Research Associate or Senior Research Associate I, Butler Institute for Families

Apply now Job no: 493384
Work type: Staff Full-Time
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Research

Throughout its 75-year history, the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) has administered numerous externally-funded projects serving children and families. The Butler Institute for Families (Butler), established in 1994, is affiliated with GSSW and is nationally recognized for our leadership and collaborative work at the national, state, and local level in evaluation, research, and technical assistance aimed at improving the quality of child-, youth-, and family-serving systems.

We bring together researchers, practitioners, public and private service system experts, and community members to: engage in program evaluation and research; examine outcomes; and provide technical assistance and training to program administrators, direct service providers, and community leaders. Currently, Butler conducts business in four primary content areas: child welfare, early childhood systems, tribal child welfare, and behavioral health. These content areas operate within a Research-to-Practice framework that promotes the use, adoption, adaptation, replication, and scaling of research and/or evaluation knowledge, and the integration of this knowledge in practice. In addition to the benefits offered by the University of Denver (see here for more details:, Butler offers the opportunity to work with a dedicated group of people committed to using research to support practice improvements. We also offer professional development and job growth opportunities, flexible schedules, and the opportunity to work remotely. Butler stands in solidarity against the systemic oppression of persons of color and American Indian/Alaska Native tribes, communities, and individuals. Butler intentionally partners with family and child serving agencies to create healing, positive systemic change and daily inclusive actions that reflect racial equity.

Position Summary

This position will serve full-time within the Capacity Building Center for Tribes (CBCT) grant project, supporting other projects as needed. Research Associate and Senior Research Associate positions are responsible for research and program evaluation activities, including: project and team management, evaluation design, identifying and executing appropriate and culturally-responsive research methodologies and data collection and management approaches, statistical and/or qualitative analyses and interpretation, planning research and evaluation studies and framing research/evaluation questions, identifying appropriate instrumentation to address research questions, synthesizing information from diverse data sources, and disseminating materials through reports, publications, and presentations. These positions also supervise staff. This position will assure that evaluation methods and tools developed for the Center for Tribes are specifically informed by indigenous ways of being and engagement approaches from culturally-relevant perspectives for American Indian/Alaska Native people.

The Research Associate has significant research experience, especially in tribal communities and/or communities of color. This position requires experience designing and conducting evaluation projects with a racial-equity lens and using culturally-based methodologies such as qualitative, participatory, and story-telling approaches. Research Associates are responsible for supporting research design activities, overseeing data collection and management activities, qualitative and quantitative data analysis, report writing and dissemination, and collaboration with funders, community partners, providers, and stakeholders. This position may contribute to developing proposals and grants. This position usually supervises and mentors Research Assistants.

The Senior Research Associate I has significant research experience that includes acting as the evaluation manager for research projects. This position will: take a lead role in designing and implementing smaller research or evaluation studies; frame research questions; plan data collection approaches; conduct quantitative and qualitative analyses using SPSS, Atlas.ti, and other research software; share data with various stakeholders using a variety of techniques; lead or significantly contribute to reporting and dissemination; and build significant relationships. This position supervises and mentors Research Assistants and/or Research Associates. 

Essential Functions

Research Associate

Project Management, Data Collection, Statistical Analysis and Interpretation (80%)

  • Provide project management for the Center for Tribes evaluation including establishing project timelines and ensuring timelines are met.
  • Participate in framing of research and evaluation questions.
  • Assist in developing evaluation plans, data collection protocols, tools, and methodologies.
  • Verify the validity of data.
  • Design, coordinate, and conduct interviews and focus groups.
  • Conduct statistical analyses and interpretation activities under guidance from project Principal Investigators.
  • Guide team member tasks and activities on projects.
  • Maintain positive working relationships with clients, programs, and other key project stakeholders.
  • Conduct project management for research and/or evaluation studies or major components of complex evaluations.
  • Use a broad array of skills, including proficiency in Atlas-ti, SPSS, and other statistical analysis/visualization tools. 

Dissemination (20%)

  • Participate in the development and presentation of results to key stakeholders, funders, and other audiences.
  • Significantly contribute to reports, publications, conference presentations, and other dissemination opportunities as a co-author or co-presenter requiring excellent writing skills and quality presentation abilities.
  • Communicate with community and interdisciplinary collaborators and act as a spokesperson.
  • May assistant in writing grant proposals.

Senior Research Associate I

Research and Evaluation Design, Project Management, Data Collection, Statistical Analysis and Interpretation (65%)

  • Coordinate research and evaluation projects in the child welfare and/or tribal child welfare area.
  • Develop evaluation plans, frame research/evaluation questions, and design methodology
  • Manage day-to-day progress toward team deliverables and communicate implementation progress with external stakeholders and PI/co-investigators.
  • Develop qualitative and quantitative data collection protocols and measures and plan data collection and management approaches.
  • Verify the validity of data.
  • Design, coordinate, and conduct interviews and focus groups.
  • Identify qualitative and/or quantitative analysis techniques appropriate for answering research questions.
  • Analyze complex qualitative or quantitative data.
  • Utilize content expertise to make novel and/or impactful interpretations and conclusions.
  • Identify implementation barriers and work with team to develop strategies and solutions.
  • Oversee appropriate tracking and monitoring of evaluation activities.
  • Use a broad array of research skills, including proficiency in Atlas-ti, SPSS, and other statistical analysis and visualization tools.
  • Make interpretations and conclusions, and smoothly translate data and results for varied stakeholders and audiences.

