American Institutes for Research

Managing Researcher, Education Systems & Policy

Job Location US | US-IL-Chicago | US-TX-Austin | US-VA-Arlington
Job ID
Job Location
United States


Established in 1946, with headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia, AIR is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research on important social issues and delivers technical assistance and capacity building services domestically and internationally in health, social development, education, and workforce to a growing roster of clients and partners. Our mission is to generate and use rigorous evidence that contributes to a better, more equitable world.


AIR is seeking a Managing Researcher for our Education Systems & Policy program area.  The Managing Researcher will serve as a thought leader in business development, direct and participate in proposal efforts, briefings, and client relation/development activities, and maintain excellent business development relationships and serves as primary client contact for business development.


In addition, the position will serve as the research task lead for a major federal contract. On the contract, the task lead is responsible for conceptualizing the vision for this work, providing support for project teams in developing and carrying out the work, following sound project management practices to ensure the timely completion of all deliverables within budget, and with high quality research standards that meet client requirements. Duties include: 

  • Collaborate with leadership team to design and carry out a scope of work that meets stakeholder and client goals.
  • Manage teams carrying out projects including monitoring timeline of work and timeliness of deliverables and surfacing problems and support teams with solutions.
  • Mentoring research staff to support growth in their ability to design and lead applied research projects.
  • Oversee the quality and technical rigor of research deliverables and products.
  • Manage the task budget including developing project budgets with teams, monitoring charges, updating PPRS, and developing subcontracts and managing subcontractors tied to projects.
  • Manage the task component of client reporting.
  • Represent project to internal and external audiences.
  • Manage the technical working group (TWG) including yearly convenings of the group and working with members to conduct TWG review of products and deliverables.


  • PhD in in sociology, psychology, economics, education or a relevant field with a minimum of 10 years managing and conducting research, evaluations, and related work.
  • Certified in the WWC Procedures and Standards version 4.1 (group design) or be certified within 6 months of starting the position
  • National reputation for research and evaluation expertise as evidenced through publications / presentations and service to the larger community
  • Experience overseeing research studies that use a range of methodologies including implementation studies and RCTs that answer high leverage questions for policy makers and educators.
  • Strong partnerships with, and extensive networks of, leaders in education research, policy, and practice
  • Demonstrated success in leading large, complex studies of implementation and impact and in developing high-utility measures for education studies
  • Track record of winning competitive contracts/grants from funders (e.g., federal, state, and local government; foundations)
  • Strong leadership, organizational, and interpersonal skills at a senior/managerial level
  • Proven ability to develop staff capacity in research design, methods, and measurement; project management; client and partner relationships, and business development
  • Commitment to AIR’s mission to conduct and apply the best behavioral and social science research and evaluation towards improving people's lives, with a special emphasis on the disadvantaged

The Managing Researcher can be located out of one of our U.S. offices: Washington, D.C., Chicago, IL, Waltham, MA, San Mateo, CA, or Austin.


Candidates hired for the position might initially start working remotely but will ultimately have the option to work from one of our offices located in the DC, Chicago, Boston, Oakland, and Austin (TX) metro areas or to continue to work remotely.


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, national origin, protected veteran status, or disability.


AIR adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. 




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