Senior Research Scientist - Academic Research Centers - Hybrid

NORC at the University of Chicago
K-Town, IL
Closing date
Mar 25, 2023

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Organization Type

NORC at the University of Chicago is seeking a dynamic and innovative Senior Research Scientist (SRS) to join the Academic Research Centers (ARC). The ideal candidate would have significant expertise in K-12 education research, with particular content expertise in STEM education research, policy, and/or evaluation. This person would have expertise in diverse methodological approaches, including qualitative and quantitative study design and data analysis; experience working directly with K-12 practitioners, policymakers, and funders; a proven track record of attracting external funding; and a deep desire to develop ARC's expanding education research portfolio.

This SRS's primary responsibilities include leadership and close collaboration with education researchers within ARC and across NORC to develop new research projects, design and implement research studies, develop, and maintain funder/client/collaborator relationships, and secure contracts and grants for research initiatives. The SRS will develop and grow their own research and evaluation portfolio focused on K-12 education, preferably with an emphasis on STEM education. They will collaborate with senior staff to develop and lead projects and will manage and mentor junior staff in the execution of these projects. Our goal is to complement ARC's current education research and evaluation portfolio by seeking out a proactive K-12 education expert that is eager to develop their own agenda within an established and collaborative team of education professionals.


The Academic Research Centers exemplify NORC's commitment to the highest standards of academic excellence and research innovation, and to applying basic research to practical social science problems. The Academic Research Centers and its wider relationship with the University of Chicago are mutually beneficial in many ways. As part of a learning culture, multidisciplinary project teams enrich learning, scholarship, and discovery. In particular, the Senior Research Scientist will have the opportunity to apply their expertise in practical settings through collaborations with University faculty and NORC senior education researchers as well as the department's broader cradle-to-career portfolio of work.


Provide substantive leadership and direction to task leaders and colleagues, particularly around K-12 and STEM policy and program implementation and evaluation
Lead business development efforts, including the writing and coordination of both grant applications and contract proposals, contributing to sections in which understanding of K-12/STEM education is vital, leading communications with clients, consultants, and members of the research community, and obtaining information about and interpreting upcoming and issued solicitations
Lead and provide expert technical input and direction to staff on all aspects of K-12 research and evaluation projects including study design, stakeholder engagement, measurement, data analysis, data interpretation, reporting and dissemination
Lead design of quantitative and/or qualitative data collection efforts in K-12 settings
Lead and collaborate on professional writing and presentations for education and research audiences
Independently draft and manage contract proposals and grant applications including project budgets
Conduct business development research and use business intelligence tools to evaluate specific opportunities
Communicate effectively with key strategic partners inside and outside of NORC, as well as current and prospective funders and clients to advance the ARC's strategic initiatives
Initiate and maintain relationships with K-12 school systems to conduct research
Manage teams to carry out projects and business development opportunities, including monitoring and oversight of finances and administration for the projects
Flexible work location with onsite collaboration (in Chicago) preferred


Masters' degree required, Doctorate preferred, in education, psychology, sociology, public policy, or a related social science research field with demonstrated expertise in K-12 education, preferably with a concentration in STEM
Demonstrated record of funding for the applicant's research portfolio, including but not limited to private Foundations and federal agencies (e.g., IES, NSF, NIH)
Minimum 9 years' relevant work experience designing and implementing mixed-methods research in the K-12 or STEM education domains
Very strong oral and written communication skills with experience disseminating research findings across a variety of research, practice, and policy audiences
A strong orientation toward leading teams and coordinating work with other teams
Experience managing client relationships, complex projects, and budgetary oversight



NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, our teams have conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with us to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.


For over 75 years, NORC has evolved in many ways, moving the needle with research methods, technical applications and groundbreaking research findings. But our tradition of excellence, passion for innovation, and commitment to collegiality have remained constant components of who we are as a brand, and who each of us is as a member of the NORC team. With world-class benefits, a business casual environment, and an emphasis on continuous learning, NORC is a place where people join for the stellar research and analysis work for which we're known, and stay for the relationships they form with their colleagues who take pride in the impact their work is making on a global scale.


NORC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer that values and actively seeks diversity in the workforce. NORC evaluates qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, and other legally- protected characteristics.

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