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Human Services Researcher - Nutrition

Job ID 1254-1

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 using data science and analytics. 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. Read more about our benefits here:

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.

Currently, we are looking for a researcher who is passionate about improving the economic and nutritional well-being of low-income children, youth, and families to join our vibrant and growing Human Services unit. In particular, we seek an experienced nutrition researcher who will lead studies that examine nutrition-related outcomes, including the nutritional quality of dietary intakes, meals, and foods. Many of our nutrition-related projects focus on USDA’s nutrition assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the Child Nutrition programs, including the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the School Breakfast Program (SBP), the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).  

Duties may include:

  • Leading coding work using USDA’s nutrient and food group databases
  • Designing study plans for data collection and analysis
  • Cleaning large, complex data sets and leading quantitative analyses to estimate nutrition-related outcomes
  • Drafting reports and briefs and developing data visualizations to enhance accessibility of findings
  • Presenting findings to policy, practitioner, and researcher audiences
  • Contributing to business development activities, including working on proposals for new projects for the USDA, other government agencies, and foundations
  • Bringing an equity focused lens to research and evaluation design, execution, and reporting
  • Overseeing activities of project teams and managing schedules and budgets to ensure high-quality project delivery
  • Mentoring staff to support their professional development and growth

Position Requirements:

  • Ph.D. (or Master’s with equivalent experience) in nutrition, public health, public policy, epidemiology, economics, or a related field
  • Three or more years of experience working on projects focused on estimating nutrition-related outcomes (such as the Healthy Eating Index and usual nutrient intakes)
  • In-depth knowledge of USDA’s nutrition assistance programs is preferred
  • Ability to perform quantitative data analysis; experience with qualitative analysis considered a plus
  • Ability to work well in teams
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to deal tactfully with clients and stakeholders, engage with diverse partners, and facilitate joint problem solving
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including for non-technical audiences

A cover letter, CV, and writing sample or job market paper must be submitted at the time of application via our online application system. 

Additionally, three letters of recommendation should be submitted directly by your references to

This position offers an anticipated annual base salary range of $90,000 - $130,000. This position may be eligible for a discretionary bonus based on company and individual performance.

Available locations: Princeton, NJ; Washington, DC; Cambridge, MA; Chicago, IL. While the company is currently working from home, we ask candidates to identify their preferred location for when we return to working in-person.

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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