Senior Research Associate and Program Lead

Columbia University
10027, New York City

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Position Summary

The Community College Research Center (CCRC) at Teachers College, Columbia University, studies community colleges because they provide critical access to postsecondary education and are uniquely positioned to promote equity and social mobility in the United States. Our mission is to conduct research that helps these institutions strengthen opportunities and improve outcomes for their students, particularly those from underserved populations.

CCRC is recruiting a Senior Research Associate and Program Lead who will join its leadership team and be responsible for developing and managing a set of applied research projects designed to improve education and career outcomes for students. We are seeking an individual who is a recognized expert in at least one content area in postsecondary education (for example, high school-to-college transitions, teaching and learning, student services, workforce training, higher education finance, or others) and who is committed to increasing equity and opportunity for underserved students. The successful candidate will be part of CCRC’s efforts to make the design and execution of research more equitable, race-conscious, and impactful.

CCRC conducts its work in partnership with states and institutions across the U.S. and actively disseminates its research to policymakers, practitioners, and other audiences interested in community colleges and higher education reform. We offer a collaborative work environment in a university setting that includes robust communications and grants management teams, access to rich administrative data sets, and skilled graduate students who are preparing for careers in higher education research and teaching.

The Senior Research Associate and Program Lead should have either a Ph.D. or a master’s degree and relevant work experience. The position is based in New York City and will require some travel. Please find the application link at and include a cover letter, resume or CV, and two writing samples (preferably lead or sole author) with your application.

CCRC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We believe that our diversity is essential to our success, and we aim to cultivate a respectful and inclusive environment where all employees are empowered to do their best work. For information about CCRC’s current research activities, mission, and values, please visit

Project development and fundraising
•    Identify new strands of work and develop personal content knowledge to be responsive to opportunities in the field
•    Lead the development of new research projects
•    Lead proposal development and grant writing activities
•    Cultivate and maintain relationships with funders and with state, research, and institutional partners

Research program management
•    Lead, as part of the CCRC leadership team, organizational development and strategy activities for CCRC, including our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion
•    Ensure projects are properly staffed and other necessary supports are in place
•    Identify professional development needs and opportunities for researchers
•    Develop with center leadership a communications strategy for the program area

Project and staff management
•    Lead a set of projects within one or more program areas
•    Mentor, train, and oversee the work of junior staff and/or students
•    Delegate key project tasks appropriately
•    Monitor progress toward project milestones and timelines

Writing and dissemination
•    Act as an ambassador for CCRC and be a recognized expert in a program area
•    Author or coauthor reports, blog posts, and articles for policy and practitioner audiences
•    Present findings and represent CCRC to scholarly and practitioner audiences
•    Work with the director of applied learning to engage target audiences

Data collection, management, and analysis
•    Oversee major data collections and identification of data sources
•    Lead quantitative and/or qualitative analysis
•    Develop implications and recommendations based on research findings

Center service
•    Model CCRC values internally and externally
•    Lead or serve on working groups to help create an inclusive and supportive working environment for staff and partners

•    Ph.D. or master’s degree in economics, education, public policy, sociology, statistics, or a related field
•    8+ years of experience conducting research projects in education or related field and 5+ years managing research projects
•    Content knowledge of higher education policy and practice and current issues facing community colleges
 •    Successful track record of writing research proposals and winning grants or contracts
•    Experience and skills in interacting with external organizations and funders
•    Experience supervising the work of other professionals, including training and overseeing a research team
•    Extensive knowledge of and experience with quantitative (e.g., econometric analysis) or qualitative research design and methods
•    Excellent written and oral communication skills
•    Excellent organizational and management skills
•    Advanced proficiency in Stata, SAS, and/or R (quantitative) or advanced proficiency in Dedoose or similar qualitative data analysis software (qualitative)

Preferred Qualifications
•    Experience working with community colleges and community college data, including managing and manipulating administrative data sets
•    Experience recruiting states, colleges, or schools to participate in external research projects
•    Familiarity with federal agencies and philanthropic foundations that support education research and dissemination
•    Record of publishing academic articles and research-based products aimed at nonacademic audiences

CCRC at Teachers College is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. CCRC does not discriminate, and all qualified applications will receive consideration without regard to race; color; national origin; religion; creed; sex or gender (including sex stereotyping and gender identity or expression); sexual orientation; citizenship status; pregnancy; disability; age; military or veteran status; marital or partnership status; genetic information, genetic predisposition, or carrier status; prior unemployment status; consumer credit history; status as a victim of domestic violence, sex offenses, or stalking; or any other category protected by applicable federal, state, or local laws. Legal work authorization is required.

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