Employment

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.

Transcribers

 

Summary:

Research for Action (RFA) is seeking independent contractors to contribute to the qualitative research component of mixed-methods research projects. Applicants must have prior experience transcribing interviews, focus groups, meetings, and/or other forms of audio-recorded data. RFA is seeking individuals who can transcribe one hour of a standard one-on-one interview in 2-3 hours. Compensation will be based on prior experience and speed.

To Apply: Send your resume and a brief description of prior transcribing experience to applicants@researchforaction.org. Please include the title of the position in the subject of your email.

Qualitative Senior Research Associate or Director of Qualitative Research

Summary:

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

 

Quantitative Senior Research Associate or Research Associate

 

Summary:

Research for Action (RFA) is seeking a Quantitative Research Associate or Senior Research Associate to contribute to policy and evaluation studies in urban educational settings through research, data analysis, and writing. The Research Associate will participate in a variety of team-based research projects across a range of content areas. This is a full-time exempt position located at our office in Philadelphia; salary and title will be determined based on the experience and qualifications of the candidates.

Job Qualifications:

  • PhD in a relevant field such as statistics, sociology, education, economics, psychology, or public policy.
  • Quantitative research experience in educational settings.
  • Expertise with quantitative educational research methods including two or more of the following: multilevel modeling, value added modeling, experimental design, propensity score matching and other quasi-experimental methods.
  • Experience with, and/or strong interested in mastering, survey research (i.e., survey design, calculations of statistical power, creation of survey weights, design of survey questions, survey implementation software, analysis).
  • Fluent in Stata and experience with other statistical software such as HLM, R, etc.
  • 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.
  • 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)

To Apply: Send your resume, cover letter and a writing sample to applicants@researchforaction.org. Please include the title of the position in the subject of your email.

 

Now Hiring: Fall 2015 Interns

Fall internships run from August/September – December. Exact start and end dates are based on the needs of the project and the availability of the student. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter and resumé to applicants@researchforaction.org with the subject of “Fall Intern Application”. In your email, please include the two projects you’d most like to work on selected from the list below.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until all positions have been filled. Research for Action qualifies for work study and PHEAA and interns may also be eligible for course credit. Students not receiving work-study will be paid $7.25/hr.

 

Policy Intern

 

RFA’s policy team works to inform education policy discussions with relevant, rigorous, and nonpartisan policy research. The intern will support the team by researching education policy initiatives at the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and federal levels and contributing to briefs on specific issues. Applicants should be interested in education policy, qualitative research, and urban school reform. Graduate student preferred.

 

Desired Hours: 8 – 12 per week

 

Gates & Lumina Outcomes-Based Funding Intern

Project Description: In partnership with the Gates and Lumina Foundation, RFA is conducting an analysis of the effects of outcomes-based funding models on postsecondary student outcomes.  Historically, many higher education institutions have received state funding based on how many full-time equivalent students are enrolled at the beginning of the semester. In recent years, states have shifted their funding model to increase the number of students graduated from the state’s colleges and universities – this is called outcomes-based funding.

Intern Role:

  1. Quantitative tasks will include cleaning raw data files, merging data sets from student longitudinal data files, reviewing project team’s code and assisting in data analysis.
  2. Qualitative tasks will include developing coding scheme for analysis of qualitative interviews, document review based on knowledge of outcomes-based funding models, and coding and analyzing qualitative data on outcomes-based funding through ATLAS.ti.
  3. Assist in writing a Literature Review on the effects of outcomes-based funding models on student performance measures.

The intern will assist with other project tasks as needed.

Desired skill sets and experience:

  • Strong writing skills, interest in research in education and non-profit administration
  • Experience with the Stata statistical software package and Excel preferred
  • Familiarity with coding based statistical packages such as Stata, SAS, or R. Experience with coding in other computer languages is a plus.

Hours: 16 – 20 per week

 

Wallace Foundation Afterschool Youth Arts Initiative Intern

Project Description: Research for Action (RFA), in partnership with McClanahan Associates, Inc. (MAI), is conducting the evaluation of the Wallace Foundation’s Afterschool Youth Arts Initiative (YAI). In engaging the Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to partner on this endeavor, the Wallace Foundation has embarked upon a unique approach to delivering high-quality arts programs to disadvantaged tweens. The YAI program aims to achieve access, equity, and quality in arts education programming with a comprehensive model that is built on 10 quality principles, overseen by the BGCA national office, and adopted across multiple sites. The program will be piloted in three cities in 2014-2015, with two Boys and Girls clubs in each city implementing arts program aligned with 10 quality principals. The purposes of the evaluation is identification of early implementation successes, challenges, solutions, and lessons for the field that could lead the way for the successful development of similar programs throughout the country.

Intern Role: The Wallace intern will assist in fall 2015 survey preparation, interview/focus group protocol development, and may possibly sit in on phone interviews. Additionally, the intern may work on transcription of interviews from the field, code interview data in ATLAS.ti, conduct qualitative data analysis, and write analytic memos.

Desired Skills and Experience: Graduate level student preferred, with some experience in conducting qualitative data analysis, strong writing skills; Proficiency in Microsoft Office Word and Excel, ability to work independently and as part of a team. Applicants should be interested in education, social science, after-school programming, and the arts.

Hours: 10 per week

Research consultation for the Pennsylvania Academic and Career and Technical Training Alliance

Project Description: Research for Action supports the Pennsylvania Academic and Career Technical Training Network with implementation research and analysis of student outcome data. PACTT is a network of facilities serving adjudicated youth who have agreed to a common set of educational standards including provision of career and technical training for youth in their care. Implementation research in the coming year focuses on the provision of CTE supports and consists of phone interviews with staff of network affiliation, several site visits and interviews with youth and regarding transitions out of placement. RFA will also continue to conduct a literature review and scan of the field regarding best practices in CTE programming.

Intern Role: The intern will support the literature review and qualitative data collection and analysis. Specifically, the intern would help with coding and analysis of qualitative interview and site visit data.

Desired Skills and Experience: Coursework and experience with qualitative research and interest in juvenile justice issues. (Graduate student preferred.)

Hours: 10 – 15 per week