Research Scientist

NORC at the University of Chicago
  • Location
    Bethesda, Maryland
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    May 28

Position description

NORC at the University of Chicago seeks a Research Scientist in Bethesda, Maryland to support project work in the International Programs Department (INPRO.) The Research Scientist will support senior level technical staff in designing and implementing Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) projects and data collection and analysis activities. They will also work closely with NORC’s senior statisticians in various tasks related to NORC’s international evaluation and survey projects.


INPRO was established in 2005, and works on performance management, impact and performance evaluations, surveys, and qualitative data collection, among other research activities throughout the developing world. Our research covers a range of sectors including education and training, child and youth well-being, democracy and governance, agriculture, water and sanitation, infrastructure, housing, finance, and health. Since its establishment INPRO has implemented projects in more than 90 countries, in Africa, Asia, MENA, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe and Eurasia.


  • Provide project management support, including work plan management on MEL, evaluation and data collection projects.
  • Provide technical expertise in MEL methods and utilization.
  • Support senior level technical staff in designing and implementing MEL and evaluation projects and data collection and analysis activities.
  • Coordinate project activities and events, including setting up meetings and conference calls and liaising with consultants and local data collection firms
  • Support the design of data collection instruments and training materials, coordination of and assistance to interviewer training activities, and sample design and selection.
  • Support qualitative research and data collection
  • Conduct data quality reviews of data with detailed documentation of results, and analysis of primary and secondary data (quantitative and qualitative) including preparation of reports, memos, and tables/graphs of findings.
  • Assist with business development, contributing to technical sections and supporting proposal management.


  • Master’s Degree in social sciences; training in Economics, international affairs, or public policy is a plus.
  • At least 7 years of work experience including:
      • Experience working on MEL projects, especially in developing country settings. Experience with Collaboration, Learning, and Adaptation (CLA), research translation and/or other methods to support evidence-based decision making desired.
      • Experience conducting or managing data collection (instrument development, interviewer training, field management)
      • Experience managing projects including development of work plans, tracking progress on specific tasks and communicating deadlines to team members.
      • Experience working with USAID.
      • Experience in business development.
  • Strong understanding of all aspects of performance monitoring, including developing logic models, designing indicators, overseeing data collection and data analysis
  • Familiarity with systems-thinking, outcome harvesting, complexity-aware MEL and other innovative methods a plus.
  • Strong proficiency with MS Office software, including Excel
  • Strong command of analytical methods; command of statistical packages, such as SPSS and STATA; or of qualitative software packages such as NVivo is considered a plus
  • Working proficiency with French and/or Spanish; fluency is a plus
  • Strong analytic and report writing skills
  • Outstanding interpersonal and critical reasoning skills
  • International work experience, preferably in developing countries.
  • Some international travel will be required (as COVID-related travel restrictions ease). 


NORC at the University of Chicago is an objective, non-partisan research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, our teams have conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with us to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge.

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