After School Matters provides Chicago high school teens with high quality, after-school and summer opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Since 1991, more than 200,000 teens have participated in our hands-on, project-based after-school and summer programs in the arts, communications and leadership, sports and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Programs take place at locations throughout the city including Chicago public high schools, Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library locations, community organizations, downtown at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts and in Belmont Cragin at our new Michael and Karyn Lutz Center for After School Matters. For more information, visit www.afterschoolmatters.org.
Summary of Position:
The Manager of Research & Evaluation will lead and design research to drive the development of practical tools, resources and publications. As a thought leader for the organization, the Manager of Research & Evaluation will also translate youth development findings into accessible and compelling articles and presentations to advance the field. Reporting to the Senior Director of Research & Policy, the Manager of Research & Evaluation will also be responsible for managing quality evaluation and core program monitoring.
Major Duties and Responsibilities:
Advance After School Matters’ research agenda and program strategy by developing and implementing applied research and program development projects that produce new knowledge, products and tools for scale across the organization and in the field.
Lead and support research projects from beginning to end: including conceptualization of the research/evaluation questions and methodological approach, collection of data and assessment, planning for and conducting analyses, interpretation of findings and data, translation of research evidence, and dissemination (written and presentations) for both research audiences and other ASM internal and external stakeholder audiences.
Identify and analyze ideas, theory, methodology, and knowledge base from the education, youth development and allied fields to advise and support large-scale, strategic collaborations with other ASM departments and/or provide strategic input on work within the Impact department, and across the organization.
Oversee key monitoring and evaluation initiatives (e.g., YPQA/I, teen surveys and interviews, teen demographic and performance data, and other special population studies), including quantitative and qualitative data collection from both original research and secondary sources including Cityspan, YPQA/I assessments, primary research studies data, Census Bureau data, American Community Survey estimates, and proprietary data from partner organizations.
Establish data management functions including data analytics plan development, data structure development, and integration with other data sets and resources as appropriate. Manage data set repositories and ensures data integrity and use upon request for data use.
Drive creation of data visualizations, executive summaries, and other deliverables that translate and disseminate outcomes and key findings from research studies and initiatives for key audiences.
Support the development of a new multi-year research agenda for After School Matters that aligns with the organization’s vision of identifying and scaling effective practices that raise the quality of youth development programs nationally.
Serve as a thought leader on organizational strategy for improving quality and outcomes in youth education and development at all levels.
Collaborate with the Advancement department and Research & Policy leadership to cultivate new public and private funding opportunities for innovative youth development and experiential learning research projects.
Lead and participate in research related grant writing, proposal development, and evaluation planning.
Establish and maintain strong relationships with key stakeholders in Programs, Program Quality and Compliance, Development, Finance, and the Executive departments to ensure organizational activities are leveraging data and insights.
Provide research and data analysis-related technical assistance to internal and external partners when appropriate, fostering understanding and adoption of best practices in developing strong metrics implementation, logistics and compliance and management structures, providing support in analysis and development of support materials to share with key stakeholders (e.g., guides, webinars, digital resources) to support ease of access and use.
Collaborate with the Program Quality and Compliance department to plan for and implement Cityspan data system improvements, reporting tools, and mechanisms that support the agency’s program evaluation and outcomes measurement goals
Communicate, build relationships, and collaborate with the education and youth development field of researchers to advance the organization’s research agenda and program strategy; write papers and make presentations for the field and policy makers.
Represent After School Matters Research & Evaluation in key external partnerships and coalitions. Present at key learning conferences, policy forums and similar events on After School Matters research.
Support department leadership with organizational processes such as budget preparation, action planning, progress reporting, cross-departmental collaboration, and communication about the research and evaluation of After School Matters.
Supervise and provide coaching and support to Research & Evaluation specialists and departmental interns. When appropriate, oversee and delegate tasks to team members, appropriate personnel, and/or consultants to support key project activities and deliverables.
Performs other duties as assigned.
Research & Evaluation Specialists
The physical demands here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Must be able to sit for long periods of time in front of a computer.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is not exposed to weather conditions
The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
5+ years’ experience conducting research projects, with a minimum of 3 years in an applied research or program setting, and a minimum of one year in research project management
Master’s degree in a related field (e.g., Education, Psychology, Social Work, Public Administration, Public Policy) or at least 5 years of additional experience required; PhD preferred
Committed to the organizational mission to provide Chicago public high school teens opportunities to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Committed to a workplace that values different backgrounds and life experiences and allows everyone to bring their authentic self to work. Builds equity into structure, systems, and processes for our employees and the teens we serve.
Bilingual (English and Spanish) language skills preferred, but not required.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Extensive experience with quantitative and qualitative data collection, management, and analysis.
Proficiency in qualitative and mixed methods research design, methods, and analysis.
Professional working proficiency in statistical concepts and analytical software (SPSS, STATA, R, and/or SAS), as well as software for qualitative analysis including NVivo.
Professional working proficiency in Microsoft Office applications.
Experience implementing data visualization best practices in multiple mediums. Elementary proficiency with Tableau preferred.
Ability to develop new procedures and to learn and apply new technologies as needed.
Experience with the development of technical assistance and learning materials for social service organizations.
Excellent knowledge of the database systems and resources for seeking out research insights and literature on the issues of youth development, youth employment, education, after school programs, and related issues of poverty.
Exceptional attention to detail, analytical and problem-solving skills.
Excellent communication skills, including the ability to write clearly, speak in public forums to diverse audiences, listen and communicate effectively with stakeholders, staff and colleagues.
Excellent interpersonal skills, negotiation and team-building skills.
Ability to maintain an independent perspective while collaborating closely with a wide variety of personnel.
Willingness and ability to undertake complex, uncommon research requests.
Capacity to work collaboratively and proactively within a team environment, as well as independently
Experience in using Cityspan database a plus
Understanding of the organic nature of programs and how research methodology can be adapted is a plus.
How to Apply:
Submit a cover letter and resume at https://afterschoolmatters.applytojob.com/apply
After School Matters is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status, military discharge status, age, marital status, parental status, or source of income.
About After School Matters
After School Matters provides Chicago high school teens with high quality, out-of-school time opportunities to explore and develop their talents while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond. Since 1991, more than 200,000 teens have participated in our hands-on, project-based after-school and summer programs in the arts, communications and leadership, STEM and sports. Programs take place at locations throughout the city including Chicago public high schools, Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library locations, community-based organizations, The Michael and Karyn Lutz Center for After School Matters in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood and Gallery 37 Center for the Arts downtown.