Research and Policy Fellow

Fellowship Information: The purpose of this fellowship is to train someone for future leadership in the field of applied social research. Training areas include topical training on poverty-related issues such as income, housing and homelessness, hunger, employment, education, asset building, and a wide variety of vulnerable populations; and research training in designing evaluations and studies, developing data collection tools and procedures, conducting data collection, analyzing data (both primary and secondary), and writing research reports. This position requires a part-time commitment of at least 12 months.

Summary: The Social IMPACT Research Center (IMPACT) is a full-service research and evaluation resource working with clients across the nation. The Research Associate is responsible for the management and implementation of program evaluations and research studies and related projects. The Social IMPACT Research Center is a trusted resource for information on contemporary social issues, with vast experience conducting research and analysis on: poverty, homelessness, affordable housing, health care, human rights, employment, income supports, and asset development. IMPACT has extensive experience evaluating pilot programs, analyzing policies, documenting systems, and in producing final evaluation reports that serve as a means of informing policymakers, program operators and researchers. IMPACT uses the following research techniques: surveys, consumer interviewing, focus groups, mapping, case studies, administrative data sets, census data analysis, and program observation among others. Individual accountabilities and work volume will be established through the development of annual Success Objectives, within the framework outlined below.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Designs program evaluations and research projects.
  • Develops and adapts data collection tools.
  • Designs and integrates databases.
  • Conducts focus groups.
  • Collects quanitative and qualitative data.
  • Analyzes administrative data sets including census, economic, and human services data.
  • Enters, maintains and analyzes data in databases.
  • Writes interim and final reports and research summaries.
  • Reviews literature from appropriate sources.
  • Adheres to research ethics as outlined in Institutional Review Board protocols.
  • Participates in internal and external work groups.
  • Keeps current on research methods and issue areas applicable to projects.
  • Other duties as asigned.

Competencies: To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies.

  • Analytical - Synthesizes complex or diverse information; Collects and researches data; Uses intuition and experience to complement data; Designs work flows and procedures.
  • Design - Generates creative solutions; Translates concepts and information into images; Uses feedback to modify designs; Applies design principles; Demonstrates attention to detail.
  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Judgment - Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Planning/Organizing - Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently; Plans for additional resources; Sets goals and objectives; Organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; Develops realistic action plans.
  • Adaptability - Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with frequent change, delays, or unexpected events.
  • Dependability - Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.

Qualifications: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and/or Experience: Master's degree (M. A.) in public policy, social work, or related field required.
  • Language Skills: Ability to read, analyze, and interpret common scientific and technical journals, financial reports, and legal documents. Ability to respond to common inquiries or complaints from customers, regulatory agencies, or members of the business community. Ability to write speeches and articles for publication that conform to prescribed style and format. Ability to effectively present information to top management, public groups, and/or boards of directors.
  • Mathematical Skills: Ability to apply advanced mathematical concepts such as exponents, logarithms, quadratic equations, and permutations. Ability to apply mathematical operations to such tasks as frequency distribution, determination of test reliability and validity, analysis of variance, correlation techniques, sampling theory, and factor analysis.
  • Reasoning Ability: Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts, and draw valid conclusions. Ability to interpret an extensive variety of technical instructions in mathematical or diagram form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.
  • Computer Skills: To perform this job successfully, an individual should have knowledge of Excel and statistical software.

Physical Demands The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to talk or hear.
  • The employee is frequently required to use hands to finger, handle, or feel.
  • The employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit and reach with hands and arms.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate
  • Some travel may be required.
  • Some evenings or weekends may be required.

Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions, and operates all programs, services, and functions without regard to race, receipt of an order of protection, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, amnesty, physical or mental disability, protected veterans status, genetic information, sexual orientation, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, use of FMLA, VESSA, military, and family military rights, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September 1987.


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