United States of America: Principal Research Scientist

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Organization: FHI 360
Country: United States of America
Closing date: 31 Oct 2015

FHI 360 is a nonprofit human development organization dedicated to improving lives in lasting ways by advancing integrated, locally driven solutions. Our staff includes experts in Health, Education, Nutrition, Environment, Economic Development, Civil Society, Gender, Youth, Research and Technology; creating a unique mix of capabilities to address today's interrelated development challenges. FHI 360 serves more than 60 countries, all 50 U.S. states and all U.S. territories. We are currently seeking qualified candidates for the position of: Principal Research Scientist


FHI 360's United States Programs unit advances the health, safety, education and workforce development for people of all ages by designing, delivering and evaluating services and solutions to address the nation’s most pressing social problems. We collaborate with government agencies, foundations, corporations and community organizations to improve early childhood and preK-12 education and youth development; college and career readiness and success; and HIV/AIDS prevention, obesity prevention, tobacco control, immunization practices and workplace safety.

We work primarily in underserved communities in poor urban and rural areas to ensure equitable access to high-quality programs and services.

We collect evidence of effective policies and practices; create research-based interventions and communications campaigns; establish local, regional and national partnerships; build capacity to improve programs and to bring them to scale; evaluate progress and outcomes; secure resources to sustain effective efforts; and provide professional development.

Our Research and Evaluation portfolios include quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method studies in the topical areas noted above; market research for public health and social development programs; and evaluations of both our own and other organizations’ programs, including many large-scale, multi-site, and multi-partner initiatives. We are committed to gathering evidence of effective practices and systems, and to building the capacity of other organizations through formative feedback and effective use of data and data systems.

Job Summary / Responsibilities:

FHI 360’s United States Programs unit seeks a Principal Research Scientist to capitalize on the research and evaluation expertise throughout the larger organization, expand our research and evaluation portfolios, and contribute to our growing evidence base. The Director will collaborate with other researcher and program leaders in United States Programs and in other units in the U.S. and abroad to secure and manage grants and contracts from federal, state, and local agencies, corporations, and foundations. S/he will be part of the senior management team of FHI 360’s United States Programs and report to its director.

  • Lead business development opportunities to secure funding for research and evaluation in key areas of our work; network with potential funders (public and private) and partners.
  • Serve as a principal investigator and senior advisor on research and evaluation proposals and projects.
  • Participate in strategic planning activities with FHI 360 leaders and research teams.
  • Serve as a resource and internal consultant to FHI 360 staff, contributing expertise in research, program evaluation, data collection, analysis, and interpretation; and constructive feedback for program improvement.
  • Report and present internally and externally on research and evaluation findings; publish findings in house reports and in peer-reviewed and practitioner journals.
  • Participate in organizational efforts designed to improve our research and evaluation capacity and visibility.
  • Ensure compliance with all stipulated national
    standards and guidelines for evaluation and research practices (e.g., IRB, OMB).


  • 10 to 15 post-Ph.D. years in research and evaluation in the United States.
  • Deep knowledge and experience with quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, including (but not limited to) ethnography, case studies, randomized control trials, quasi-experimental studies, and program evaluation. Knowledge of strategic planning principles and practices.
  • Deep knowledge of issues in U.S. education and health, particularly in the topical areas noted above, and in state of the art approaches to researching and evaluating them.
  • Proven experience in business development and expanding research and evaluation portfolios; demonstrated ability to win grants and contracts.
  • Demonstrated experience in developing, publishing, and disseminating research to researchers, policy makers and practitioners, and in using research to improve practice.
  • Effective communication skills, both verbal and written, for reaching multiple audiences.
  • Superior skills in establishing and maintaining effective, collegial working relationships; demonstrated ability to foster collaboration in and across research and program teams; skill in effectively managing, supervising, mentoring, and evaluating staff.
  • Knowledge of data confidentiality and human subjects protection requirements.
  • A successful history of obtaining and implementing grants and contracts.
  • Visibility among education and/or health researchers in the U.S.; a strong publication and presentation record.
  • Strong formal and informal connections and relationships with multiple, varied funders (federal, state, private), partners, and with colleges and universities;
  • Flexibility, adaptability, a collegial spirit and a sense of humor.
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This job description summarizes the main duties of the job. It neither prescribes nor restricts the exact tasks that may be assigned to carry out these duties. This document should not be construed in any way to represent a contract of employment. Management reserves the right to review and revise this document at any time.
We offer competitive compensation and an outstanding benefit package. Please click here to visit FHI 360's Career Center for a list of all open positions.
FHI 360 is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. FHI 360 is committed to providing equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, disability or status as a veteran with respect to policies, programs, or activities.

How to apply:


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