Sr. Research Associate

Atlanta, Georgia
Commensurate with experience
Sep 24, 2020
Jobs Outside Higher Education
Non-Profit Organizations & Associations
Institution Type
Outside Academe

Supports the quantitative and qualitative research activities of the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute by designing and managing research studies, including but not limited to: collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data; advising on results and findings and making recommendations for policy, program, and development decision-making, and coordinating organization program evaluation activities. Will assist with the management and administration of research teams and consultants as needed.  

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:  

  • Design research studies to provide up-to-date data and information on historically black colleges and universities, minority serving institutions, Black students, UNCF’s scholarship and internship programs, and policy-related issues of relevance to UNCF’s mission. 
  • Provide expert consultation and collaborate on solving problems arising from UNCF policy, program, and development concerns. 
  • Manage databases of the FDPRI to support various research studies required by the divisions, field offices, and member institutions. 
  • Generate or contribute to new or modified theories of educational policy processes, research methodology and analytic or interpretative procedures. Contribute to the development of new publications, products, or services for education. 
  • Lead the development of grant and conference proposals and project budgets for FDPRI. 

Supervisory Responsibilities: This position will periodically supervise interns

Competency: To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Analytical – Synthesizes complex or diverse information; collects and researches data; Uses intuition and experience to complement data analyses;
  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Project Management - Develops project plans; Coordinates projects; Communicates changes and progress; Completes projects on time and budget; Manages project team activities; Designs workflows and procedures.
  • Oral Communication - Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings.
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Teamwork - Balances team and individual responsibilities.
  • Strategic Thinking - Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; Adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  •  Judgment - Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Quality - Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality.
  • Innovation - Displays original thinking and creativity; Meets challenges with resourcefulness; Generates suggestions for improving work; Develops innovative approaches and ideas.


Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Education and/or Experience:

Master's degree required in the areas of Educational policy, (preferably in higher education), Educational psychology, Educational Administration or related field and at least two to four years of data management and/or institutional research experience. Doctoral degree (Ph.D. or Ed.D.) degree preferred.   

Language Skills:                                                       

Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals. Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from customers. Ability to write articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format. Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors. 

Mathematical Skills:                                                            

Ability to apply advanced mathematical concepts such as exponents, logarithms, quadratic equations, and permutations.  Ability to apply mathematical operations to such tasks as frequency distribution, determination of test reliability and validity, analysis of variance, correlation techniques, sampling theory, and factor analysis. 

Reasoning Ability:                                                                

Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables. 

 Computer Skills: 

Knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, and Statistical software such as SPSS, or SAS. 

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:


Other Skills, Knowledge and Abilities: 

Ability to organize and manage information resources; extensive knowledge of research methodology, data analysis, and program evaluation using qualitative and quantitative techniques; ability to analyze and interpret research data; and ability to juggle/prioritize multiple tasks.                                                            

Other Qualifications: 

Expertise in higher education research.   

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and distance vision. 

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. 

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.