Associate Director of Research

Job Description 

The Scholars Strategy Network is seeking a full-time Associate Director of Research for Training, Inclusion, and Impact. The Associate Director of Research will have responsibilities in three areas, all related to helping researchers build relationships with practitioners, policymakers, community leaders and organizations to improve public policy. 


With support from multiple teammates, the Associate will have primary responsibility for updating and expanding SSN’s premier one-day workshop for researchers: Training Researchers to Inform Policy and for ensuring workshops are successfully presented. This training has been presented at dozens of universities around the nation for many hundreds of researchers, and many SSN staff members serve as facilitators. The Associate will regularly update the curriculum to reflect best practices, new research, and input from stakeholders, especially in policies relating to health. The Associate will also revamp the training so that it can be given online, broken into hour-long or shorter sections, in case travel remains difficult during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Associate may also work with other members of the SSN team to record different training modules as podcasts or video, post sections to the SSN website, or take other actions to make the curriculum accessible and interactive. The Associate will also set up and lead workshops for host organizations around the nation, including local SSN chapters, foundations, and universities. 


Working with SSN’s Director of Chapters, Membership, and Learning and other staff members, the Associate will take actions to increase the racial, geographic, and institutional diversity of researchers in fields related to health, including public health, health disparities, and social determinants of health, and studies in policy areas that impact health. 

Taking a model that SSN has successfully used in other fields, the Associate will support SSN’s Policy team to conduct a Research Equity Accelerator program. The program is usually a 2.5 day event and will be designed to provide researchers from under-represented backgrounds, geographies, and types of institutions with the tools, advice, and support needed to successfully navigate grant application processes and work to execute best practices in rigorous research, public engagement and dissemination activities for impact, with a specific focus on scholars working on issues that impact health. In 2021 this event may be virtual. The Associate will also help share opportunities to apply for grants and opportunities for professional development with researchers. The Associate will also be part of a team thinking about systematic issues, including the ways in which problems that reduce equity, diversity, and inclusion in research and research funding can be addressed by programs and institutions.


To sharpen and maintain skills for the training and inclusion projects above, the Associate will work as part of a team that provides coaching and advising to individual researchers. Starting by conducting conversations with researchers, the Associate (and their colleagues) will identify steps individual researchers can take to increase their impact, such as creating relationships with key stakeholders. Those stakeholders may include SSN regional chapter leaders, other researchers (as collaborators or mentors), policymakers, practitioners, journalists, and funders.

The Associate Director of Research is a full-time position with an annual salary between $60,000-$70,000, based on qualifications and experience. SSN’s highly competitive benefits include health, dental, and vision insurance; 403b retirement plan with employer match, generous paid time off, flexible hours, remote work options, and opportunities for professional development. Before COVID-19, this was not meant as a fully remote position, however, SSN is working remotely at present, and continued remote work for some time is expected -- and will be supported. SSN has offices, which we hope to re-open eventually, in Inman Square, Cambridge. This position reports to SSN’s Director of Chapters, Membership, & Learning, Ben Miyamoto. This position begins as an 18-month assignment, with hopes that the Associate will have their role extended and continued based on success during the first 18 months.


About the Scholars Strategy Network 

The Scholars Strategy Network is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that connects journalists, policymakers, and civic organizations to America’s top scholars and their research. Together they inform news and help solve the nation’s toughest policy problems. Learn more at



This is designed as a position for a rising leader with a deep interest in making research matter, reducing health disparities, and improving public policy. The successful candidate will be a self-starter and able to work independently. Candidates should be comfortable with travel to SSN regional chapters and workshops, presuming health authorities give the ok for safe travel again.  The ideal candidate should have:

  • 5+ years of experience in policy, research, training, or organizing and/or an advanced degree (such as MPP, MPH, PhD) in a related field plus some related experience
  • Proven leadership and coaching skills
  • A track record of recruiting volunteers, developing leaders, or working in coalitions
  • Very strong listening, speaking, and public presentation and facilitation skills
  • The ability to read and understand academic papers in the social sciences and to translating complex concepts into clear language free of insider jargon
  • A solid understanding of academia, including research funding processes
  • Experience developing curricula
  • Experience developing earned income streams
  • Comfort with travel (when safe)
  • Excited to work as part of a diverse and energetic team
  • Self-motivated, professional, positive, and trustworthy
  • Able to move among tasks and manage task follow-up
  • Organized, detail-oriented, and willing to ask questions
  • Enjoy experimentation, learning, and apply new skills
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Dropbox, Salesforce, and/or Zoom


How to apply

Email a cover letter, resume, short writing sample, and names and contact information of two references to Cindy Houle at  [email protected] with subject line “ Associate - [Your Name].” Applications are being reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. 

SSN is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of age, class, color, disability, ethnicity, faith, gender, national origin, race, sexual orientation, or gender identity. People of color, people with disabilities, LGBTQ individuals, and women are strongly encouraged to apply. Candidates who fill some, but not all of the qualifications above are still encouraged to apply. We encourage you to view SSN’s statement on diversity, equity, and inclusion, located here