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Senior Researcher in Special Education at WestEd

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Employer: WestEd

Expires: 08/18/2020

Who We AreWestEd is a preeminent educational research, development, and service organization with over 700 employees and 15 offices nationwide. WestEd has been a leader in moving research into practice by conducting research and development programs, projects and evaluations; by providing training and technical assistance; and by working with policy makers and practitioners at state and local levels to carry out large-scale school improvement and innovative change efforts. The agency’s mission is to promote excellence, achieve equity and improve learning for children, youth and adults. In 2016, WestEd celebrated a half-century milestone, marking 50 years of improving learning and healthy development for children, youth and adults from cradle to career.Brief Position DescriptionWestEd seeks an experienced Senior Researcher in the field of special education to join its team of research, practice, and policy staff that currently provide technical assistance, professional development, evaluations, and policy studies to state and local clients across the country. WestEd’s Special Education Policy and Practice team currently leads two OSEP-funded technical assistance centers, provides expertise on three other national centers, and contracts with many state and local education agencies to form a broad portfolio of work focused on systemic improvement for students with disabilities.The purpose of this senior position is to provide strategic leadership to guide the growth and development of a research portfolio within WestEd’s Special Education Policy and Practice Team that reflects practitioner and policymaker needs, our commitment to equity, and the ability to influence policy and practice on a wide scale. The person in this position will lead research projects in special education and be responsible for designing and conducting qualitative and/or quantitative studies. Additionally, this senior researcher will grow a research team, provide oversight and guidance to lead the Special Education portfolio’s research and evaluation initiatives, interact with clients, and mentor research staff. This individual will actively collaborate with other researchers and leaders across the organization and be a part of the Applied Research functional team. The senior researcher will be responsible for identifying opportunities and seeking funding for research projects including from states, foundations, and the Institute of Education Sciences’ National Center for Special Education Research.This position will report directly to the Senior Managing Director of Special Education Policy and Practice. The position will be based in one of our offices (Boston, Washington, DC, Atlanta, San Francisco, etc.) as a priority, or could be home office based for the right candidate.Responsibilities:Major responsibilities include:Work with the Special Education Policy and Practice Senior Management Team to provide overall leadership for the team’s research portfolio, including reviewing the current portfolio for strengths and areas for growth and improvement. Serve on the Special Education Leadership Team.Lead resource development opportunities, including developing a plan for pursing new research opportunities and networking with funders and key policy and education associations. Lead several proposal development efforts for new research projects each year and bid on and lead program evaluations of strategic interest to WestEd.Provide methodological oversight for research projects within the Special Education Policy and Practice Team in WestEd. This responsibility includes: supervising and providing growth-oriented feedback to project directors leading research; mentoring junior staff to increase quantitative and qualitative analytic capacity; providing overall conceptual direction to our research work; and enhancing the quality, relevance, and usefulness of our research. This also involves collaborating with other researchers across WestEd.Serve as a Principal Investigator or Senior Researcher for research projects that focus on analyzing impact of intervention efforts to improve outcomes for children and youth with disabilities; supporting the field to successfully scale interventions with proven impact; generate new concepts for consideration by researcher and policy maker partnerships.Assist the Special Education Policy and Practice Team to develop quantitative and qualitative measures to demonstrate the impact of current and future technical assistance and services.Qualifications:The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:Be a strategic thinker with deep knowledge of research methodology for education and social science research with at least 10 years of post-doctoral research experience;Demonstrated success in designing and leading complex special education research initiatives including through recently published works in peer-reviewed journals;Have an established track record in coaching others to produce rigorous and highly useful research;History of successfully managing projects, including fiscal stewardship and human resources/talent development, to ensure work is of the highest quality and impact;Demonstrated knowledge and application of state and federal special education policies and regulations as well as the research, issues, and trends in the field of special education and adjacent areas such as racial justice and equity, evidence-based practices for students with disabilities for academics and/or behavior, school and systems transformation, etc.;Be committed to and passionate about WestEd’s mission to address deep-seated equity issues;Possess strong written and oral communication skills;Work productively with diverse staff, colleagues, and clients from across the organization and across the nation in a collaborative, team-orientated workplace;Demonstrated success in developing business in response to competitive and sole-source opportunities in the public and private sectors; andPossess a PhD in educational research, special education, or a related discipline.Compensation:This is a WestEd Level I position. Compensation is competitive, depending on experience.*Note: Visa sponsorship is not available for this position. Successful candidates must be authorized to work in the United States.