Work type



Capability Area

Research and Survey

Senior Research Scientist

Apply now Job no: 495388 Work type: Regular Full-Time Location: Bethesda, MD Capability Area: Education and Child Development


Join the Education and Child Development Department at NORC at the University of Chicago as the newest Senior Research Scientist focusing on early childhood issues, including work that is responsive to cultural and linguistic diversity, disparities and equity issues. Based in our Bethesda office, take this opportunity to contribute to the continued success of the department during a time of strategic growth.


For more than 40 years, NORC has been committed to conducting high quality education research.  Our department of Education and Child Development's research covers the full array of education-relevant populations, from pre-school children to the post-graduate doctorate holders.  NORC is a leader in conducting large national surveys, as well as more targeted state and local studies, harvesting reliable, actionable early childhood data, particularly data on early care and education.  The scope of our education and early childhood research methodologies is wide-ranging, as well – including primary data collection, analysis and reporting of existing data, transcript abstraction, classroom observations, qualitative analysis, and experimental and quasi-experimental designs.

  • Engage in business development activities including idea generation, grant writing, and responding to requests for proposals (RFPs)
  • Present to clients, policy and professional audiences
  • Direct research projects that develop new knowledge and support evidence-based decision making
  • Design evaluations in collaboration with a multi-disciplinary team of researchers
  • Review, synthesize, and describe existing evidence
  • Guide programs and policymakers in using evidence to make decisions
  • Author white papers, briefs, and reports; submit articles for publication in refereed journals
  • Occasional travel to client meetings and conferences
  • Master's Degree or Bachelor’s Degree and equivalent experience, Doctoral degree preferred
  • At least 9 years of experience in positions of increasing responsibility in education research or related field, and at least 3 years of experience directly managing a large and complex portfolio of projects 
  • NORC will possibly hire at the Principal Research Scientist level for more qualified candidates
  • Experience directing major projects that support evidence-based decision making
  • Experience leading proposals to address the needs of public-service agencies
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including an ability to translate evidence for program and policy audiences
  • Deep understanding of early childhood issues, including work that is responsive to cultural and linguistic diversity, disparities and equity issues.
  • Intellectual curiosity, strong problem solving, and relationship management skills
  • Ability to manage time to work on multiple projects simultaneously

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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