Senior Research and Policy Associate/Associate Director of Research - The Fordham Institute

Would you like to work at the intersection of research and education policy? Make a meaningful contribution to today’s most important debates? Are you knowledgeable about education reform? Experienced with quantitative and qualitative research methods? Able to manage multiple projects and tasks simultaneously? Organized, detail oriented, and a stickler for meeting deadlines? If so, you might have a future as the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Senior Research and Policy Associate or Associate Director of Research. (Job title contingent on candidate’s experience.)

The Fordham Institute is an education policy think tank that promotes educational excellence for every child in America via quality research, analysis, and commentary, as well as advocacy and charter school authorizing in Ohio. We are an independent, non-profit organization with offices in Washington, DC, and Columbus and Dayton, Ohio. This position is located in downtown Washington, DC.

The Position

We are looking for an exceptional education researcher, project manager, and writer to join our small research team in Washington. We seek an inquisitive, bright, hard-working individual who is capable of excelling in an intellectually stimulating and often intense work environment. Reporting to the Senior Vice President for Research, the position will work collaboratively with Fordham’s research team to design, manage, and shepherd research projects from inception to publication


The primary role of the position is to manage Fordham’s research studies and keep multiple simultaneous projects on budget, on schedule, and consistent with Fordham’s high standards for rigor and quality.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Developing research questions and study designs for new projects;
  • Conducting preliminary research on a variety of education topics to determine their significance and the feasibility of further study;
  • Gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data for Fordham’s in-house research projects;
  • Recruiting external scholars to conduct analyses and/or author external reports, working with them to develop project descriptions and timelines, and ensuring that projects are progressing as planned and interim products are on track;
  • Providing external authors and analysts with ongoing in-depth feedback at all stages of their work (including scrutinizing their methodology, findings, and conclusions);
  • Editing report drafts extensively as needed to ensure that the final product is rigorous, readable, relevant, and timely;
  • Representing Fordham’s work to external audiences, such as speaking with policymakers, presenting at conferences, and writing for professional journals.
  • Collaborating with Fordham’s Development and Communications teams to ensure that grant proposals, funding reports, and marketing materials are accurate and up to date, and that Fordham’s work is disseminated widely.


The successful candidate will have significant prior experience as an empirical researcher or analyst, a deep knowledge of education policy issues, and experience in communicating research to a policy audience.

Specific qualifications include:

  • A passion for Fordham's mission and general agreement with our guiding principles;
  • Training in and demonstrated experience with a variety of empirical research methods (especially quantitative), project design, and policy analysis;
  • Experience in project management;
  • Knowledge of a variety of education policy issues, including charter schools and school choice, academic standards, testing and accountability, and social mobility via education;
  • Demonstrated ability to speak to a variety of audiences (especially policymakers and their intermediaries), and the ability to translate academic reports into writing for lay audiences;
  • A PhD or master’s degree in public policy, education, economics, or related field (new PhDs or post-docs strongly preferred).

The Organization

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is one of the nation’s premier education-policy think tanks. Our effectiveness stems from our core school-reform values, our credible research, and our considerable facility for agenda-setting, analysis, commentary, and critique. Though we must raise a substantial portion of our budget, our modest endowment gives us a valuable measure of independence.

While Fordham is a relatively small organization, it’s a surprisingly complex one. This dynamic affords staff the opportunity to wear many hats and provides ample opportunity for professional growth and development. We do well-respected research on important issues of the day, both at the national level and in Ohio. In Ohio, we also serve as a statewide education reform advocacy organization, with substantial impact on K–12 policy across multiple topics. In several Buckeye cities, we're “on the ground” as an authorizer of charter schools and engaged in myriad other activities that bring us into direct contact with real students, educators, community needs—and the challenges that come with all of these.

This combination of local, state, and national perspectives, with each informing and facilitating the others, makes us unique on the American education scene. For more information, please visit

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute is prepared to offer an attractive compensation package, including a competitive salary plus generous health insurance, 403(b) retirement support, vacation benefits, and parking/transit reimbursement for full time employees. We are an equal opportunity employer.

To Apply

Click here to submit your resume, cover letter, and short writing sample. Deadline: Candidates will be interviewed on a rolling basis starting immediately. Candidates should be available to start as soon as possible.