Work type



Capability Area

Research and Survey

Research Scientist - International Programs/ Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) projects

Apply now Job no: 497180 Work type: Regular Full-Time Location: Bethesda, MD Capability Area: International Programs


NORC at the University of Chicago seeks a Research Scientist in Bethesda, Maryland to support project work in the International Programs Department (INPRO.) The Research Scientist will support senior level technical staff in designing and implementing Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) projects and data collection and analysis activities.


INPRO was established in 2005, and works on performance monitoring, impact and performance evaluations, surveys, and qualitative data collection, learning and supporting the use of evidence throughout the developing world. Our research covers a range of sectors including education and training, child and youth well-being, democracy and governance, agriculture, water and sanitation, infrastructure, housing, finance, and health. We provide support to international donors in learning and promoting use of evidence. Since its establishment INPRO has implemented projects in more than 90 countries, in Africa, Asia, MENA, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe and Eurasia. 

  • Provide technical expertise in MEL methods and utilization.
  • Support project management, including management of personnel and work plans on MEL, evaluation and data collection projects.
  • Contribute to design and implementation of MEL and evaluation projects and data collection and analysis activities.
  • Coordinate project activities and events, including setting up meetings and conference calls and liaising with consultants and local data collection firms
  • Design data collection instruments and training materials, provide interviewer training activities, and support sample design and selection.
  • Support qualitative research and data collection
  • Conduct data quality reviews of data with detailed documentation of results, and analysis of primary and secondary data (quantitative and qualitative) including preparation of reports, memos, and tables/graphs of findings.
  • Assist with business development, contributing to technical sections and supporting proposal management
  • The position will require occasional international travel (once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted) and offers an opportunity to gain first-hand management and field experience.
  • Master’s Degree in social sciences; training in Economics, international affairs, or public policy is a plus.
  • At least 7 years of work experience including:
      • Experience working on USAID MEL, especially in developing country settings. Experience with Collaboration, Learning, and Adaptation (CLA), research translation and/or other methods to support evidence-based decision making desired. Experience on USAID MEL platform projects is a plus.
      • Experience conducting or managing data collection (instrument development, interviewer training, field management)
      • Experience managing projects including development of work plans, tracking progress on specific tasks and communicating deadlines to team members.
      • Experience working with USAID.
      • Experience in business development.
  • Strong understanding of all aspects of performance monitoring, including developing logic models, designing indicators, overseeing data collection and data analysis.
  • Familiarity with USAID MEL systems, processes, and frameworks.
  • Familiarity with systems-thinking, outcome harvesting, complexity-aware MEL and other innovative methods a plus.
  • Strong proficiency with MS Office software, including Excel
  • Strong command of analytical methods; command of statistical packages, such as SPSS and STATA; or of qualitative software packages such as NVivo is considered a plus
  • Working proficiency with French and/or Spanish; fluency is a plus
  • Strong analytic and report writing skills
  • Outstanding interpersonal and critical reasoning skills
  • International work experience, preferably in developing countries.
  • Some international travel will be required (as COVID-related travel restrictions ease). 

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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