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Senior Researcher and Project Leader for Children, Youth, and Families

Job ID 1079-1

Position Description:

Mathematica is a national leader in partnering with public- and private-sector organizations to use evidence to improve programs and policies. We are dedicated to improving public well-being and reimagining how the world gathers and uses data. Our 1,400 experts work with clients to address urgent social challenges, develop strategies for learning and improvement, and make evidence-informed decisions. Mathematica works across the country and around the globe, serving federal agencies, state and local governments, foundations, universities, professional associations, and businesses. Our analyses yield information that guides decisions in education, early childhood, child welfare, family support, nutrition assistance, employment, health, disability, criminal justice, and international development.

Mathematica seeks a senior researcher who is passionate about improving the well-being of children, youth, and families to lead research and evaluation, program improvement, and technical assistance projects. In particular, we seek a senior researcher to lead projects in the areas of strengthening family relationships and teen pregnancy prevention for government agencies at the federal, state, and local level as well as private philanthropic and nonprofit clients. Our current work includes projects on topics such as identifying implementation challenges and promising solutions for healthy marriage and relationship education programs, identifying strategies to improve father engagement across a range of federal programs, developing and testing innovative training approaches and curriculum modules for prevention programs for adolescents, examining the implementation and effectiveness of teen pregnancy prevention programs, and providing training and technical assistance to federal grantees in designing and conducting implementation and impact evaluations.

The new senior researcher will join our growing interdisciplinary staff of psychologists, sociologists, economists, and public policy researchers in the Children, Youth, and Families (CFY) division within the Human Services unit. Senior researchers will contribute to continuing growth in the CYF division by directing projects, identifying and obtaining new opportunities, and mentoring junior staff. We offer our employees a stimulating team-oriented work environment, competitive salaries, and a comprehensive benefits package,as well as the advantages of employee ownership.


  • Engage with clients to understand the challenges they face and work collaboratively with them to develop innovative solutions
  • Lead interdisciplinary teams to conduct research, program improvement, and technical assistance projects in the CYF division
  • Contribute to business development and proposals for new projects for the US Department of Health and Human Services, other government agencies, and foundations
  • Work collaboratively with federal grantees and other practitioners to develop, implement, or test strategies for improving program performance and services
  • 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 children, youth, and families through communications, testimony, publications, and conferences in professional, practitioner, and research settings
  • Contribute to the professional development of other research staff working in the CYF division

Position Requirements:

  • Ph.D. or equivalent in psychology, sociology, economics, public policy, or a related field or a combination of equivalent education and work experience
  • Extensive knowledge of federal programs and approaches for supporting children, youth, and families, such as healthy marriage and relationship education; responsible fatherhood; sexual health education; personal responsibility education; or positive youth development.
  • Ten or more years of experience working with or evaluating programs/interventions designed to support children, youth, and families, such as relationship education programs, responsible fatherhood programs, programs serving expectant or parenting young mothers, or school- or community-based prevention programs for youth.
  • Experience interacting with federal grantees or other program practitioners through such as activities as training and technical assistance, program or curriculum development, or continuous quality improvement.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, including experience communicating research questions, designs, and findings in non-technical language to program practitioners, state and federal agency staff, and program funders and experience facilitating trainings for large groups.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including a demonstrated ability to deal tactfully and diplomatically with clients and other external stakeholders
  • Evidence of successful business development activities with the federal government or federally funded state or local government agencies

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. 

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

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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