonstrated ability to lead teams and deal tactfully and diplomatically with clients, subcontractors, consultants, and other external partners.
  • Evidence of successful business development activities with foundations, the federal government, or state or local education agencies.
  • Ten or more years of experience working directly with foundations, state and local education agencies, or other education program practitioners to improve outcomes for children through activities such as program evaluation, training and technical assistance, program or curriculum development, or continuous quality improvement.
  • Demonstrated commitment to anti-racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion through prior work.

Strongly preferred:

  • Ph.D. or master’s degree in relevant field (for example, public policy, economics, sociology, education, psychology, social work, or other social sciences). We will consider exceptional candidates without an advanced degree who demonstrate substantial relevant experience.
  • Experience employing participatory research methods and the principles of equitable evaluation, including incorporating diverse stakeholder, participant, and community voices to research design, execution, and the interpretation of results.
  • Experience conducting rapid-cycle evaluation, continuous improvement, or human centered design.
  • Experience working with tribal agencies or Indigenous students in the Central region (CO, KS, NE, ND, SD, MO, WY).

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 CV must be submitted at the time of application via our online application system. The deadline for applying to be considered for an interview is April 30, 2022.

Mathematica offers a strong benefits package, which includes a profit-sharing 401(k) plan; Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP); health, dental, disability, and life insurance plans; comprehensive paid time off; and tuition benefits. Training and professional development are also provided. Read more about our benefits here: https://www.mathematica.org/career-opportunities/benefits-at-a-glance.

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

This position offers an anticipated annual base salary range of $115,000-$155,000

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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