• Principal Researcher (Workforce Development)

    Job Location US
    Job ID
    Job Location
    United States
  • Overview

    The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a leading social policy research and capacity-building nonprofit organization. Since our founding in 1946, we have developed a strong reputation for working closely with our clients to study and help improve a wide range of programs and policies, from early childhood, K-12, and postsecondary education to workforce, health, and economic development. AIR prides itself in conducting high-impact, high-stakes projects for public, private, and philanthropic clients. We are committed to helping build and apply the best evidence-base to solve real world problems and improve the lives of all people.

    AIR is currently seeking a Principal Researcher for the Workforce Development Practice Area. The Workforce Development Practice Area’s mission is to contribute to efforts to help American workers find and thrive in stable, safe, and rewarding jobs. We support efforts to (1) create a skilled, educated, and adaptable workforce that meets employer needs in a dynamic global economy, (2) foster safe, healthy, and fair work environments, and (3) strengthen systems that provide income security and supports to workers as they navigate challenging transitions. To accomplish these aims, we offer research, evaluation, and technical assistance to federal, state, and local partners to help them understand what works, when, where, and why; innovate and learn; and adopt and adapt evidence-based practices.

    The Principal Researcher will contribute to substantive, technical, and thought leadership for the practice area, staff mentorship, execution of high-quality research and reporting, and successful maintenance of client relations and client satisfaction for workforce projects.


    •Direct research proposal and project teams to plan, design, and execute rigorous labor/workforce related research. Ensure research integrity by selecting and applying appropriate research designs and analysis techniques, developing accurate conclusions, and conveying results through clear reporting.

    • Direct and manage large projects and tasks providing intellectual and operational leadership to researchers, data analysts, programmers, and research assistants

    •Develop and maintain client and partner relationships at the federal, state, and local levels to support existing lines of business and help develop new ones for AIR’s workforce development portfolio.

    •Serve as a thought leader in the field and disseminate findings through publication of papers, progress and technical reports, and presentation of briefings and seminars. Support the application of research findings to practice through practitioner-friendly reporting and dissemination.


    •PhD or equivalent in economics, public policy, sociology, education, psychology, demography, statistics or a related field is preferred.

    •7 to 15 years of professional research experience and a strong reputation for research expertise in labor topics, as proven through publications, presentations, and work won.

    •5 years of experience as a project director or principal investigator on labor projects.

    •Strong background in designing rigorous research studies (including impact assessment), conducting data analysis, reporting, and dissemination.

    •Expertise in analyzing administrative data, conducting rapid cycle evaluations, or applying behavioral insights or human centered design to public program design a plus.

    •Established record of leading and mentoring research teams, monitoring projects and budgets, and successfully managing client relations.

    •Excellent writing and communication skills and ability to convey complex ideas simply

    •Proven track record of developing large and small proposals and winning competitive awards from various funding organizations (e.g., Federal, state, and local government; foundations).

    •Commitment to AIR’s mission and the application of research findings for the benefit of stakeholders.

    Available Locations: Washington, D.C., Chicago, IL, Waltham, MA or San Mateo, CA offices



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