Research Assistant I/II, Butler Institute for Families

  • University of Denver
  • Denver, CO, USA
  • Oct 30, 2020
Full time Education Research

Job Description

Throughout its 75-year history, the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work has administered countless externally funded projects targeting children and families. These efforts preceded and provided the impetus for the establishment of the Butler Institute for Families in 1994. Today, we are nationally recognized for our leadership and collaborative work at the national, state, and local level in evaluation, research, and technical assistance aimed at improving the quality of child-, youth-, and family-serving systems.

We bring together researchers, practitioners, public and private service system experts, and community members to: engage in program evaluation and research; examine outcomes; and provide technical assistance and training to program administrators, direct service providers, and community leaders. Currently, Butler conducts business in four primary content areas: child welfare, early childhood systems, tribal child welfare, and behavioral health. These content areas operate within a Research-to-Practice framework that promotes the use, adoption, adaptation, replication, and/or scaling of research and/or evaluation knowledge and the integration of this knowledge in practice. In addition to the benefits offered by the University of Denver (see here for more details:, Butler offers the opportunity to work with a dedicated group of people committed to using research to support practice improvements. We also offer professional development and job growth opportunities, flexible schedules and the opportunity to telework remotely. Butler stands in solidarity against the systemic oppression of persons of color and American Indian/Alaska Native tribes, communities, and individuals. Butler intentionally partners with family and child serving agencies to create healing, positive systemic change, and daily inclusive actions that reflect racial equity.

Position Summary

The Butler Institute for Families Research Assistant I/II supports multiple research and evaluation projects centered on early childhood systems, child welfare and behavioral health fields. Under supervision, these positions are responsible for data collection, data entry, data coding and cleaning, running basic statistics, assisting with project reports and literature reviews, and other administrative and research support tasks as needed.

The Research Assistant I is an entry-level research and evaluation position that will engage in administrative and logistical tasks, as well as basic data collection, management, and descriptive analysis responsibilities. The Research Assistant I is supported by regular supervision and mentoring to develop emerging professional research skills.

The Research Assistant II has 1-2 years of previous professional research and evaluation experience focused on data collection and management and has basic inferential statistics and qualitative data management skills. With supervision, the Research Assistant II will be expected to take initiative in the collection and management of data. This position may be responsible for supervision of work-study students.

Essential Functions

Research Assistant I

  • Under supervision of a Research Associate, coordinate data collection activities as a member of project-based research and evaluation teams.
  • Draft and submit Institutional Review Board (IRB) applications.
  • Schedule interviews and focus groups.
  • Enter surveys into Qualtrics online platform, and format and distribute paper surveys.
  • Conduct structured interviews, in-person or by phone; support focus groups by recording, taking detailed notes, and managing logistical functions.
  • Administer research incentives, including coordinating gift card tracking and distribution.
  • Enter, clean, and manage data. May include manual data entry, scanning surveys into Remark, tracking response rates, and cleaning data sets prior to analysis.
  • Prepare qualitative data for analysis, including transcribing or coordinating with transcription services, and managing qualitative data files.
  • Conduct basic statistical analyses and assist with qualitative coding.
  • Conduct literature searches.
  • Assist with designing, formatting, development, editing and revision of reports, handouts, and PowerPoint presentations.
  • Provide evaluation and research support in other areas upon request, such as generating meeting minutes, attending internal and external meetings, and other administrative duties as needed.

Research Assistant II
In addition to Research Assistant I Essential Functions:

  • Take increasing responsibility for initiating and coordinating data collection and management activities.
  • Conduct inferential statistics.
  • Code qualitative data and identify themes.
  • Draft sections of reports and articles.
  • Supervise work-study students or temporary employees, as needed.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

Research Assistant I

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including ability to draft effective email correspondence.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with colleagues and with research and evaluation participants, sponsors, and university staff.
  • Exceptional project coordination and task-management skills.
  • Ability to approach work with diverse communities with respect and humility, as a listener and learner.
  • Eagerness to learn and grow new research and evaluation skills.
  • Ability to listen to, respect, and honor different viewpoints and perspectives.
  • Ability to conceptualize, analyze, and strategize.
  • Ability to manage and interpret basic statistical (frequencies, means, t-tests) and qualitative data.
  • Ability to multi-task and balance a variety of projects.

Research Assistant II

In addition to Research Assistant I Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • Ability to identify problems and initiate solutions.
  • Ability to discern relevance and/or importance of research findings.
  • Ability to conduct and interpret basic inferential statistics (correlation, regression, ANOVAs).
  • Ability to independently code and categorize qualitative data.
  • Ability to read and interpret research literature with a complete understanding of the language contained therein.
  • Ability to draft narrative reports.

Required Qualifications

Research Assistant I

  • Bachelor's degree.
  • Aptitude for and strong interest in social science research and program evaluation.
  • Ability to coordinate tasks across multiple projects.
  • Ability to organize and compile information, and present basic statistical data.
  • Basic understanding of descriptive statistics (e.g., frequencies, means, t-tests) and strong familiarity with Excel.
  • Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing, including the ability to draft email correspondence and communicate with colleagues, supervisors, and project partners.
  • Knowledge of proper grammar and sentence construction.
  • Ability to create and format tables and charts, PowerPoint slides, and Word documents.
  • Experience with entire Microsoft Office Suite.

Research Assistant II
In addition to Research Assistant I Qualifications:

  • 1-2 years of professional experience coordinating data collection and management activities.
  • Ability to analyze and synthesize data.
  • Ability of identify problems and initiate solutions.
  • Experience with SPSS software and understanding of basic inferential statistics.
  • Familiarity with Atlas-ti software and experience with coding qualitative data.
  • Experience writing sections of research/evaluation reports/articles.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Master's degree.
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish.
  • Experience with or knowledge of early childhood systems.
  • Experience working with diverse communities.

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. Telework/Remote work schedule available as an option.

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) on Friday, November 6, 2020.

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

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.

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