The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ (APLU) Office of Research and Policy Analysis is seeking applicants for the part-time position of Graduate Research Associate. The position is half-time (20 hours/week) and compensation does not include benefits. Length of commitment is one year with potential for continuation.
This position will support APLU’s Affordable Degree Completion: A Study of Completion Grants at Accessible Public Universities project (aka Completion Grant Project), a five-year initiative supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The purpose of the Completion Grants Study is to refine and evaluate “completion grants,” a form of financial aid that some postsecondary institutions provide to students who are close to completing their degrees yet at risk of departure from college due to insufficient funding to cover their tuition and student fees. This is the first IES project to evaluate this form of financial aid. Completion grants combine relatively small amounts of financial aid ($500 to $1500) with “skin in the game requirements” intended to spur student effort aimed at degree completion.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Graduate Research Associate (GRA) will report to the Director of Student Success, Research, & Policy (DSSRP) in the APLU Office of Research & Policy Analysis. The primary responsibilities of the GRA will be to work with project staff to collect, analyze, produce, and disseminate research in support of the Completion Grant Project. The GRA will also support project staff with day-to-day project management related to the Completion Grant Project. The GRA will engage both qualitative data and quantitative data analysis. The GRA will also have multiple opportunities to engage in professional development and gain knowledge of a wide variety of higher education policy issues.
Essential Responsibilities & Tasks
· Carry out day-to-day coordination of the grant activities, which may include but not be limited to regular communication between APLU, other members of the IES project team, and institutional participants, assistance planning site visits or meetings, monitoring progress toward project goals/deliverables, and collecting and compiling data from institutional participants.
· Conduct data-related tasks such as combining and cleaning disparate data sets, conducting descriptive analysis, intermediate statistical analysis, and basic descriptive narrative analysis.
· Assist in the development and creation of data reports and communications for a wide array of audiences including researchers, senior administrative leaders, and policy-makers.
· Monitor and track news reports, research articles, and other information regarding the institutional participants and the Completion Grant Project as well as other research or reports related to completion grants, financial aid, and other higher education policy issues.
The ideal candidate will have strong written and oral communication skills, detail-oriented, be well-organized, have excellent social science research skills (especially quantitative skills), and a working knowledge of higher education. The candidate will be flexible and able to effectively work in a fast-paced, team-oriented environment. The candidate will also be able to exercise good independent judgment and complete tasks in a timely, autonomous manner. Additional qualifications and skills include:
· Experience using Microsoft office programs (Word, Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, etc.)
· Works well with a team and takes initiative on projects when appropriate
· Experience coordinating tasks associated with a complex, multi-faceted project
· Competency with statistical software packages (e.g., SPSS, SAS, etc.)
· An interest in issues related public higher education
· Pursing advanced degree in Higher Education or a related field (strong preference for doctoral level students)
· Demonstrated experience conducting social science research
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. With a membership of 235 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, APLU's agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research, and expanding engagement. The association's work is furthered by an active and effective advocacy arm that works with Congress and the administration as well as the media to advance federal policies that strengthen public universities and benefit the students they serve.
APLU undertakes a wide array of projects and initiatives along with its members and provides a forum for public higher education leaders to work collaboratively and better meet the challenges and opportunities facing public universities. Annually, APLU member campuses enroll 4.7 million undergraduates and 1.2 million graduate students, award 1.2 million degrees, employ 1.4 million faculty and staff, and conduct $42.7 billion in university-based research.
Please send a cover letter and resume along with two writing samples to APLU’s Human Resources Department: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “Graduate Research Associate.”
Application review begins immediately but the position is open until filled.
APLU is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.