The Youth Development program area is seeking a Research Scientist/Senior Research Scientist who will be responsible for conducting research and evaluation projects primarily focused on juvenile justice system transformation, community-centered approaches to preventing offending, dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, and related youth and young adult well-being in collaboration with senior staff members. Research studies in this area place special emphasis on racial and ethnic equity, positive youth development, community engagement, and the translation of research to practice and policy. The successful candidate will have subject matter expertise and experience conducting research and evaluation projects related to juvenile justice.
Child Trends’ Youth Development team studies adolescence and young adulthood and the contexts that shape development. Our ultimate mission is to foster positive development and well-being among adolescents and young adults. Through rigorous research, evaluation, technical assistance, and measure development, we aim to improve the programs, systems, and policies that impact adolescents, young adults, and their families. We develop logic models, conduct needs assessments, design programs, build program capacity for data-driven decision making, and share our findings with a variety of partners. Our work is grounded in a positive youth development approach that is strengths-based, responsive to the needs of communities, and focused on improving program quality, reducing disparities, and promoting positive outcomes and equity. Our team’s interests span a variety of topics, including out-of-school time, school- and community-based interventions, youth and young adult employment, economic self-sufficiency, juvenile justice, behavioral and emotional health, and the prevention of substance use and other risk behaviors.
Our team values equity and recognizes that systemic discrimination has negatively impacted the well-being of individuals, families, and communities who also are underrepresented in the research field. As researchers, we aim to promote equity by centering the lived experiences of these individuals in our research. As researchers, we also commit to ensuring that we are contributing to Child Trends’ work culture in an equitable way. We strongly encourage individuals from populations that are historically underrepresented in research and academic fields (e.g., first-generation college students, first-generation immigrants, people of color, individuals with lived experience in the justice system) to apply.
Typical Duties and Responsibilities:
- Works in conjunction with senior staff to identify appropriate work on which to bid (RFPs) and the important research questions for which to seek funding.
- Leads/co-leads proposals and builds a line of work within the organization.
- Designs and leads research and evaluation projects; ensures all projects are designed around client and community needs with rigorous methodology.
- Serves as project director/principal investigator; manages teams of researchers.
- Performs or manages quantitative data analyses; creates, cleans, and runs syntax or code using statistical software such as Stata, Mplus, or R.
- Collects and analyzes qualitative data using a qualitative software such as NVivo or Dedoose.
- Supervises data collection and analysis performed by junior staff.
- Engages community members and other key partners in the interpretation of study findings from policy, program, or community perspectives.
- Serves as an expert in the field and disseminates findings through presentations, testimony to policymakers, and publication of papers, technical reports, research briefs, executive summaries, blogs, and other non-technical communications products.
- Ensures client satisfaction and builds client relationships.
- Serves as a supervisor and mentor for junior staff.
- Supports Child Trends’ best-place-to-work environment and commitment to racial and ethnic equity.
- Reviews resumes and interviews candidates for employment.
- Relevant Ph.D.-level knowledge. Applicants with master’s degrees or other relevant degrees will be considered, but additional experience will be expected.
- Demonstrated expertise in juvenile justice and youth and young adult development.
- Knowledge of and experience with quantitative research methods. Experience with outcome evaluations and analyses of administrative data sets preferred. Specific knowledge of methods for causal inference including regression discontinuity, difference in differences, interrupted time series designs, and propensity score matching is a plus.
- Strong analytical skills and statistical software programming ability required. Data visualization experience preferred.
- Experience with the collection and analysis of qualitative data.
- Demonstrated ability to manage research projects effectively with keen attention to detail and quality.
- Knowledgeable about data management and security.
- Experience engaging community members and other partners in the research process is a plus.
- Excellent oral and written communication.
- Experience contributing to successful proposals to foundations and government funders is a plus for Scientist candidates and is required for Senior Scientist candidates.
How to Apply:
Please follow the “apply” link to submit your application. When asked by the system to upload resume, please upload one document that includes your resume, cover letter, transcripts, a writing sample and contact information for three professional references. Materials must be combined into one document in order to be uploaded. If you have any difficulties with this process please email the requested materials to recruitment (at) childtrends.org and make sure to reference the position in the subject line. No phone calls please!
Child Trends, founded in 1979, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization dedicated to improving the lives of children by conducting research and providing science-based information to improve the decisions, programs, and policies that affect children. With annual revenue of $23 million and 192 employees, our clients include federal, state and local government agencies, foundations, and service providers. Our headquarters is located in Bethesda, Maryland, with offices in Minneapolis and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In 2018, we were recognized as a Great Place to Work for Women, Best Workplace in Consulting & Professional Services and Best Small & Medium Workplace.
Child Trends is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer. Protected veterans and individuals with disability encouraged to apply.