• Principal Researcher, Special Education

    Job Location US-DC
    Job ID
    Job Location
    United States
  • Overview

    The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a leading behavioral and social science research organization. We are a collaborative organization that works with clients to examine a wide range of projects from early childhood development to adult education. AIR prides itself in conducting high-impact, high-stakes projects for significant federal, state, and private organizations. Our vision is that research-based problem solving can improve the lives of all people.

    We are currently seeking a Principal Researcher to expand research and evaluation capabilities in the area of special education. The Principal Researcher will focus his/her efforts on providing substantive methodological oversight on projects and proposals, leading projects and proposals, expanding the portfolio of evaluation and research work, and mentoring staff. The successful candidate will possess broad knowledge of current research and policy issues in special education, and have an appreciation of the value of linking research and evaluation findings with technical assistance and capacity building efforts

    The position may be based in our Washington, D.C., Chicago, IL, Waltham, MA, San Mateo, CA, or Austin TX office.


    • Direct and coordinate complex, large projects and/or their components
    • Provide methodological oversight and guidance to project teams, and quality assurance review for proposals and project deliverables
    • Demonstrate thought leadership for AIR in the Special Education practice area among clients and partner organizations
    • Lead proposals and contribute to strategic business development efforts in special education research and evaluation
    • Contribute ideas and information to support project and business development efforts through the publication of papers, presentations, seminars or symposia
    • Develop conceptual frameworks that guide project work. Collaborate with quantitative or qualitative researchers to design and develop questionnaires, instruments and databases
    • Provide guidance and mentoring to continue to build the team’s capacity
    • Use entrepreneurial, creative thinking and problem solving skills in supporting the practice


    • PhD in special education or related field. 10+ years of related experience, preferably within an applied research or consulting environment
    • 5-10 years of experience directing large-scale research studies
    • Extensive knowledge of special education research and evaluation, specifically related to the integration of assessment and intervention, learning disabilities, and/or behavioral disabilities.
    • Expertise in advanced methodological and analytical approaches to special education research
    • Demonstrated capacity to lead proposals and other development work to support the organization’s growth as well as a proven ability to seek, obtain, and manage projects.
    • Practical experience in special education is desirable
    • Strong national reputation in special education research, excellent interpersonal skills, business development experience and a track record of using research to impact practice.



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