Research Associate II - Strategic Resource Planning & Implementation

$73,300 - $83,760 yearly
  • WestEd
  • Remote
  • Jul 29, 2022
Full time Education

Job Description

About WestEd 

As a community of over 800 researchers, practitioners, consultants, and administrative professionals from all backgrounds and life experiences, we are committed to making a qualitative difference in the lives of youth, children, and adults. We conduct and apply research, develop evidence-based solutions, and provide consulting services across the country in both rural and urban communities to improve equitable outcomes for individuals from infancy through adulthood. Serving as trusted partners in the areas of education, health, and justice, our teams enhance capacity within communities and school districts to prioritize impact — asking the right questions, customizing methodologies, developing relevant tools, and implementing best practices specific to a diverse range of stakeholder needs.
Furthering diversity, equity, and inclusion is core to who we are and how we work. We are committed to working with our clients to illuminate and address disparities, value and elevate diverse voices, and ensure equitable access to our resources and services. Please review our 
Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

SPECIAL NOTICE REGARDING THE WORK LOCATION OF THIS POSITION—Although a remote option may have been listed as one of the location options for this position, the default location for all WestEd positions is in one of WestEd’s offices. However, candidates may submit a request to work from home.

All WestEd staff are required to provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. Proof of full vaccination is required before beginning employment. If you want to be considered for a medical or religious exemption, you will have an opportunity to provide appropriate documentation.

About the Team

The Strategic Resource Planning & Implementation content area includes a team of 26 colleagues. We work to improve how resources are allocated, meaningful policy structures are built, and appropriate support systems are established in child, youth and adult-serving sectors to advance equitable education system improvement. These improvements are realized through working with state, tribal, regional, and local education leaders to study, internalize and transform organizational and financing structures that result in direct systems change. Ultimately, we believe that the collective action of adults forms the experiences of students and families today and the path to effective change is by understanding and changing those systems in an equitable and high-quality manner.

We are a highly motivated team, with high expectations for ourselves, each other, our relationships and strive for long-term impact. We are passionate, optimistic and hard-working. We leverage our fiscal and system knowledge, skill and expertise, with collaborative partnerships throughout the agency and externally. We value professional growth and a positive culture and community.

Position Description

The research associate will work on various project-based teams in the areas of resource allocation, governance and accountability, leadership development, systems planning, and continuous improvement. Primary project objectives include, but are not limited to, providing collaborative and research-based capacity building to state education agencies, tribal governments and organizations, health agencies, community colleges, county offices of education, school districts, and schools to increase educational equity and improve outcomes for all students.

The ideal candidate has experience with the collection, analysis, and presentation of qualitative data, report generation, and writing for diverse audiences. The ideal candidate also exhibits strong communication (written and verbal) skills and can juggle multiple priorities. The candidate will have the opportunity to grow as a researcher within WestEd and build expertise in education policy and data analysis. Candidates should also have emerging knowledge and a strong interest in education finance and education policy (early childhood, K-12, and/or higher education).


·       Contribute to the design of qualitative research serving state and local education agencies, including providing leadership in data collection and analysis, and the interpretation and summary of research findings that are user-oriented to meet the needs of diverse clients.

·       Co-develop, design, and conduct research-related support activities including virtual and offsite research activities (e.g., conducting individual and focus group interviews, observations, and administering surveys).

·       Develop and implement data-collection instruments including surveys, interview, and focus group protocols.

·       Design and develop compelling reports and presentations for clients and education community members that communicate research findings, raise awareness, and motivate professionals to take action.

·       Support technical assistance for clients to build their capacity to incorporate research findings into their work and implement continuous improvement practices.

·       Contribute to business development opportunities by co-developing proposals and designing marketing materials.

·       Prepares high quality written materials in a variety of formats (research reports, memos, policy briefs, slide decks) that document, analyze, and explain critical information including, but not limited to, descriptions of collaborative planning processes, complex data, analytical results, and actionable recommendations and reflections based on clients’ needs and data.


·       master’s degree with an emphasis in education or social sciences strongly preferred

·       at least 5 years of professional experience with qualitative education research and/or consulting

·       knowledge and expertise collecting, analyzing, and summarizing qualitative data; experience working with quantitative data is a plus

·       strong writing and analytical skills with the ability to communicate complex information to a range of audiences

·       knowledge and understanding of education finance research and research on improving schools and school systems

·       knowledge and experience working with tribal governments and education systems, health agencies, and/or higher education a plus

·       familiarity and interest in education policy analysis and development

·       strong attention to detail to ensure that one's own and others’ work and information are complete and accurate; carefully prepare for meetings and presentations; follow up with others to ensure that agreements and commitments have been fulfilled

·       experience with project management including the ability to identify and think through all necessary steps of a project, set appropriate personal deadlines and adhere to team deadlines, move seamlessly between prioritized tasks

·       a commitment to excellence and equity and having an impact on the lives of children.

·       travel: ability to travel up to 15%


Salary for this role is competitive and at WestEd grade Level G. WestEd offers a very generous benefits package including medical, dental, and vision coverage, as well as Life, AD&D and Disability insurance.  We also offer various retirement plan options and Flexible Spending Accounts for medical, childcare, and commuter expenses. WestEd offers generous paid holidays and paid time off (PTO), among other benefits. 

Perks and Benefits

In addition to WestEd’s comprehensive benefits, our team values flexibility and offers flexible work hours. WestEd aims to provide you with a safe and comfortable work environment and offers ergonomic evaluations to make your work environment the best for you! Committed to the diversity of race, ethnicities, perspectives, and opportunities, WestEd offers a variety of ways to build community, including Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), affinity groups (e.g., WestEd Parents), and professional learning communities (PLCs) for Data Intelligence, Insights, Innovation, and Women in Tech, just to name a few. We hope you’ll consider joining us to build better schools, communities, learning pathways, and more!

#LI-Remote  #LI-Hybrid

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)