Associate Researcher

About Us

We at Spark Policy Institute are social and environmental strategy partners, focusing on evaluation, research and facilitation approaches to foster meaningful social change. We are passionate about working with communities to Do Good, Even Better by informing systems-level decisions. Over the years, we’ve sought to improve and operationalize our commitment to ensuring all voices are heard, strengthen our own organizational accountability to uphold social values, and authentically support the people, places, and communities touched by our work.

We strive to build an evaluation and research team that reflects our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and meaningful, rigorous research and evaluation practices.

The Opportunity

An Associate Researcher at Spark reports directly to a Senior Researcher and works with an experienced researcher on multiple research and evaluation projects at any given time. We are looking for individuals who can demonstrate experience with research and/or evaluation. An Associate Researcher plays a role in supporting diverse groups of stakeholders from all walks of life including community members, community-based organizations, foundations, corporations, policy advocates, government, etc. in successfully applying data and learning adaptive strategy. Spark employs an innovative, team-based approach to help ensure that every challenge is met with flexibility and creativity, so we can apply the right skills and expertise at the right time. Spark also supports the professional development of its evaluators and researchers through individual coaching, monthly team skill building, peer learning, and individual opportunities for professional growth through annual performance reviews.

Specific Competencies Include:

  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion and ability to apply tools internally and externally to advance these aims;
  • Operates effectively in a team environment—demonstrating written and oral communication skills, seeking input, asking for help, providing information needed by others on the team in a timely fashion, and attention to detail
  • Openness to change and new information; willingness to adapt in response to changing needs and environments; effectively deal with ambiguity and uncertainty in both research and office environment
  • Rigorous attention to research and/or evaluation approaches:
    • Experience supporting a variety of types and sizes of research studies or evaluation projects along with experience using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods
    • Knowledge of inferential statistics; basic skills in statistical analysis programs or excel, including experience cleaning and analyzing data; and skill in interpreting the results of quantitative analysis
    • Knowledge and experience analyzing qualitative data, including using qualitative coding software
  • Demonstrated ability to write and speak clearly in a way that can be easily interpreted and applied by diverse sets of stakeholders including drafting of literature reviews, research and evaluation protocols, presentations, and reports; experience with data visualization and alternative dissemination approaches is welcomed
  • Experience working under supervision with communities and stakeholders in the development, implementation, and interpretation of research and evaluation findings including participatory, empowerment and/or applied approaches; willingness to travel
  • Strong objectivity and reflexivity in the implementation of research and evaluation practices
  • Effective project and time management skills
  • Openness and responsivity to coaching and feedback
  • Commitment to professional growth and development within and of the field including an interest in developing tools and new skills in research and evaluation methodology



A successful applicant will have at least one to three years of experience supporting evaluation and research to advance meaningful social change. Experience should be accompanied by academic training in a relevant field and demonstrated skills in working with research and evaluation tools, methods and quantitative or qualitative data. A Master’s degree is preferred but not necessary with demonstrated years of experience in with research or evaluation.  Bilingual facilitation and translation are preferred.


Spark offers a competitive salary commensurate with skills and experience and a full benefits package including health, dental, life, and disability insurance; retirement plan; paid time off and holidays; wellness programs; and a flexible work schedule. At Spark, we prioritize work-life balance and seek team members who do the same.

Our EEO Statement

Spark is a committed to an office culture of inclusivity. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, disability or marital status.

All applications and cover letters should be submitted via the Spark website at