Data Collector (Research Assistant II)
Grade 7 – RESEARCH & EVALUATION – Reference #: DC030416
Intermittent Casual – Temporary Part Time
EDC is one of the world’s leading nonprofit research and development firms. EDC designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health, and economic opportunity worldwide. Collaborating with both public and private partners, we strive for a world where all people are empowered to live healthy, productive lives.
EDC is Committed to Diversity in the Workplace
The Science & Mathematics Programs Unit at Education Development Center, Inc., Waltham, , has openings for Data Collectors (Research Assistants) to work in metropolitan areas including but not limited to: Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Atlanta, GA; Charlotte, NC; Washington, DC; Houston, TX; Durango, CO; and Cleveland, OH.
We are seeking individuals interested in middle school science education to participate in a research project funded by the National Science Foundation. The purpose of the study is to describe the basic models of middle school science fairs; determine how participation in a particular model of middle school science fair enhances students’ mastery of the science and engineering practices (SEP), interest in science, and/or interest in future science education or careers; and investigate the resources required to implement an effective middle school science fair.
The research assistant will collect data from a variety of individuals who are involved in 2-3 specific middle school science fairs, located in one of the metropolitan areas referenced above. Responsibilities will include: (1) conducting interviews and/or focus groups with teachers, principals, students, parents, judges, and others involved in the schools’ science fairs; (2) deploying surveys of parents, judges, students, and teachers; (3) observing the science fairs; (4) distributing and collecting pre- and post-assessments of the students; (5) coordinating data collection activities with school liaisons and the research team; (6) following data collection and data management procedures as prescribed by the study protocols; and (7) participating in debriefing conversations with the research team via web-based conferences.
Training for this position will begin in June 2016 and data collection will occur over the 2016-17 school year. The time required for this position will vary across the school year, with more time potentially required around the fall and late-winter or early spring. In addition, data collectors will be required to attend online trainings, as well as the science fair at local school sites (timing TBD). Overall, the position will require an estimated 40-56 days.
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS – The person in this position is expected to communicate clearly and courteously; to develop and maintain positive relationships with clients, consultants, collaborators, co-workers, field sites, and funders; and to work respectfully with EDC colleagues. The job requires adherence to EDC policies & procedures.
Under management oversight, the responsibilities of the Research Assistant (II) provides support to qualitative &/or quantitative investigation efforts, including:
• Attending the online training sessions, which will be held in June and continue throughout the year. Trainings are mandatory and will be paid hourly.
• Assisting with recruitment and on-boarding of schools as needed.
• Traveling to the schools participating in the study for data collection. Trips will be scheduled as needed; mileage will be reimbursed.
• Collaborating with the school liaison to recruit parents, judges, and other science fair volunteers to participate in the study
• Communicating with the school liaison and participating teachers, students, parents, judges, and school administrators to schedule times for data collection.
• Administering surveys, and conducting interviews, focus groups, and observations.
• Distributing pre- and post-assessments for students, providing instructions to teachers about administering assessments, and collecting completed assessments.
• Sending completed surveys, assessments, and interview and observation notes to the EDC central office electronically and/or through the mail.
• Adhering to all data management, data protection, and human subject protection protocols
• Collaborating with the study team in order to ensure that study participants receive the appropriate incentives
• Participating in bi-weekly debriefing online meetings with the research team to share and synthesize data.
QUALIFICATIONS – This position requires educational achievement; excellent writing skills; demonstrable initiative, creativity, and flexibility; ability to work independently and effectively in groups; and strong interpersonal & organizational skills. Specific requirements:
• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education & experience
• Master’s degree or equivalent combination of training & education in a related field preferred
• 3–5 years related research, education or administrative coordination, requiring experience with computer applications (including databases) and Internet research
2-4 years prior experience with educational research, including qualitative data collection and analysis.
• Strong experience working with middle school-aged children and familiarity with educational settings; science education; and the ability to establish rapport and work productively within the school context is required.
• Familiarity with middle school science classrooms and instruction, and science fairs preferred.
• The ability to follow interview and observation guides, as well as skill in knowing when and how to pursue relevant questions that are new and specific to particular interview subjects.
• Interest /experience in educational research required.
• Access to reliable transportation
• Familiarity with studies of program costs is desirable.
• Job placement will be probationary through the successful completion of EDC’s human subject protection training program, and the project’s training program.
As an EOE/AA employer, EDC does not discriminate in its employment practices due to an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, and veteran or disability status. EDC is a smoke-free workplace.