American Institutes for Research

Principal Researcher, Computer Science Education

Job ID
United States


The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is one of the leading behavioral and social science research organizations in the world. AIR’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics practice area is seeking a Principal Researcher who will play an important role in identifying new markets, and areas of potential growth and investment, particularly in K-12 computer science education, that enhance computational thinking and STEM teaching and learning generally. The Principal Researcher will be responsible for expanding and overseeing a growing portfolio of contract research, grants, and program evaluation projects using state-of-the-art methods and approaches to study teacher and student learning, and instructional models that promote computer science education for all students. You will use applied research and development in STEM education with a particular focus on strategies that help ensure equitable access to high-quality computer science education for all students.

The position may be located in one of our main AIR offices or remotely.


• Lead the growth and development of AIR’s emerging computer science education area through business development, client relationship and capacity building activities.
• Direct and coordinate complex, large projects and/or their components.
• Assist the STEM practice area director in the supervision of computer science education and related STEM education research and evaluation project teams and associated staff, including performance oversight, staff management and professional development.
• Demonstrate thought leadership for AIR in the STEM practice area among clients, partner organizations particularly in K-12 computer science education
• Contribute ideas and information to support project efforts through the publication of papers, presentations, seminars or symposia.
• Serve as client contact for technical and analytical expertise in the area of K-12 computer science and STEM fields in general.
• Ensure all projects are conducted with sound research and technical assistance practices, including quantitative and qualitative analyses, evidence-based interventions and sustainable solutions.
• Develop conceptual frameworks that guide project work. Collaborate with quantitative or qualitative researchers to design and develop questionnaires, instruments and databases.
• Lead proposals and contribute to strategic business development efforts in computer science education and related STEM education fields

The ideal candidate will possess a combination of business acumen, scholarly expertise, strong contacts in the philanthropic community and government agencies, a firm understanding of the research and application of K-12 computer science education and STEM fields in general, and a proven ability to manage large projects and teams.


• PhD in Computer Science or related STEM field. 10+ years of related experience, preferably within an applied research or consulting environment.
• Practical experience in K-12 computer science education-is desirable.
• Analytical and statistical research skills and experience are required.
• 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.
• Strong national reputation in computer science education, excellent interpersonal skills, business development experience and a track record of using research to impact practice is desired.

AIR is an equal employment opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to excellence through diversity. Minorities, women, individuals with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.



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