Grounded in 130 years working to advance social justice, Heartland Alliance informs public policy decisions and advances solutions to improve opportunities and quality of life for people experiencing inequity, living in poverty, and facing danger. Heartland Alliance’s Research & Policy Division engages in research on social issues and solutions, policy and systems change, and field building nationwide. The division is home to the Social IMPACT Research Center, Heartland Alliance’s Policy & Advocacy team, and Heartland Alliance’s National Initiatives on Economic Opportunity.
The Social IMPACT Research Center conducts applied research for nonprofits, foundations, advocacy groups, governments, coalitions, and the media to help them measure, inform, and grow their social impact. IMPACT also regularly reports on key poverty trends to equip decision makers with sound data to inform public policy. Being embedded into Heartland Alliance, a leading anti-poverty organization doing direct service work with a systems-change orientation, gives IMPACT a unique approach and values that differentiate us from many other research groups: We intentionally conduct applied research, meaning that the first and most central priority of all our studies is to elucidate practical learnings for the program or effort under study. We bring an acute sense of the landscape, a deep knowledge of vulnerable populations, and a keen sense of social justice to every project.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Research Design & Project Management
- Serves as lead project manager on multiple projects with competing deadlines.
- Develops and implements project work plans.
- Collaborates with Director and Associate Director on research design and developing methods.
- Collaborates on developing and revising budgets as needed
Ethics & Equity Commitments
- Writes Institutional Review Board proposals.
- Adheres to research ethics as outlined in Institutional Review Board protocols and agency policies.
Carries out commitments to equity, inclusion, and diversity in research design and implementation by:
Lifting up marginalized voices in sample selection and research design.
Analyzing data with a racial and gender equity lens when possible.
Being culturally responsive when designing evaluation and data collection techniques.
Incorporating understandings of institutional racism, sexism, homophobia, and transphobia into conceptual frameworks governing research.
- Data collectionReviews literature from appropriate sources.
- Collaborates to develop sampling plans.
- Develops and adapts data collection tools.
- Develops and implements research recruitment materials.
- Develops informed consent materials, and administers and tracks informed consent process and documentation.
- Tests data collection tools and procedures.
- Conducts focus groups, interviews, and observations.
- Conducts document review.
- Collects quantitative and qualitative data.
- Facilitates group processes.
- Develop data collection and analysis protocols for third party implementers.
- Trains data collection team, including third party implementers.
- Tracks response rates, incentive receipt and mailings, and conducts research participant follow up.
- Data analysisDesigns analysis plans.
- Assists with designing and integrating databases.
- Enters and cleans data.
- Conducts descriptive and inferential data analyses.
Research Reporting & Communications
- Writes interim and final reports and research summaries for various communication purposes.
- Visualizes data for analytical purposes as well as reports and presentations.
- Presents findings in public forums and to affected parties.
- Manages client relationships including communication with clients and other research stakeholders.
- Represents agency in leadership capacity in internal and external work groups.
- Occasionally serves as media spokesperson on findings.
- Responds to data requests.
- May directly supervise permanent and temporary employees at Heartland Alliance.
- Supervises graduate interns and volunteers.
- Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.
- Develops expertise in research methods and issue areas applicable to projects.
- Responsible for keeping projects to timeline and budget, and working with Director and Associate Director to re-negotiate timelines and budgets as circumstances change.
- Assists with fundraising as needed.
- Assists on other agency projects as needed.
- Travel as required.
- Other duties as assigned.
Desired Leadership Competencies:
Proven track record of setting a vision and creating strategies in the midst of a complex, uncertain, and changing environment
Models and inspires innovative thinking and helps the organization adapt to change and face adversity
Synthesizes data and inputs effectively and communicates results so that others easily understand
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Proven active listener who can synthesize information for all audiences in an appropriate manner
Demonstrated skill representing the organization while influencing and inspiring action outside of the organization
Ability to create concise, clear and appropriate messaging (verbal, written, etc.) within team, division and organization
Teamwork & Collaboration
Track record of encouraging and gathering diverse opinions to create common ground, build trust and provide innovative solutions
Strong ability to build productive and collaborative teams by identifying and leveraging talents, building and maintaining accountability, and modeling inclusion and respect
Proven ability to create an environment of a welcome diversity of thoughts and opinions, even when it’s not popular
Models courage and determination to challenge current practices and mindsets at the most senior level while maintaining effective relationships
Demonstrated ability to identify future leaders, determine future capability needs, and support development plans to meet those needs
Ability to model and create an overall environment of respect, diversity and inclusion
Understands the importance of supporting employees’ well-being by working to address stress and vicarious trauma
Highly skilled in coaching and developing competence in others
Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Education and/or Experience: Master’s degree in Social Sciences or related field and three years of social science research experience, or BA plus five years of related experience. Experience should include supervisory responsibilities, data systems development and utilization, and communication of research findings to diverse audiences.
Language Skills: Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents. Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from customers, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community. Ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format. Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors.
Mathematical Skills: Ability to apply advanced mathematical concepts such as exponents, logarithms, quadratic equations, and permutations. Ability to apply mathematical operations to such tasks as frequency distribution, determination of test reliability and validity, analysis of variance, correlation techniques, sampling theory, and factor analysis.
Reasoning Ability: Ability to apply principles of logical or scientific thinking to a wide range of intellectual and practical problems. Ability to deal with nonverbal symbolism (formulas, scientific equations, graphs, musical notes, etc.,) in its most difficult phases. Ability to deal with a variety of abstract and concrete variables.
Computer Skills: Proficiency in R and/or SPSS, Excel, and Word required. Proficiency in SQL, Microsoft Access, or other database technology desirable. Proficiency in Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange; Windows operating systems; and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance.
Relational Skills: Experience working with people who are very low income and people of different races and ethnicities.
Sense of Humor: Ability to find lightness and humor in the workplace.
Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit; use hands to handle or feel and reach with hands and arms.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.
The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.
Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the Organization’s AIDS Policy Statement of September, 1987. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation should contact the Employee Services Office at (312) 660-1431.