Principal Researcher, Postsecondary Education

United States (US)
Jul 23, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Title: Principal Researcher, Postsecondary Education

Job ID: 10819

Job Location: Washington, D.C., San Mateo, California, Chicago, Illinois, Austin, Texas, or Waltham, Massachusetts

American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a leading behavioral and social science research organization. We are a collaborative organization and have developed a strong reputation for working closely with our clients to study wide range of programs and policies, from early childhood, K-12, and postsecondary education to workforce, health, and economic development. AIR prides itself in conducting high-impact, high-stakes projects for public, private, and philanthropic clients. We are committed to helping build and apply the best evidence-base to solve real world problems and improve the lives of all people.

AIR is seeking a Principal Researcher to contribute significant subject matter knowledge and methodological expertise to our postsecondary education practice area’s continued success and growth. The major responsibilities of the position are:

  • Lead rigorous research and evaluation studies in postsecondary education
  • Provide expertise and thought leadership in the field through publications, presentations, and service to the community
  • Provide leadership and technical advice ensuring the quality and utility of AIR research and evaluation studies addressing central problems of higher education policy and practice
  • Contribute significantly to the leadership of the postsecondary education group’s growth efforts, especially through strategy formulation and execution as well as partnership, client, and network development • Help members of the postsecondary group succeed and develop professionally as researchers and thought partners contributing to the improvement of postsecondary education


  • PhD in a relevant field with a minimum of 10 years managing and conducting research, evaluations, and related work
  • National reputation for research and evaluation expertise in postsecondary education, as evidenced through publications / presentations and service to the larger community
  • Strong partnerships with, and extensive networks of, leaders in postsecondary education research, policy, and practice
  • Held in high regard as a thought partner by leaders in postsecondary education research, policy, and practice
  • Demonstrated success in leading large, complex studies of implementation and impact and in developing high-utility measures for higher education studies
  • Track record of winning competitive contracts/grants from funders (e.g., Federal, state, and local government; foundations)
  • Strong leadership, organizational, and interpersonal skills at a senior/managerial level.
  • Proven ability to develop staff capacity in research design, methods, and measurement; project management; client and partner relationships, and business development
  • Commitment to AIR’s mission to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation towards improving people's lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged.

American Institutes for Research is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to excellence through diversity. Minorities, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply. American Institutes for Research’s commitment to Diversity goes beyond legal compliance to its full integration in our strategy, operations and work environment. Diversity is valued, and Inclusion is reflected in all efforts to recruit, develop, and engage the diverse staff needed to accomplish our mission.

Use this link: Or visit AIR’s Careers Page and search for job opening 10819

Accessibility Notice: If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process due to a physical or mental disability, please send an email to Erica Nicholson at [email protected] or call 202.403.5846.

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