Qualitative Senior Research Associate or Director of Qualitative Research [Job Post]

About the Organization:

Research for Action (RFA) is an independent, non-profit educational research organization that seeks to use research as the basis for the improvement of educational opportunities and outcomes for traditionally underserved students. With over two decades of experience, our work is designed to strengthen public schools and postsecondary institutions; provide research-based recommendations to policymakers, practitioners and the public at the local, state and national levels; and enrich the civic and community dialogue about public education.


Research for Action (RFA) is seeking a full-time Qualitative Senior Research Associate to contribute to policy and evaluation studies in educational settings through research, data analysis, and writing.  The Senior Research Associate will participate in a variety of team-based research projects across a range of content areas.

There is potential for this hire to also join RFA’s senior management team as Director of Qualitative Research. The Director of Qualitative Research will lead a team of seven qualitative researchers, work with the other four Department Directors and the Executive Director respond a wide range of organizational issues, and lead some elements of the development process.

Job Qualifications for Senior Research Associate:

  • Doctoral degree in a relevant field such as education, sociology, psychology, or public policy.
  • Significant qualitative research experience in educational settings.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to work collaboratively with team members on projects and ease at building rapport with interviewees, clients, and colleagues of diverse backgrounds.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, and the ability to communicate effectively with academic, policy, and practitioner audiences.
  • Demonstrated research interests in one or more of RFA’s core research areas:
    • K-16 district, state and federal policy
    • Urban school reform
    • Out-of-school programming
    • Youth development
    • Literacy
    • Teacher quality and effectiveness
    • College access and success
    • Educational needs of vulnerable youth (e.g. youth in foster care and/or juvenile justice system)
  • Commitment to improving public education.


Additional Qualifications for Director of Qualitative Research:

  • Desire to become a productive member of a highly energetic, mission-driven senior management team.
  • Strong evidence of ability to think and act strategically in service to the mission of the organization.
  • Proven track record of leadership capacity resulting in high morale and high quality of work.
  • Superb external communications skills, including evidence of successfully interacting with a wide variety of high-level educational stakeholders.
  • Track record of successful fund-raising or development.
  • Strong reputation.

To Apply: Please send your resume, cover letter and a writing sample to applicants@researchforaction.org. In the subject line of your email, please specify the position you are applying for.

Laura Kaiser
Office & Human Resources Manager
Research for Action
Land Title Building
100 South Broad Street, Suite 700
Philadelphia, PA 19110


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