Research Associate, Institute for Human-Animal Connection

Apply now Job no: 497080
Work type: Postdoc / Research / Fellow
Location: Denver, CO
Categories: Research
Division: Graduate School Of Social Work

The Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) is a vibrant community of scholars and teachers committed to having a diverse faculty and student body. The School’s curriculum, research, and community partnerships emphasize social and economic justice, along with an understanding of and respect for social, political, and cultural diversity both nationally and internationally. GSSW provides an intellectual, collegial, and supportive environment that fosters interdisciplinary and international educational opportunities. GSSW engages in collaborative projects locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. GSSW and the University of Denver are committed to enhancing the diversity of faculty and staff.

The Institute for Human-Animal Connection is a specialized program within the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Denver which intentionally elevates the value of the living world and the interrelationship and health of people, other animals, and the environment. This is accomplished through social science-informed education, applied knowledge, research and advocacy, with an ethical regard for all species. Focusing on three core areas of Therapeutic Human-Animal Interventions, Animals in Communities and One Health, IHAC operationalizes its mission through innovation in education, research and advocacy.

Position Summary

The Research Associate I will be an integral member of the IHAC Research program and is responsible for overseeing project management including data collection, managing internal project teams, helping supervise Research Fellow(s), overseeing research assistants, and may mentor graduate student interns. The Research Associate I is also responsible for giving input on grant proposals, contributing to study design, statistical analysis and interpretation, participating in qualitative analysis and interpretation, and helping to write manuscript and conference abstracts for research projects. This person may assist with designing a portfolio of studies that measures how incorporating justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion considerations in companion animal welfare programs can promote positive One Health outcomes. The Research Associate I engages as a collaborative partner with the Principal Investigator, Co-Investigators, Research Fellows, Research Assistants, external agencies, and community stakeholders to implement research activities.

This position will focus on supporting the PetSmart Charities Incubator: Diverse Community Care Program Evaluation. The Incubator project is a multi-year grant addressing barriers to veterinary care in communities across the US that have little or no access to care. IHAC’s role in this project is to provide research and evaluation support as each participating grantee (non-profit animal welfare organization) conducts focus groups, interviews, and surveys to better learn directly from their community on how they could improve their programming to better serve the needs of the community.

This is a full-time position funded through May 2025 by the PetSmart Charities Incubator Grant. This position includes travel, as needed, to support grantees, implement research, and disseminate findings. This position could be structured as a remote position, provided the Research Associate I is readily available for meetings by Zoom during regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 9AM – 5PM Mountain Time). Our remote team members may be asked to travel to be in-person for special events (e.g., conferences, trainings, annual meetings, public events). All remote work must be completed from within the United States.

The Research Associate I reports directly to the PetSmart Charities Project Manager. The Research Associate I is considered a staff member of IHAC and may be asked to join meetings, events, and other institute-based activities. We are especially interested in considering applications from members of historically marginalized groups, first generation college graduates, or those who work on topics related to these issues.

Essential Functions

In addition to following the University of Denver’s policies and procedures, principal responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Project Management 
  • Project Design 
  • Data Collection, Management, and Analysis 
  • Reporting and Publications 
  • Collaboration
  • Proposals
  • Supervision & Hiring

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • The ideal candidate will have lived and/or professional experience in advancing equity within communities and large organizations, as well as exceptional skills and experience in working cross-culturally and approaching research and evaluation projects through an equity and culturally responsive lens. This position requires an individual to be self-reflective, exhibit cultural humility, and understand dynamics of race, power, and privilege; a qualified individual will build trusted relationships, and influence across all levels, from frontline staff to leadership within the County's organizational structure.
  • Broad array of research skills, including qualitative and/or quantitative methods, statistical analysis, and interpretation
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and with research and evaluation participants, sponsors, supervisees, and university staff
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills

Required Qualifications

  • Graduate degree in the social or physical sciences (MA, MS, MSW) plus 3 or more years of direct research experience, or equivalent combination of education and work experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Work experience in related fields (e.g. animal sheltering or animal control outreach services, community organizing, human service case management, public health administration, environmental health and safety)
  • Two or more years of experience in research or evaluation of interventions including participating in the implementation of quantitative and/or qualitative research or evaluation studies and ability to lead components of these studies
  • One year of experience in project management, including supervising and/or coordinating the work of teams, providing strategy and support to leadership, and managing time effectively
  • Proficiency in one or more additional languages (beyond English), with particular interest in Spanish
  • Strong understanding of inferential statistics and/ or qualitative analysis techniques
  • Intermediate to advanced user of Excel, SPSS, and Atlas.ti or comparable software
  • Experience translating research findings into practice with multiple audiences using a variety of techniques.

Working Environment

  1. Standard Office Environment
  2. Noise level is quiet to moderate
  3. This position can be considered for remote work within the United States.

Physical Activities

  1. Ability to sit in front of a computer for an extended period of time.
  2. Occasionally required to move about the office/campus with the capability of transporting objects up to 20 lbs.

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. This position can be considered for remote work within the United States.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) March 22, 2024.

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

Salary Grade Number:
The salary grade for the position is 10.

Salary Range:
The salary range for this position is $58,000-$65,000

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 that includes a description of why you are a good fit for this opportunity.

The University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer. The University of Denver prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, religion, creed, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, pregnancy, genetic information, military enlistment, or veteran status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the University's educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; the Americans with Disabilities Act; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; Equal Pay Act; Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act; the Colorado Protecting Opportunities and Workers' Rights ("POWR") Act; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For more information, please see the University of Denver's Non‑Discrimination‑Statement.

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

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