Work type



Capability Area

Research and Survey

Research Scientist - Academic Research Centers - early childhood education research

Apply now Job no: 497056 Work type: Regular Full-Time Location: Chicago – Hyde Park, University of Chicago Campus, IL Capability Area: Academic Research Centers


NORC at the University of Chicago is seeking a dynamic Research Scientist to join the Academic Research Centers (ARC). The ideal candidate would have expertise in education research, with particular content expertise in early childhood education research, education policy, or education evaluation. This person would have diverse methodological approaches, including qualitative and quantitative design and analysis; experience working directly with practitioners and policymakers; and an interest in supporting senior staff in the development of the department’s expanding education research portfolio. The Research Scientist’s primary responsibilities include working closely with ARC’s senior research team to develop new research projects, design and implement research studies, develop and maintain funder/client/collaborator relationships, and secure contracts and grants for research initiatives.

The Academic Research Centers exemplify NORC’s commitment to the highest standards of academic excellence and research innovation, and to applying renowned scholarship to practical social science problems. The Academic Research Centers and its wider relationship with the University of Chicago are mutually beneficial in many ways.  As part of a learning culture, multidisciplinary project teams enrich learning, scholarship, and discovery. In particular, Research Scientists at NORC have the tremendous opportunity to apply their expertise in practical settings through the Early Childhood Research and Practice Collaborative and broader cradle-to-career portfolio of work.


The Academic Research Centers (ARC) is a community of researchers and programs covering a variety of substantive domains and exemplifying NORC’s commitment to the highest standards of academic excellence and research innovation. The ARC brings substantive expertise and collaborative infrastructure to theoretically driven and multimodal research. The ARC collaborates with multi-disciplinary research from the University of Chicago and other research institutions by collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data; providing methodological and statistical expertise; and facilitating pre- and post-award management. ARC’s research staff works jointly with social scientists, physicians, and other experts in an open, cooperative working environment.

  • Providing substantive input and direction to task leaders and project directors, particularly around K-12 and early childhood care and education (ECE) policy and program implementation and evaluation;
  • Leading strategic projects by providing technical input and direction to staff regarding research design, questionnaire content, data analysis, and study conclusions;
  • Assisting with the design of experiments and other methodological research for data collection efforts;
  • Collecting quantitative and/or qualitative data in K-12 and ECE settings or with families;
  • This position also has responsibilities for developing grant applications and contract proposals, generally contributing to sections in which understanding of the substantive area is vital, in assisting communications with clients, consultants, and members of the research community, and obtaining information about and interpreting upcoming and issued Requests for Proposals (RFPs), Requests for Applications, Program Announcements, and other solicitation information;
  • Communicating effectively with key strategic partners inside and outside of NORC, as well as current and prospective funders,  clients and collaborators to advance ARC’s strategic initiatives;
  • Collaborating to support professional writing for education and research audiences
  • Bachelors' degree required; Masters' or Doctoral degree in education, psychology, sociology, public policy or a related social science research field with demonstrated expertise in ECE, K-12 education, or child development strongly preferred
  • At least 7 years' of experience designing and implementing mixed-methods research in the ECE or K-12 education domains
  • Very strong oral and written communication skills with experience disseminating research findings across a variety of research, practice, and policy audiences.
  • A strong orientation toward working in teams and coordinating work with other teams.
WHAT WE DO: 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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