The Southern Education Foundation (SEF), located in Atlanta, GA, seeks a full-time Researcher and Policy Analyst to join its growing research and policy team in advancing evidence-based education policies and communicate policy solutions in ways that inform federal, state, and local policy development. SEF currently conducts research and policy analyses in the following current focus areas: strengthening and diversifying the educator workforce, resource equity, supporting the whole child, and college access and career readiness. Working under the direction of the Senior Director of Research and Policy, the Researcher and Policy Analyst will play a lead role in using research and data to highlight trends and current inequities in education, elevate promising solutions, and create compelling narratives with accurate, meaningful and actionable information to advise policymakers, practitioners and stakeholders.
For more than 150 years SEF has made outsized contributions to improving education at all levels, from pre-kindergarten through higher education. SEF works to improve equity, excellence, and opportunity in education nationally. Research, policy analysis, advocacy, and programs are the primary means through which SEF pursues its mission.
This is an opportunity to be part of an established organization as a critical part of our growing research and policy team and have a major influence over the direction of our research and policy efforts. The ideal candidate will be intellectually curious, demonstrate great initiative, be an effective cross-functional communicator, and will welcome the opportunity to be part of an entrepreneurial organization. The ideal candidate will also possess a deep understanding racial equity and how the construct of race has impacted the distribution of power and resources in education and across systems. The ideal candidate will engage with curiosity, humility and openness in discussions about race, equity and power inside and outside of the organization and bring a racial equity perspective to the research and policy work.
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Conduct research and identify, organize and analyze qualitative and quantitative data in support of SEF’s policy and advocacy goals
- Support the development of policy recommendations and the analysis of policy, including the development of policy documents such as briefs, testimony, and public comment letters
- Distill complex policy and research findings into effective, understandable products (i.e., data tools, blogs, fact sheets, social media communications) for lay audiences
- Respond to federal and state legislative requests with current research and evidence-based recommendations
- Support the development of a network of experts advancing research and policy solutions relevant to SEF’s priorities and convenings of policymakers, practitioners and experts in formal and informal settings to engage in in-depth learning opportunities
QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:
- Advanced degree or relevant experience conducting education research and analyzing information, preferably related to one of more of our current focus areas: early childhood learning, strengthening and diversifying the educator workforce, resource equity, supporting the whole child, and college access and career readiness
- Strong research, synthesis and strategic thinking skills
- Familiarity and experience with qualitative and quantitative research and analysis
- Ability to write well, presenting ideas and arguments in a clear manner that will engage and be understood by the appropriate audience
- Ability to identify equity and opportunity gaps in datasets and build clear arguments rooted in principles of equity
- Excellent interpersonal and relationship management skills, including strong social listening (in person and virtually) to understand sentiment, needs, and questions of staff, partners and stakeholders and the ability to diplomatically communicate complex messages to a range of audiences
- Demonstrated knowledge of or experience working on, education research, and federal, state or local policies and processes
- Demonstrated success managing multiple priorities at the same time, connecting dots across projects and issue areas, and executing in-service of results
- Ability to travel (when permitted under CDC and expert guidance); about 10-20% of work may necessitate travel to other locations within the United States
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:
Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. Southern Education Foundation offers a comprehensive benefits package. Our team is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and working remotely until further notice. After returning to a normal office work setting, ongoing remote work arrangements would be considered on a case-by-case basis, and the position offers opportunities for advanced training and professional development.
Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest and a current resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with Researcher and Policy Analyst in the subject line of the email.
This announcement will remain posted until the position is filled. No phone calls, please.
The Southern Education Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.