Senior Research Associate - The Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA)

The Tennessee Education Research Alliance (TERA) is a research-practice partnership between the Tennessee Department of Education and Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. Powered by a top quality longitudinal data set and a commitment with the state to explore key questions of state policy and practice, TERA is poised to be a national leader in practice focused research. The Tennessee Education Research Alliance represents one of only a few attempts to create a rigorous research consortium aimed squarely at influencing state education policy and practice, a role that becomes ever more important in the current context where states play an increasingly large role in education governance.

The work of TERA will aim to directly and immediately inform state policy and practice. The organization will conduct research on questions of greatest urgency to the state and ensure that actionable findings are brought to the attention of policymakers and practitioners to whom they are important. The Senior Research Associate will be a critical member of the TERA team and will lead the dedicated research staff of the organization. A successful candidate will have strong independent research experience, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a desire to create products that bridge the gap between research and practice.

The Senior Research Associate will be a critical member of the TERA team and will lead the dedicated research staff of the organization. A successful candidate will have strong independent research experience, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a desire to create products that bridge the gap between research and practice.

The Senior Research Associate will

  • Prepare and publish original research, research syntheses, policy briefs, and other products as needed.
  • Independently carry out and design highly sophisticated and independent experiments and research projects.
  • Oversee research conducted by other staff researchers.
  • Mentor and train graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in developing their research projects.
  • Report to the Executive Director and work in partnership with the Faculty Director to create key research products.

Basic Qualifications
Education Required: Doctorate

Experience
Required time in field previous to employment: 5 Year(s)
Demonstrated evidence of:

  • ability to obtain independent external funding,
  • significant intellectual contribution to research programs,
  • publication of research findings in peer reviewed journals as senior author and
  • ability to translate research findings into language accessible to policymakers and practitioners.

Key Functions and Expected Performances

  1. Independently oversee research projects and perform near to totally independent research.
    1. Supervise, plan, design and implement research projects.
    2. Establish highly complex protocol(s); define data collection, evaluation and analysis procedures.
  2. Supervise data collection and analyses for research project(s) requiring independent interpretation of complex research data.
  3. Serve as project lead lead staff researcher, and
    1. Lead/Assist with preparation of reports to Tennessee Department of Education, other state agencies, non-profit organizations, the Tennessee General Assembly, faculty/staff/students, and researchers.
    2. Lead/Assist with preparation of research syntheses and briefs on topics across the Alliance research agenda, especially focused on making connections across research topics and studies.
    3. Lead/Assist with manuscript preparation for leading academic journals. Contribute to research so as to merit serving as author or co-author on research publications, etc.
    4. Lead/Assist in writing research grants and contract proposals.
  4. Serve as principal investigator as needed.
    1. Assist in/ Oversee development of the research project.
    2. Execute the research project.
    3. Carry out and track the financial plan.
    4. Report interim progress.
    5. Comply with university/state/federal policies and procedures.
    6. Co-Author studies.
    7. Present interim and final findings.
  5. Provide supervisory responsibility to staff.
    1. Train and supervise technical staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows.
    2. Provide technical guidance to students, staff, postdoctoral fellows, and faculty as required.
    3. Mentor and teach graduate students, research staff, and postdoctoral fellows in developing their projects and on specific techniques and protocols.
  6. Maintain open communication between Alliance and partners within and outside Vanderbilt.
    1. Open contact as needed with principal investigator, collaborating faculty and staff, academic departments and schools, and key university offices.
    2. Open contact as needed with the Tennessee Department of Education, sponsoring agencies and/or cooperating facilities, collaborating professionals, and vendors.

Interested applicants can contact Erin O’Hara, Executive Director of the Tennessee Education Research
Alliance, at erin.c.ohara@vanderbilt.edu for more information.