We at Spark Policy Institute are social and environmental strategy partners, focusing on research, evaluation 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.
A Senior Researcher at Spark reports directly to the Director of Evaluation and is responsible for leading and implementing small- to mid-size research and evaluation projects. A Senior Researcher is involved in the development of new work that aligns their social interests and that of Spark as well as engage in speaking or writing opportunities to ensure utilization of evaluation and research within the field and at a community level. The selected individual will engage both as a coach and learner with colleagues in professional development. 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 and 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; Bilingual facilitation and translation are preferred
- Operates most effectively in a team environment—demonstrating written and oral communication skills, seeking input, asking for help, providing information needed by others on the team
- Openness to change and new information; understand how to adapt research designs in response to changing needs and environments; effectively deal with ambiguity and uncertainty in both research and office environment
- Capacity to think at a systems level and apply complex theory, frameworks, emergent learning tools and data to the development of strategy
- Project management and leadership with at least two or more supporting staff including effective delegation of meaningful work to others, designing a budget, and delivering work in a timely manner that is within budget
- Rigorous attention to research:
- Protocol/tool design for a variety of evaluation and/or research projects, including large scale initiatives investigating complex problems or issues; provision of oversight for tool design/data collection for projects with a variety of data collection methods
- Development and use of quantitative analysis plans for large-scale or complex projects utilizing multiple data analysis strategies; ability to analyze data independently, with experience utilizing more advanced analysis methods (bivariate, multivariable, specialty analysis) for a variety of projects/initiatives; demonstrated ability to accurately interpret and advise on appropriate methods to answer research/evaluation questions
- Development and implementation of qualitative analysis plans for large scale or complex research/evaluation projects; ability to independently conduct qualitative analysis using a variety of analysis techniques/strategies; documented ability to synthesize qualitative data in written and visual format; demonstrated oversight of other research staff on large scale qualitative analysis projects
- Independent development of evaluation/research products (reports, articles, publications, etc.) for large scale or complex projects; including development of narrative and visual syntheses of data, action-oriented recommendations, and appropriate limitations; oversight of other research staff in developing products
- Client relationship management and business development skills including acting as a trusted advisor, networking and marketing, the ability to identify new or continuing work opportunities, proposal development, and identification of opportunities to contribute to and advance the field
A successful applicant will have at least eight or more years of experience implementing evaluation and research and supporting complex evaluation design to advance meaningful social change. Experience working in and with community and supporting diverse groups of stakeholders from all walks of life including community members, community-based organizations, foundations, corporations, policy advocates, government etc in helping them use data and emergent learning tools to drive strategy and decision making is highly valued at Spark. Experience should be accompanied by academic training in a relevant field. A Master’s degree or higher is preferred but not necessary with demonstrated years of experience in the field.
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 should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org