Search Institute

Research Scientist

Are you passionate about youth research and development? Are you a mixed-methods researcher with expertise in measurement and evaluation? If so, consider joining Search Institute’s team as a Research Scientist. Search Institute is a research to practice organization focused on positive youth development. For over 50 years, Search has been a leader and partner for organizations around the world in discovering what kids need to succeed.


Quantitative and Mixed Methods Research and Evaluation

  •   Lead or collaborate in the design and implementation of evaluation research studies, including developmental evaluations, observational (pre-post) studies, quasi-experimental studies, and RCTs.

  •   Lead measurement model building, testing, scoring, and interpretation of self-report surveys.

  •   Design and implement data collection and management processes for linking survey data with school and

    program records as well as other data sources.

  •   Work with school and organizational partners to negotiate and implement data-sharing and data-collection

    agreements, including securing IRB approvals.

  •   As part of mixed methods studies, collaborate in designing and facilitating focus groups and interviews, and then

    analyzing, interpreting, and reporting findings.

  •   Communicate research findings via reports, papers, articles, and other publications and presentations for a

    variety of audiences, including scholars, practitioners, and the public.

  •   Lead grant and contract proposals that support Search Institute’s research agenda and strategic priorities.

    Technical Assistance & Field Work

  •   Maintain strong, respectful working relationships with project sites, partners, and field staff.

  •   Provide technical support to project sites in designing and implementing mixed methods research and evaluation


  •   Facilitate research-based workshops, trainings, and presentations.

  •   Lead data collection efforts in the field.

  •   Facilitate data transfers between Search Institute and external clients/researchers.

    Project Management

  •   Collaborate with Search Institute staff and external partners to successfully execute project goals and deliverables.

  •   Collaborate in communicating project implementation, project status, and results.

  •   Plan, monitor, and report on project budgets, timelines, deliverables, and contract and grant compliance.

  •   Create and maintain accurate master data and technical report files for projects.


    Skills & Abilities:

  •   Excellent written and oral communication skills

  •   Strong organizational and project management skills

  •   Mastery of group facilitation, consulting, and presentation skills across diverse populations

  •   Ability to develop, facilitate, and deliver data-focused training workshops in youth development and/or education


  •   Research and analyze complex information as a basis for decision making

  •   Understand educational, organizational and/or community systems well enough to work through proper channels

    and to assist project teams with data collection and interpretation

Job Posting

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  •   Ability to work together and building strong relationships with leaders in different fields and at different levels of responsibility. Individual must have a track record of gaining trust of, and working effectively with, both senior leadership teams and frontline workers.

  •   Demonstrated interest, experience, and expertise related to Search Institute’s core mission

  •   Proficient in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word

  •   Ability to pass a criminal background check

    Education & Experience:

  •   PhD in the fields of human development, education, youth studies, social work, or evaluation

  •   Expertise in measurement and assessing developmental change in academic, socioemotional, and relational


  •   Strong analytic skills, including structural equation modeling, multilevel modeling, and latent mixture modeling.

  •   Proficient in statistical software packages such as Mplus and SPSS

  •   Minimum of 5 years experience in an applied research/evaluation setting (e.g., school district, nonprofit)

  •   Training in research ethics and data protection standards

  •   Successful completion of the mandatory CITI Human Research Participant Protections training; can be obtained

    within first 30 days of employment

  •   Cross-cultural knowledge and experience

  •   Leadership experience with continuous improvement processes in an educational environment, preferred

  •   Bilingual, preferred


    August 10 Sept 1, 2016


    If you meet the qualifications of this position and would like to apply, please email the following information to by September 1, 2016:

  •   Cover letter

  •   Resume or CV

  •   Two first-authored writing samples.

  •   Answers to the following questions:

    1. Search Institute's research agenda is focused on the application of research to important developmental and contextual issues in the lives of young people, their families, and their communities. Briefly tell us how your previous training and experience has prepared you to conduct applied research.

    2. Tell us about your qualifications to lead evaluation research studies.

    3. What are your salary requirements

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