Principal Research Associate - Ed Studies - REMOTE

Rockville, VA
Mar 28, 2023
Apr 21, 2023
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 is seeking a Principal Research Associate to join our Education Studies Practice team and the National Comprehensive Center team, helping design and implement projects to build the capacity of state and local educators to support improved student outcomes. You will interface closely with project directors, key members of project teams, and clients, and will provide critical support to conceptualizing initiatives, translating ideas into plans, and leading or overseeing implementation, ensuring work is of high quality, responsive to client needs, and driving positive impact. As a Principal Research Associate in Education Studies you will also have the opportunity to lead and/or participate substantively in research/evaluation projects and business development.

Successful candidates will bring diverse perspectives and varied experiences (whether from school, life, or past jobs). We value curiosity, innovation, and systems-level thinking to contribute to projects that drive improved outcomes for our clients and internally as well. We are passionate about inclusiveness, diversity, and cultural competency in the work we do within our team and in services for our clients.

Job Responsibilities:
•     Collaborate with project directors, other team members, subcontractors/partners, and clients to design and implement activities designed to build the capacity of state and local educators to support school improvement and improved student outcomes.
•     Represent the Center and Westat at national conferences and other organizational meetings, serving as a subject matter expert, making presentations and/or gathering information on capacity-building needs.
•     Apply expertise to recommend/devise effective, evidence-based strategies/activities to address field needs.
•     Direct and/or oversee task/project teams to successfully design and implement comprehensive work plans that will build the capacity of clients to improve their work and education outcomes.
•     Support effective project management through accurate progress reporting, evaluation, and oversight.
•     Provide substantive input into communications and dissemination activities, including social media, blogs, and other thought leadership activities.
•     Engage in business development, including serving as a Technical Lead, writer and/or reviewer for proposals.

Basic Qualifications:
•     Master's degree in education, public policy, public administration, and/or other social science relevant field.
•     8 years of experience including a minimum of five years' experience leading and supervising project teams and managing complex, cross-functional projects within the education sector.
•     Previous experience working with high-profile stakeholders in the education sector, including leaders within federal, state, and/or local education agencies, key partner organizations, and funders.
•     Content expertise related to key challenges and opportunities prevalent in the education sector (e.g., workforce development, early childhood education, math education, college, and career readiness, learning acceleration, multilingual learners).

Preferred Qualifications:
•     Ph.D. in education, public policy, public administration, and/or other social science relevant field, with at least 5 years of relevant post-doctoral experience.
•     Experience working in a state or local school system, or extensive experience providing capacity-building support to educators in those systems.
•     Experience designing and implementing capacity-building activities with adults
•     Experience in both research/evaluation and evidence-based capacity-building and technical assistance in the education sector.
•     Proven ability to form and maintain trusting professional relationships while driving results.

Other Required Qualifications:
•     Demonstrated communication skills
•     Collaboration with teams, managers and/or clients
•     Organization skills, including time management ability
•     Detail oriented

Westat offers a well-rounded and comprehensive benefits program focused on wellness and work/life balance. Subject to plan requirements, employees may participate in:
  • Employee Stock Ownership Plan
  • 401(k) Retirement Plan
  • Paid Parental Leave
  • Vacation Leave (15 days per year)
  • Sick Leave (10 days per year)
  • Holiday Leave (7 government holidays and 2 floating holidays)
  • 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


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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