The Research Associate is a critical component of the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI) team, directly informing the development of a research agenda supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Black students. The Research Associate is responsible for participating in research protocol development and the execution of numerous research methods that support the larger agenda. Additionally, the Research Associate is charged with developing and executing a broad range of efforts to inform UNCF program design and development efforts, including advancing various program’s research and their monitoring, and evaluation and learning work to inform strategy and practice. The Research Associate will also support the larger UNCF team in assessing the outcomes of program activities, and advising and supporting program leadership in the monitoring, evaluation and learning of program activities. Additionally, the individual will work with external academic and research partners to support the quality of their work and identify and undertake research to inform UNCF’s ongoing organizational and strategy development.
The successful candidate will be part of a team seeking to partner with HBCUs and to increase outcomes for Black students in the K-20 pipeline. The position requires a highly motivated and collaborative individual, who can communicate effectively and possesses strong organizational, analytic, evaluation, and writing abilities.
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, has been an engine of minority educational achievement for more than 70 years. UNCF’s mission is to build a robust and nationally recognized pipeline of black students who, because of UNCF support, become highly qualified college graduates. In addition, UNCF ensures that its member institutions remain respected models of best practices in moving students to and through college. Since its inception in 1944, UNCF has raised over $4.5 billion in private support, distributed more scholarships to help minorities attend school than any entity outside of the federal government, and enabled more than 425,000 minority and low-income students to graduate from UNCF’s member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and launch professional careers. UNCF is committed to closing the educational attainment gap between African Americans and other populations by increasing postsecondary access and success for students from underrepresented groups, particularly low-income and first-generation students.
Responsibilities and Duties:
The Research Associate reports to the Director of FDPRI. S/he will support the development and execution of The UNCF research agenda. The Research Associate will work closely and collaboratively with other UNCF teams, partnering institutions, external academic partner and experts in the field to promote research outcomes/findings, execute research protocols, and learning and evaluation strategies as needed. The main element of their work will be the crafting and refining of research initiatives and execution of a variety of both qualitative and quantitative methods in the field.
Specific responsibilities include:
- Develop research protocols to support identified research agendas and studies
- Execute various methodologies and methods related to overall UNCF research strategy
- Produce literature for the higher education field related to UNCF program analyses
- Craft research proposals and presentations for higher education and educational research fields
- Handle special evaluation and learning-related projects as assigned
Program Evaluation Design and Implementation
- Assess needs and design monitoring and evaluation plans to address the progress
- Manage quality mid-term, final, developmental and other types of evaluations of projects that support strategic learning
- Participate efforts to link program evaluation with ongoing program planning and improvement, including assistance with developing and/or updating strategic approaches, theories of change, operating models, identifying appropriate indicators, and analyzing data
- Manage the analysis and synthesis of key themes, achievements and lessons-learned for reporting
- Collaborate with staff to effectively share the lessons learned from programs
- Help foster a “culture of evaluation” and contribute to the program’s capacity and efforts around institutional learning and knowledge management.
- Execute training and development programming for participating institutions
- Experience with qualitative and quantitative research required
- Higher Education, Educational Policy or Educational Research experienced preferred.
- Program development and evaluation experience preferred
- Master’s degree required, PhD strongly preferred
- Demonstrated skill in prioritizing and balancing multiple competing tasks, projects and deadlines
- Excellent written, verbal, and presentation communication skills
- Demonstrated skill in working collaboratively and effectively
- Highly proficient in Microsoft Office products (Outlook, Word, Excel, and
- PowerPoint) and experience using data analysis tools such as Atlas Ti, Nvivo, SPSS and R.
- Superior analytic, writing, and editing skills. Experience in writing research reports and best practices guides is ideal.
- Individual must be a self-starter, who is able to problem-solver and take on a wide range of tasks to deliver results; collegial and professional manner; excellent communication and inter-personal skills.