Work type



Capability Area

Research and Survey

Principal Research Scientist (Economist) - Economics, Justice and Society Research

Apply now Job no: 497240 Work type: Regular Full-Time Location: Chicago – 55 East Monroe Street, IL Capability Area: Economics, Justice & Society


Join the Economics, Justice and Society (EJS) department at NORC at the University of Chicago as a Principal Research Scientist. Based in our Bethesda or Chicago Loop office, take this opportunity to contribute to the continued success of the department during a time of strategic growth. As a member of the department's leadership, this person will work with colleagues in Chicago and Bethesda to conduct and expand our portfolio of work in economic research and analysis. Bring your expertise in a socio-economic content area (e.g., business dynamics, entrepreneurship, business owner characteristics, labor and workforce dynamics, household finance, income and poverty, well-being, wealth and assets, energy and the environment, data science, and research methods) and methodological knowledge to this leadership role along with your passion for mentorship and collaboration.

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

While our main office locations are in Chicago, IL and Bethesda, MD, we will consider qualified candidates who prefer to work remotely.


The Economics, Justice and Society (EJS) Department focuses on a broad range of topics relating to critical economic and social issues. We are home to many of NORC’s largest and longest-running surveys, and we also engage in policy analysis and evaluation research relating to social programs and issues, the economy and the labor force, transportation and traffic safety, and crime and law enforcement. We work with a diverse set of clients and partners, including policy-makers and data users in national, state and local governments, academia, and the press.

  • Providing research expertise and serving as a subject matter expert to obtain funding for, plan, and execute research studies
  • Leading strategic projects by providing technical input and direction to staff regarding research design, questionnaire content, data analysis, and study conclusions
  • Owning business development efforts to expand the footprint and impact of the Department with government agencies, commercial organizations, foundations, associations and trade groups, and universities
  • Independently drafting and managing contract proposals and grant applications including estimating project budgets
  • Developing and maintaining key partnerships inside and outside inside and outside of NORC, as well as current and prospective funders and clients to advance the Department’s strategic initiatives
  • Growing the EJS research team both through the development of current staff and the strategic recruitment of new professionals with capabilities that complement existing expertise within the department
  • Supporting a cohesive, team-oriented culture across a geographically dispersed staff and promote communication and integration among all members to foster collegiality and ongoing collaboration
  • Managing teams to carry out strategic initiatives and business development opportunities, including monitoring and oversight of finances and administration for projects
  • PhD in economics, sociology, demography, social sciences, or another relevant discipline is strongly preferred, Master's degree is required
  • At least 12 years of directly applicable work experience in a significant leadership role such as overseeing a line of business or research group in a nonprofit organization, research organization, or government agency
  • Recognition as an expert in a content area in economic research, as evidenced by supporting publications and presentations
  • Expertise in successfully managing large scale, complex research projects, or other similar accomplishments
  • Experience in reporting on research to a wide range of both internal and external stakeholders using a variety of platforms
  • Strong connections across the federal statistical community and industry network with willingness and excitement to facilitate introductions
  • Successful record of securing high-caliber, compelling socio-economic projects
  • A track record for building, developing, managing, and retaining a team of highly capable research 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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