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Research Manager (Hybrid DC-Area)

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Saturday, August 19, 2023

The Aspen Institute

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Since its founding in 1949, the Institute has been driving change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most critical challenges facing communities in the United States and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

To achieve our mission of a more free, just, and equitable society, we commit to working proactively to advance the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion across our myriad endeavors such as the recruitment, compensation, training, and advancement of staff. The best people-serving institutions make this commitment, and we seek to be a leader in the ways that we do so and learn from others. Visit our website to learn more about our commitment and recent actions taken toward building and nurturing a diverse and inclusive environment.

Program Description:

The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program (CEP) aims to identify and replicate practices and policies that significantly improve college student outcomes. Through the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence, the American Talent Initiative, our portfolio of projects to improve transfer outcomes, and other highly visible national projects, the College Excellence Program works to improve colleges’ capacity to achieve high levels of success for all students, and to eliminate disparities in postsecondary attainment and social mobility for students from low-income backgrounds and historically marginalized and underserved groups. Our work focuses on improving higher education institutions in six areas: ensuring high-quality learning, increasing completion rates, improving community college transfer and baccalaureate attainment, increasing post-college employment and earnings outcomes, ensuring strong access to college credentials of value, and achieving equity in outcomes across all domains. We advance those outcomes by quantitatively identifying and publicly elevating those colleges achieving excellent and equitable outcomes, conducting research on how those outcomes were accomplished, publishing reports and practical tools to support college leaders and practitioners interested in replicating effective practices, and conducting professional development programs for presidents, senior teams, board of trustees, and others. Learn more about our work at https://highered.aspeninstitute.org/

The College Excellence Program staff is a diverse team of talented professionals who share a commitment to increasing student success in higher education. We are motivated by the power of education to change lives, and we work hard to have measurable impact while also pushing ourselves to learn constantly, collaborate and innovate, and take joy from our work. The Aspen Institute's DC headquarters provides a vibrant setting in which to pursue these goals, and we benefit from a rich array of programs and staff within the broader institute.

Basic Function:

The Research Manager is a part of the College Excellence Program's Research Team, working to advance CEP’s research agenda. The Research Manager leads qualitative and quantitative research processes to support the development of executive leadership-facing publications, slide decks, and tools. In addition, the Research Manager will collaborate with colleagues to produce written memoranda, research briefs, blogs, and other deliverables.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop and lead qualitative research processes, including but not limited to scheduling and conducting research interviews; notetaking, synthesis, and knowledge management/organization; in-person and virtual site visit logistics

  • Collaborate to translate qualitative research into internal and external strategy memoranda, slide decks, research briefs, blogs, and tools.

  • Conduct quantitative analysis in Excel (Stata a plus) and visualize findings (Tableau experience a plus).

  • Liaise with key research partners and vendors to advance CEP's research agenda, including developing data-sharing agreements and scopes of work for major research contracts.

  • Support grant reporting and other external communications through data and research.

  • In collaboration with colleagues, make key decisions regarding research protocols, timelines, analyses, and written products

  • Budget management and stewardship to ensure that assigned research and site visit expenses remain within the expected budget. Execute related financial processes.

  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Education, and Experience:

Candidates will thrive in this role if they are intensely curious but can hone in on the most important details for their intended audiences; enjoy being behind the scenes advancing high-impact, high-visibility research but can engage with executive leadership on occasion, in particular through research interviews; are highly collaborative, working well with internal and external partners, and prioritize the highest quality product over individual ownership.

  • BA degree required; EdD, Ph.D., JD, MPP, or other related advanced degree welcome

  • At least five years of work experience conducting qualitative and/or quantitative research, translating research into practice, or other related experience

  • Experience with research interviews, Excel, Stata, and/or Tableau, a plus

  • Ability to produce solid first drafts of written products that meet the needs of identified audiences; proactively get and incorporate feedback on written products.

  • Ability to manage multiple processes at once, with increased scale and complexity; ability to design workplans for new processes or projects

To apply:

All interested applicants must submit the following:

  1. A one-page cover letter. CEP prefers cover letters that describe what motivates you and how you understand and relate to our mission, rather than a narrative version of your resume. Applications without a cover letter will not be considered.

  2. Resume/CV.

  3. Two non-academic writing samples, of any length you created without help or editing from others.

The Aspen Institute offers a generous benefits package including health, dental, vision, and prescription benefits, retirement benefits, and paid leave.

The Aspen Institute is an Equal Opportunity Employer and complies with all District and federal laws. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or protected veteran or disabled status and will not be discriminated against.