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Human Services Researcher

Job ID 981-6

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.

Mathematica is seeking researchers for our Human Services division to conduct studies and program improvement in family support, child welfare, education, child development, labor, criminal justice, nutrition, and related topics.

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

  • Engaging staff in workforce development programs in a continuous improvement approach to learn, innovate, and improve
  • Providing evaluation technical assistance to reduce youth homelessness
  • Improving child welfare outcomes for children and families through predictive analytics
  • Evaluating strategies for strengthening the engagement of fathers and paternal relatives
  • Advising state TANF agencies on evidence-based ways to increase program engagement
  • Helping states and school districts build capacity to use data and strengthen supports for educators and students
  • Estimating the prevalence of identity theft in the SNAP (food stamp) program
  • Evaluating programs that provide coaching for hard-to-employ low-income populations
  • Examining the impacts of instructional strategies in inclusive preschool classrooms

Duties may include: 

  • Guiding programs and policymakers in using evidence to make decisions
  • Designing rigorous methods for evaluating programs and policies, conducting analyses, reviewing and synthesizing existing evidence, drafting briefs and reports
  • Helping program administrators and policymakers make decisions by cleaning, organizing, analyzing, and presenting large amounts of data
  • Providing assistance to programs and other organizations on conducting evaluations
  • Presenting findings to policy, practitioner, and researcher audiences

Position Requirements:

  • Ph.D. or equivalent 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, state or federal government, or foundation, or with child welfare, is desirable

A cover letter, CV, and writing sample or job market paper must be submitted at the time of application via our online application system. Please note in your cover letter if you will be attending the APPAM conference in November.

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

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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