Work type



Capability Area

Research and Survey

Senior Research Scientist

Apply now Job no: 495581 Work type: Regular Full-Time Location: Bethesda, MD Capability Area: Education and Child Development


NORC is seeking a Senior Research Scientist with expertise in technical assistance, federal education policy and evidence-based practice for the Education and Child Development (ECD) department. As a member of the department's leadership, this person will work with colleagues in Bethesda and Chicago to conduct and expand our portfolio of work in technical assistance design and delivery. Bring your expertise in federal education priority areas (e.g., school improvement, advancing learner outcomes, and supporting state and local efforts to improve P-Adult education programs) to this leadership role along with your passion for mentorship and collaboration.

Play a strategic role to further develop a world-class educational technical assistance function at one of the nation's most respected research institutions, significantly impacting NORC's success and service to our clients. 


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. The scope of our education research methodologies has been 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.

  • Lead business development efforts to expand work in higher education by identifying growth opportunities and leading pursuit
  • Lead major technical assistance and training projects to provide clients with highly useful systems change design that is completed on time and on budget
  • Grow the ECD technical assistance team both through the development of current staff and the strategic recruitment of new professionals with capabilities that complement existing expertise within the department
  • Support a cohesive, team-oriented culture across a geographically dispersed staff and promote communication and integration among all members to foster collegiality and ongoing collaboration
  • Create, foster, and maintain strong client relationships by making connections, identifying business challenges/needs, and proactively offering constructive solutions
  • Develop and maintain key partnerships with key education leaders in associations, universities, foundations, and other organizations that will support and advance the success of ECD
  • Masters’ degree in education, public policy, social sciences, or another relevant discipline is required, or equivalent experience 
  • At least 9 years of directly applicable work experience in a significant leadership role such as overseeing a line of business or program group in a nonprofit organization, government contract organization, or government agency, including at least 3 years of social science project management
  • Recognition as an expert in a content area in technical assistance, evidence based practice, and capacity building, as evidenced by supporting projects, TA methodology and presentations
  • Expertise in successfully managing large scale, complex technical assistance projects, or other similar accomplishments
  • Experience in reporting on technical assistance to a wide range of both internal and external stakeholders using a variety of platforms
  • Strong connections across the education industry network with willingness and excitement to facilitate introductions
  • Successful record of securing high-caliber, compelling education projects
  • A track record for building, developing, managing, and retaining a team of highly capable education professionals

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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