Dissemination (25%)

  • Significantly contribute to the writing of evaluation reports, publications, and dissemination materials as co- or lead author/presenter.
  • Generate, disseminate, and promote uptake of content-specific knowledge.
  • Develop and present results to key stakeholders, funders, and other identified audiences.
  • Generate and implement communication plan to disseminate results.
  • Present findings at conferences or other dissemination events and act as a spokesperson.

Grant Writing and Business Development (5%)

  • Assist in identifying funding opportunities in the child welfare and tribal child welfare content area.
  • Lead screening, planning, and preparation of grant proposals.

Supervisory Duties (5%)

  • Supervise assistant and/or associate-level staff, including making recommendations about hiring, advancement, performance improvement, and/or termination of employees. 

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Research Associate

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills for preparing reports, presentations, and grant applications, as well as coordinating and communicating with project team and multiple professional and lay stakeholders.
  • Advanced analytic skills, including statistical analysis and interpretation.
  • Broad array of research and presentation skills, including data collection and management, statistical analysis (including proficiency in SPSS and/or other statistical analysis packages), proficiency with Microsoft Excel, and web-based survey design.
  • Project management skills with multiple stakeholders and tasks involved.
  • Ability to tactfully hold project members and leadership accountable to deadlines.
  • Ability to prioritize competing timelines and project deliverables.
  • Knowledge of child-, youth-, and family-serving systems.
  • Ability to facilitate constructive interpersonal interaction and teamwork.
  • Strong critical thinking and solution-building skills.
  • Ability to work with members of diverse cultures and communities with respect and humility. 

Senior Research Associate I

  • Excellent written and oral language skills for report generation, presentations, and grant applications.
  • Ability to communicate and collaborate effectively and diplomatically with a variety of stakeholders using various modes of communication including in person, by phone, over email, by virtual technology, and through written project materials.
  • Deep understanding of child-, youth-, and family-serving systems.
  • Ability to work with members of diverse cultures and communities with respect and humility.
  • Broad array of research skills including research design, data collection and management, and ability to analyze and interpret quantitative and qualitative data, including proficiency in SPSS, Atlas-TI and/or other statistical analysis packages.
  • Ability to manage and develop relationships with multiple stakeholders.
  • Ability to utilize flexible evaluation approaches to meet changing project needs.
  • Ability to select outcome instruments and indicators.
  • Ability to draft complex narrative reports and correspondence with minimal guidance.
  • Strong organization and time management skills including ability to prioritize competing deadlines and timelines.
  • Ability to tactfully hold project members and leadership colleagues accountable to deadlines.
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Office Word and PowerPoint.
  • Adaptable to changing priorities while demonstrating the highest level of customer service. 

Required Qualifications

Research Associate

  • Master's degree in human services or other relevant field.
  • 3-4 years of experience working in program evaluation or social sciences research, including evaluation planning, design, data collection, data management, and data analysis.
  • One year of experience supervising students or others.
  • Experience working in Tribal communities and/or communities of color.

Senior Research Associate I

  • Master's degree in human services or other relevant field.
  • 2-3 years of experience leading program evaluation, social sciences research, or community-based research.
  • Experience leading the design and implementation of qualitative and/or qualitative research or evaluation, including data collection, data management, data analysis, and development of findings for reporting.
  • 2-3 years’ experience supervising staff and coordinating teams.
  • Experience working in Tribal communities and/or communities of color. 

Preferred Qualifications

Research Associate

  • 4 or more years’ experience in program evaluation or social sciences research, including evaluation planning, design, data collection, data management, and analysis.
  • Two or more years’ experience supervising staff.
  • Experience with data visualization software (such as Tableau).
  • Experience designing and administering web-based surveys.
  • Experience creating logic models and/or theories of change.
  • Experience analyzing qualitative data.
  • Experience working with grant-funded projects in government, nonprofit, or university settings. 

Senior Research Associate I

  • Ph.D. in Human Services or other relevant field.
  • Experience writing grant proposals.
  • Four or more years’ experience supervising staff.
  • Experience working with grant-funded projects in government, nonprofit, or university settings. 

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Telework/remote working an option.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) by January 31, 2021.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number
The salary grade number for this position is 12.

Salary Range
The salary range for the Research Associate is $58,000-$65,000/annually. The salary range for the Senior Research Associate I is $72,000-$80,000/annually.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.

The University of Denver offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the University of Denver.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.

All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

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