Research Associate

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The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute is the primary applied research and public service arm of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Its mission is to meet the community research and technical support needs of the state’s urban and developing areas. A primary geographic focus of the Institute’s activities is the Charlotte Region, the 14 county area surrounding the City of Charlotte, the largest city in the Carolinas.

Overview:
The primary purpose of the position is to develop, conduct, and translate applied and engaged research with a range of stakeholders including staff, faculty, and community partners. This position helps carry out the Institute’s public service mission by conducting community-based research projects on behalf of local organizations from across the region. This also includes disseminating findings from the Institute’s research as well as that of others to the public through reports, articles, and data visualizations.

Responsibilities:
• This position directs social science research projects, including community and client engagement, project planning and design project administration, data collection and management, statistical analysis, qualitative analysis, data visualization, and preparing publications and reports and related communication products
• The employee coordinates conducts and/or supervises day-to-day activities for multiple Urban Institute (UI) research projects, and takes an active role in project design and review across the institute
• Work may include the training and supervision of staff, students, and contractors

Education and experience:
• Master’s degree in the social sciences including urban planning, sociology, social work, public health, education, geography, public policy, or other social science field
• A minimum of three-five years of post-graduate degree experience in social science research
• Experience in coordinating and managing social science research projects, data collection and management, statistical and qualitative analysis, and reporting
• Experience supervising others as a part of a research team
• Experience with large databases at the national, state, and local levels
• Experience in facilitating meetings with community members, government officials, people with lived experience, and other stakeholders
• Experience in effectively translating and communicating complex research findings to a non-technical audience (oral and written communication)
• Track record of effectively working independently with minimal direct supervision
• Experience and proficiency in use of SAS, SPSS, R, or STATA for program evaluation models, multivariate and other complex analyses

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Knowledge, skills and experience:
Preferred substantive knowledge and expertise in one or more of the following areas:
Education, Housing & Homelessness, Public Health, Youth Development, Career & Workforce Development, Economic Development, Urban & Regional Planning, Public Policy, Public Administration, or Social Welfare
Preferred methodological expertise in one or more of the following areas:
• Ability to conduct and managing rigorous formative and substantive evaluations for community-based nonprofit and governmental agencies and initiatives and experience using participatory processes as well as advanced qualitative and quantitative analytic techniques to determine program outcomes and impact
• Ability to collect, analyze, and visualize secondary data using a variety of sources (local administrative data, Census data, and other federal and state data sources) and techniques (descriptive and inferential, spatial analysis, mapping)
• Experience with statistical analyses applied in social research including exploratory analyses, hypothesis testing, spatial analysis, multivariate analyses such as regression, ANOVA, and multilevel models
Preferred skills
• Strong organizational as well as oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills
• Data visualization – Ability to convey data to a variety of audiences as well as use software like Tableau or R Shiny
• GIS proficiency
• Proficiency in SAS, R, or STATA