Principal Research Associate - Education Equity Research

Rockville, VA
Jul 20, 2022
Aug 25, 2022
Full Time
Westat is an employee-owned corporation providing research services to agencies of the U.S. Government, as well as businesses, foundations, and state and local governments. Westat's research, technical, and administrative staff of more than 2,000 is located at our headquarters in Rockville, Maryland, near Washington, DC.

Westat is committed to building a diverse workforce and a culture of inclusivity, belonging and equity for all. We believe that our greatest strength draws on the different backgrounds, cultures, perspectives and experiences of our employees.

Westat has an immediate opening for a Principal Research Associate to join our education studies team focused on capacity-building equity in student outcomes and opportunities to learn. The Principal Research Associate will both build the capacity of our internal teams to support clients in planning, implementing, and evaluating equity-focused educational improvement efforts and will serve as a national thought leader and capacity-building expert around these topics for clients at the federal, state, and local agency level. The Principal Research Associate will interface closely with project leadership, key members of project teams, and clients, and will provide critical support to conceptualizing initiatives, translating ideas into plans, and supporting staff members and clients as they implement the work and problem-solve throughout it, putting efforts related to equity in education in context of historical and contemporary efforts and initiatives in related professional sectors.

This role is eligible for a virtual or hybrid work arrangement.

Job Responsibilities:
  • Supports project leadership in shaping, then translating an equity lens to long-term planning and day-to-day implementation of project activities
  • Contributes substantively to project conceptualization and implementation, particularly projects focused on education equity.
  • Vets projects not directly focused on equity, but indirectly requiring the integration of an equity lens to ensure diverse viewpoints are included in their design, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Conceives of and conducts needs-sensing or designs and implements evidence-based capacity-building efforts that are centered on equity and equitable opportunities to learn and are responsive to project and client needs.
  • Serves as influential thought leader, representing the organization/project's capabilities and impact around equity in the education sector through writing and speaking engagements, particularly those aligned to project needs.
  • Contributes thought partnership 

Basic Qualifications:
  • Ph.D. or Ed.D. in education or other social science relevant field.
  • 20 or more years of experience working in a combination of research and capacity-building efforts related to educational equity, cultural competency, and related topics.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Proven network of external partners and experts in the area of educational equity and civil rights.
  • Demonstrated thought leader in the education equity space.
  • Ability to interface effectively with project leaders, high-profile clients (including leaders within federal, state, and/or local education agencies), partners, funders, corporate leaders, researchers, and technical assistance providers.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • Strong communication skills, analytic capabilities, administrative abilities, and the capability to handle multiple tasks while working in a team setting are essential.
  • Proven ability to form and maintain trusting professional relationships while driving to results

Westat offers a well-rounded and comprehensive benefits program focused on wellness and work/life balance. Eligible employees may participate in:
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Vacation Leave
  • Sick Leave
  • Holiday Leave
  • Professional Development
  • Health Advocate
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Travel Accident Insurance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Short Term Disability Insurance
  • Long Term Disability Insurance
  • Life and AD&D Insurance
  • Critical Illness Insurance
  • Supplemental Life Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Health Savings Account


Protecting the health and safety of our employees and survey participants is a top priority for Westat. As a federal government contractor, Westat will require Westat staff, regardless of work location, to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon hire and to follow all safety protocols, subject to approved accommodations under applicable law.

Westat is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, veteran status, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, genetic information, gender identity or expression, or any other protected status under applicable law.

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