Position Information

Early Childhood Policy Fellow/Research Scientist
Boston University’s Wheelock Educational Policy Center (WEPC) conducts and disseminates rigorous, policy-relevant research in partnership with local, state, and federal policymakers and stakeholders to improve educational opportunities and holistic outcomes for traditionally marginalized students. WEPC’s research addresses key policy questions focused on equalizing educational opportunity, improving specialized services for students, and supporting an effective educator workforce.

Working in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Early Education & Care, WEPC seeks a research scientist to help with the development of a policy-aligned research agenda and data infrastructure plan that will advance Massachusetts’ efforts to better be positioned to understand the composition, drivers and quality of the early childhood workforce in the state. Given the nascent stage of EEC’s data infrastructure, the first year of this fellowship is really designed to help set a foundation and put in place some building blocks for future research insights. 

Reporting to WEPC’s Executive Director with regular engagement with and direction from EEC’s Senior Associate Commissioner for Policy, Research and Data Analyticsthe Early Education Policy Fellow will:
  • Work with various stakeholders to help build a research agenda with short and long-term questions aimed at better understanding the current early childhood workforce and other aspects of the early care and education system in the state and providing insights aimed at large-scale policy interventions in the future.
  • Scope out in detail 2-3 of the short-term, focused research projects and begin working towards project launch
  • Support the development and analysis of an educator workforce survey EEC is planning to deliver in 2023-24
  • Understand existing data infrastructure within EEC (and other connected agencies) and support the state in identifying additional elements as well as collection and reporting mechanisms that would improve research capabilities moving forward
  • Write funding proposals and grant applications aimed at supporting the data and research efforts outlined above
  • Help to explore and potentially pursue data-use agreements with other government agencies (e.g., Department of Higher Education, Department of Elementary & Secondary Education, Department of Labor, etc.) aligned with the specified research agenda
  • Other activities as warranted by the needs of the partners and aligned with the overall goals of the partnership
The responsibilities outlined above are focused on early efforts to build a research partnership and, as such, are focused on relationships, identifying policy-relevant questions and mapping data needs. It is the intention of both WEPC and EEC that this research be a long-term collaboration. With additional outside funds secured to support this work, we anticipate the research scientist position to transition to continuing and executing on the building efforts articulated in the scope above. In that capacity, moving forward, the research scientist would be responsible for:
  • Designing and conducting research on early childhood workforce policies in Massachusetts; serving as a principal investigator and/or project coordinator
  • Facilitating ongoing relationship with EEC and liaising with colleagues at BU Wheelock to ensure coherent and coordinated partnership support across multiple streams of collaboration
  • Writing and presenting key research and evaluation findings to a variety of external audiences including researchers, practitioners and policymakers
  • Serving as Primary Investigator and/or project coordination on studies or other similar projects
Position: Early Childhood Policy Fellow/Research Scientist
Organization: Boston University’s Wheelock Educational Policy Center
Location: Boston,  MA 
United States
Posting Start Date: 2/9/2024
Date Posted: 2/9/2024
Requirements The ideal candidate for this role will demonstrate the ability to:
  • Build strong relationships with external clients (including state and local education agencies) by providing problem-solving support, analytic technical assistance, and research and evaluation support
  • Assemble, clean, manage, document, and analyze large longitudinal data sets derived from multiple sources
  • Perform core analytic tasks and statistical procedures; analyze quantitative data using appropriate methodology
  • Write and present key research and evaluation findings to variety of external audiences including researchers, practitioners and policymakers
  • Work in collaborative teams to design practical tools such as data displays, summaries and indicator reports for decision-making in a variety of settings
  • Collaborate with faculty, staff and external partners and manage work on multiple projects at the same time.
Minimum Qualifications
  • Ph.D. in relevant field such as education policy, public policy, economics, sociology, etc.
  • Knowledge of current research and practice in early child education and policy and/or teacher labor markets
  • Five years demonstrated expertise and experience in quantitative or mixed methods educational research (could be inclusive of work during doctoral degree) 
  • Experience working with state data systems and knowledge of enterprise data management systems/tools preferred
Anticipated Start Date: Immediate
Term: One year, with continued commitment contingent on additional funding
Location: Boston, with option for work from home days

Interested applicants should send their CV and a cover letter to wheelockpolicy@bu.edu. 
Status: This listing expires on: 5/9/2024
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Organization Information
Boston University’s Wheelock Educational Policy Center

Boston,  MA 02215
United States