As a community of over 800 researchers, practitioners, consultants, and administrative professionals from all backgrounds and life experiences, we are committed to making a qualitative difference in the lives of youth, children, and adults. We conduct and apply research, develop evidence-based solutions, and provide consulting services across the country in both rural and urban communities to improve equitable outcomes for individuals from infancy through adulthood. Serving as trusted partners in the areas of education, health, and justice, our teams enhance capacity within communities and school districts to prioritize impact — asking the right questions, customizing methodologies, developing relevant tools, and implementing best practices specific to a diverse range of stakeholder needs.
Furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion is core to who we are and how we work. We are committed to working with our clients to illuminate and address disparities, value and elevate diverse voices, and ensure equitable access to our resources and services. Please review our Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.
As a monitoring Research Associate on the School Choice Team, you will support project-based teams in monitoring, research, and evaluation. This focus includes contributing to the design and execution of original research and analysis in order to provide collaborative and research-based recommendations to education professionals at all levels of the system, as well as contributing to the broader field of education research.
The position will work within existing project teams to support large-scale field-based research requiring strong quantitative and qualitative skills. This includes utilizing established protocols and processes to conduct document reviews and other qualitative data analyses; interviewing a wide spectrum of stakeholders including school, non-profit, and state-level staff; and synthesizing document and interview data to assess implementation status and compliance. This position also requires meticulous report writing and communication skills.
As a critical member of our growing team of evaluation researchers, the Monitoring Research Associate will also have the opportunity to grow as a researcher within WestEd, steer collaborative research projects, identify new and emerging opportunities in education research, and pursue project funding to execute your ideas.
Core Focus Areas
Data Collection and Analysis (60%)
- Collect and analyze programmatic and financial information to identify implementation status and align with proposed or expected implementation status, including document reviews and interview data analysis
- Collect and analyze quantitative data to build, maintain, merge, and manage datasets to effectively summarize descriptive data, and lead or contribute to conducting statistical analyses
Reporting and Dissemination (30%)
- Prepare research and evaluation results in a variety of formats such as research reports, memos, policy briefs, tables and charts, and presentations
- Create written resources that are accessible and digestible for WestEd’s clients and also leverage oral and presentation skills
Proposal and Resource Development (10%)
- Contribute to the creation of complex project proposals and outreach that results in growth of WestEd services and subsequent impact on the field and the coordination of these growth and implementation efforts
- Identify and contribute to development of new and emerging business opportunities in school choice, monitoring, or other education research topics
What We’re Looking For
To help us support policymakers and practitioners to effectively develop, enact, and implement approved grant projects that positively impact learners from diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, we’re looking for someone who brings the following interests and areas of expertise:
- master’s degree in education or public policy research or related field or a bachelor’s degree and five years of experience in a related field
- professional or academic experience in qualitative analysis and research methodology, including managing large datasets of qualitative data and strong interview skills for education stakeholders of various levels as well as effectively summarizing qualitative data to assess implementation
- professional or academic experience in quantitative analysis and research methodology, especially research methods specific to education policy and research as well as effectively summarize descriptive data, and lead or contribute to conducting statistical analyses using advanced statistical methods (e.g., factor analysis, multiple regression, hierarchical linear modeling).
- familiarity with school choice policy, school finance, and grants management preferred, but not required
- excellent writing and verbal communication skills with an ability to communicate complex information to a range of internal and external audiences (please be prepared to submit a professional writing sample)
- experience with project management including the ability to identify and think through all necessary steps of a project; set appropriate personal deadlines and adhere to team deadlines; move seamlessly between prioritized tasks; and identify when additional support or direction is needed
- ability to travel to conduct on-site interviews and observations (as allowed by public health recommendations)
Other skills, abilities, and experiences of interest
- effective collaboration and communication skills to effectively engage with internal and external partners
- knowledge and understanding of education research and/or research on school systems that enable equal opportunity for all students
- understanding of various educational settings including schools and classrooms as well as a respect for and understanding of the structure of how teachers and administrators function.
- ability to understand and navigate the complexities of school systems and school choice policy and practice
SPECIAL NOTICE REGARDING THE WORK LOCATION OF THIS POSITION—Currently, all staff at WestEd are working from home until further notice. Once we return to offices, this position will be based in one of WestEd’s offices. Candidates can submit a request to work from home.
Salary for this role is competitive and at WestEd grade Level F. WestEd offers a very generous benefits package including medical, dental, and vision coverage, as well as Life, AD&D and Disability insurance. We also offer various retirement plan options and Flexible Spending Accounts for medical, childcare, and commuter expenses. WestEd offers generous paid holidays and paid time off (PTO), among other benefits.
Perks and Benefits
In addition to WestEd’s comprehensive benefits, our team values flexibility and offers flexible work hours. WestEd aims to provide you with a safe and comfortable work environment. Committed to the diversity of race, ethnicities, perspectives, and opportunities, WestEd offers a variety of ways to build community, including Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), affinity groups (e.g., WestEd Parents), and professional learning communities (PLCs) for Data Intelligence, Insights, Innovation, and Women in Tech, just to name a few. We hope you’ll consider joining us to build better schools, communities, learning pathways, and more!