Senior Research Associate

  • Full-time

Company Description

EDC is one of the world’s leading nonprofit research and development firms. EDC designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health, and economic opportunity worldwide. Collaborating with both public and private partners, we strive for a world where all people are empowered to live healthy, productive lives.

EDC has a commitment to promoting equity and access to high quality education and health services that contribute to thriving communities where people from diverse backgrounds learn, live, and work together. EDC expresses its commitment to increasing equity through its strategies, services and products, which contribute to building capacity and transforming lives.

Job Description

EDC's Chicago office has an opening for a full or part time Senior Research Associate who will report to the Principal Evaluation Director. EDC has a growing body of research and evaluation work based in Chicago and through this hire, intends to broaden expertise in racial equity issues, as well as a deeper understanding of the needs of local neighborhoods, communities, non-profits and community-based organizations. A staff with diverse backgrounds and perspectives is a competitive advantage that we value and promote as an organization. We endeavor to make our work and our work environment inclusive and culturally responsive to better the lives of the individuals and communities we serve. We are looking for candidates who share EDC’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion and who understand the importance of cultural responsiveness in today’s context.

EDC provides expertise in designing and conducting research and evaluation. We also provide technical support related to data and evidence use and apply evidence to inform policies on a wide range of issues including community-based, school-based, and out-of-school time programs.

The Senior Research Associate will be responsible for leading quantitative and/or qualitative evaluation studies in a highly collaborative team environment. Responsibilities will include evaluation design and implementation using culturally responsive and equity-focused evaluation approaches, overseeing evaluation staff, and co-leading client and stakeholder relationships. The Senior Research Associate may also contribute to other research, evaluation, or technical support and training projects in both school- and community-based educational and health settings.


The person in this position is expected to communicate clearly and courteously; to develop and maintain positive relationships with clients, consultants, collaborators, co-workers, field sites, and funders; and to work respectfully with EDC colleagues. The job requires adherence to EDC policies & procedures.

The Senior Research Associate

  • Exercises leadership in qualitative &/or quantitative research and evaluation methods including culturally responsive and equity-focused approaches
  • Acts as a project lead, overseeing evaluation design, data collection & validation processes and ensuring quality & reliability
  • Initiates and executes projects of moderate scope & diversity; will be responsible for co-leading complex project(s) with other senior staff
  • Facilitates multi-level stakeholder meetings of varying sizes and complexity
  • Writes/edits evaluation plans & complex reports and summaries, including evaluation syntheses
  • Develops high-visibility presentations and data vizualizations for technical and non-technical audiences including clients, stakeholders, and the public
  • Contributes to raising EDC’s external visibility
  • Participates in proposal & funding planning, including conceptualizing or writing major sections of proposals

The Senior Research Associate

  • Expands contacts and strengthens client relations; develops business and professional relationships by communicating technical information to professional or civic communities, government agencies, stakeholders, or institutions
  • Guides feedback exchanges with project team; provides expertise and mentoring to junior staff members
  • Oversees administrative and logistical coordination of projects including staffing and budgets
  • Troubleshoots complex problems and develops solutions in consultation with project team members
  • Advises, consults, and collaborates with senior management and project staff on expanding current projects and developing new work
  • May suggest project policies & procedures to ensure quality & compliance
  • Will provide administrative supervision or direction to junior staff
  • May initiate or coordinate cross-portfolio evaluation efforts and activities
  • May be expected to travel


This position requires educational achievement; excellent writing skills; demonstrable initiative, creativity, and flexibility; ability to work independently and effectively in groups; and strong interpersonal & organizational skills. Specific requirements:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent combination of education & experience
  • Demonstrable leadership skills
  • Knowledge of the Chicago region, including Chicago communities, neighborhoods, nonprofits, and community-based organizations
  • Familiarity with local philanthropy and the Chicago research and evalution community
  • Understanding of racial equity issues confronting Chicago and the ways in which those issues are being addressed by people, organizations, and institutions
  • Experience with virtual collaboration tools
  • Experience with community development or urban planning a benefit
  • Full fluency in English, native or near native fluency in Spanish a benefit

Additional Information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

EDC is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer committed to enhancing the diversity of its workforce and ensuring an equitable and highly inclusive work environment. EDC is a smoke-free workplace, and offers a supportive work environment, competitive salary, and excellent benefits. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.