Qualitative Research Associate

California, United States
24 Jul 2019
End of advertisement period
24 Sep 2019
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Education
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

The Stanford University Graduate School of Education (GSE) is a top ranked school of education, known for its prestigious faculty, rigorous graduate degree programs, and its impact on the quality of education across the world. The GSE is committed to developing leaders in education research, practice and policy. Our community includes over 60 faculty, 400 students, 200 staff, 8,000 alumni and countless people from the local and global communities we work with and impact. The work environment is dynamic, deadline-driven, fast-paced, and energetic.

Job Purpose:

The John Gardner Center in the Graduate School of Education seeks a Qualitative Research Associate to be responsible for conducting qualitative research with an emphasis on policy-relevant and actionable topic areas. The Researcher will lead and contribute to qualitative research: they will assist community partners in formulating research questions and conducting community driven studies resulting in policy briefs and other products focused on topics related to youth development and education. The candidate will also lead and contribute to qualitative research projects, conducting formative assessments of community-based programs, including data collection, coding, analysis and writing reports and briefs. For all research and analyses, the incumbent will present research findings to community partners and other stakeholders on a regular basis. They will supervise graduate level research assistants and potentially some staff; work collaboratively with other Gardner Center staff; and report to the Executive Director.

Core Duties*:

Work in partnership with community entities to design and conduct policy-relevant research related to youth development in a community setting (20%):

  • Collaborate with Gardner Center staff and community partners to identify key research needs in the community and design and carry out research that responds to these. 
  • Design research projects that respond to community questions and needs using a variety of tools, including the JGC’s Youth Data Archive); youth and adult surveys; secondary data analysis; and qualitative data collection and analyses.
  • Conduct primary research and produce written products and presentations that are appropriate for community audiences and parallel materials that inform academic debates and audiences.

Conduct Qualitative Research and Other Analyses (50%):

  • Design studies in conjunction with the community and other partners. 
  • Collect data using a variety of qualitative methods (interviews, focus groups, observations).
  • Contribute to data cleaning, verification and documentation.
  • Contribute to discussions about coding and analysis schemes.  Code data and conduct analyses.

Write, Present and Otherwise Communicate Research Findings to a Wide Range of Stakeholders and Entities (20%):

  • Write reports and briefs of findings for partners and broader academic field.
  • Write and present academic articles, issue briefs, summaries, conference paper and other products to a variety of audiences.
  • Meet with partners on an ongoing basis to review and evolve analyses.
  • Work with Gardner Center Communications team on additional communications opportunities for analyses, including newspaper articles, blogs, panel discussions and more.

Participate actively as a collaborative member of the Gardner Center team, and connect the Gardner Center to the greater Stanford community and the broader research field (10%):

  • Attend regular staff meetings and retreats.
  • Supervise graduate students and junior staff on specific projects.
  • Where appropriate, contribute to grant development and report writing.
  • Assist the Center in developing processes, tools, and products to enhance the future direction of the Center.

* Other duties may be assigned.

Minimum Requirements:

Education and Experience:  Advanced degree and five years of relevant experience in area of specialization or combination of relevant education, training, and/or experience. For jobs with financial responsibilities, experience managing a budget and developing financial plans. Experience developing program partnerships and funding sources.

Education and Experience Preferred:  A doctorate (or equivalent) in a relevant field (education, public policy, sociology, anthropology, psychology, or related field) is required as is capacity to oversee graduate students as they design, carry out, and write about their research projects. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to develop program partnerships and funding sources.
  • Advanced oral, written, and analytical skills, exhibiting fluency in area of specialization.
  • Ability to oversee and direct staff.
  • Ability to manage budgets and develop financial plans.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Preferred:

Experience with qualitative data collection and analysis is required.  Demonstrated experience with designing qualitative studies is required, as is proficiency with data analysis software such as NVIVO. Excellent oral, analytic, organizational, and interpersonal skills are required; writing as demonstrated in the candidate’s own writing and publications is essential.  Ability to write for multiple audiences, including policy makers and practitioners, is preferred. The candidate must have strong interpersonal and collaboration skills in working with researchers and practitioners as well as organizational skills that demonstrate their ability to handle multiple tasks, timelines and priorities in a team environment.  Familiarity with California K-12 education context, and English language learners is preferred.  This may be substituted with familiarity with juvenile justice, mental health or foster care systems or a related youth policy issue. Familiarity with school enrichment and youth development programs, such as after-school programs is a plus.

Certifications and Licenses:

  • For teaching jobs, advanced degree or certification may be required for some programs.

BACKGROUND CHECK: The final candidate will be required to successfully pass a background check prior to employment.

FIXED-TERM: This is a fixed-term position with an end date of one year and is renewable based on performance and funding.


Applicants to this position must be available to work in the United States without sponsorship for 2 years or more. OPT permit holders should confirm that they are eligible to work in the US at the Stanford GSE for two years or more. There’s no visa sponsorship for this position.

Why Stanford is for You

We provide market competitive salaries, excellent health care and retirement plans, and a generous vacation policy, including additional time off during our winter closure. Our unique perks align with what matters to you:

  • Freedom to grow. As one of the greatest intellectual hubs in the world, take advantage of development programs, tuition reimbursement plus $800 you receive annually towards skill-building classes, or audit a Stanford course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or leader discuss global issues.
  • A caring culture. We understand the importance of your personal and family time and provide you access to wellness programs, child-care resources, parent education and consultation, elder care and caregiving support.
  • A healthier you. We make wellness a priority by providing access to world-class exercise facilities. Climb our rock wall, or participate in one of hundreds of health or fitness classes.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums. Create an avatar and participate in virtual reality adventures or join one with fellow staff on Stanford vacations!
  • Enviable resources. We offer free commuter programs and ridesharing incentives. Enjoy discounts for computing, cell phones, outdoor recreation, travel, entertainment, and more!

We pride ourselves in being a culture that encourages and empowers you.  

How to Apply

The John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities invites you to apply for this position by clicking on the “Apply Online” link. Please submit an online application, resume, and cover letter.

About Stanford University

Imagine a world without Google, LinkedIn, Netflix, or Instagram. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants, discovery of genes responsible for various diseases, and research to cure illnesses. All of these advances, and more, are a direct result of Stanford’s prominent faculty, researchers and alumni, who have revolutionized the way we live and enriched the world. Supporting this mission is Stanford’s dedicated 16,000+ staff, who come from diverse educational and career backgrounds. We are a collaborative environment that thrives on innovation and continuous improvement. At Stanford, we seek talent committed to excellence, driven to impact the future of our legacy, and improve lives on a global sphere.

Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of the job.

Additional Information

  • Schedule: Full-time
  • Job Code: 4113
  • Employee Status: Fixed-Term
  • Grade: K