Senior Research Scientist

Committee for Children

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA
30+ days ago


At Committee for Children, we have the privilege of working each day to help young people become the architects of a better tomorrow. Since 1979, we’ve grown from our grassroots beginnings into a global nonprofit. We serve diverse communities by advocating for policies to enhance, gathering research to support, and developing educational programs to advance the safety and well-being of children through social-emotional learning (SEL). We’re best known for our innovative approach to school-based SEL: our Second Step® family of programs blend research and rigor with intuitive design to help young people build strengths that will help them realize their goals throughout life.

To achieve our vision of safe children thriving in a just and peaceful world, we’re committed to helping build an anti-racist, equitable, and inclusive society that supports the positive development of every child. We’ve set a North Star goal to positively transform the social-emotional well-being of 100 million children annually by 2028, and in pursuit of that goal, we’re looking for a Senior Research Scientist to join our team.

As the Senior Research Scientist, you will provide research expertise for product development projects. This person will use their expertise in SEL, education, and intervention to inform product development, carry out field tests and research studies on products, take on organization-level commitments and research responsibilities, and contribute to internal and external thought leadership. The successful candidate will apply a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens to all aspects of their work.

Primary Responsibilities

Provide research expertise for product development projects:

  • Provide framework for literature and guidance as needed to junior team members who conduct literature reviews. Where possible, ensure literature reviews include studies with culturally and ethnically diverse samples, the effects for subgroups on study findings, and/or are conducted by a culturally and ethnically diverse group of scholars
  • Translate current research into school-based prevention programs with a focus on equitable practices that benefit all students
  • Develop Theories of Change for products that include demographic subgroups, cultural relevance, and classroom climate and culture as mediators and moderators
  • Use the Theory of Change to inform an intervention scope and sequence that includes culturally relevant approaches and considers equity issues
  • Assist product teams to incorporate research appropriately into programs
  • Write reports of research for stakeholders (with guidance) that include discussion of subgroup effects (or where there was inadequate data to detect subgroup effects) and any potential sources of bias in the assessments used
  • Plan, design, implement, and manage scientifically rigorous applied research and evaluation studies of our SEL and organizational products:
  • Actively work to recruit diverse samples
  • Conduct observations, surveys, interviews, and focus groups to iteratively test prototypes of products during the product development phase so as to provide feedback and guidance for revisions
  • Collect feedback from leaders, teachers, students, and user data from the platform after products are released to inform continuous improvement of lesson content and implementation supports
  • Create instruments that are unbiased and follow data collection procedures that are inclusive


  • Doctorate in education, social work, sociology, psychology, public health, or a related social science discipline
  • At least 3 years of experience in applied research or program evaluation
  • Experience translating research into interventions or programs
  • Experience applying a cultural and equity lens to past projects or research
  • Experience working within cross-functional teams and contributing to collaborative and diverse research teams
  • Expert knowledge of SEL intervention research, education research, teacher training, or implementation science
  • A publication record with at least 3 publications and including one first-author publication, preferably in prevention or intervention
  • Experience developing collaborative external relationships and partnerships
  • Proficiency using Microsoft Office Suite
  • Experience using analytical software programs such as SPSS, NVivo, or Dedoose

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong technical writing and communication skills
  • Experience working on and contributing to diverse, collaborative teams
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team 
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to get along with others
  • Strong time-management and organizational skills, including thinking logically, following directions, and meeting deadlines on multiple projects
  • Ability to maintain detailed, accurate records
  • Enthusiasm for learning new skills and accepting challenges
  • Ability to develop expertise in new areas quickly

Organization-Wide Commitments

The ideal candidate must be committed to embodying our mission, vision, and values of Excellence, Integrity, Equity, Innovation, Transformative Impact, and Authentic Relationships. They must also demonstrate a commitment to supporting a culture of belonging by actively participating in organization-wide learning and development focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion and by rooting their work in equity and inclusion.

What We Offer

This role will offer some amazing opportunities to add value, contribute, and make a difference while enjoying new challenges, a collaborative and diverse team, and professional development opportunities. Committee for Children offers competitive benefits including medical, dental, vision, life, and retirement with generous employer match. We also offer commuting, wellness, and staff-development benefits. Located in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood, our headquarters offer a modern workspace with views of Puget Sound and the Space Needle. All employees are currently working 100% remote until mid-September 2021. For most roles, teleworking options are available to work from home up to 3 days per week.

About Committee for Children

For more than 40 years, Committee for Children has been helping children learn, grow, and thrive by teaching them how to understand emotions, build meaningful relationships, and resolve conflicts. We believe that if you make a positive impact on enough children through social-emotional learning, then the ripples will help a family, a school, a community, and ultimately, the world. We believe that successfully ensuring the safety and well-being of all children will require the involvement of our greatest thinkers. That’s why we bring together diverse opinions and viewpoints—from educators, philanthropists, community activists, scientists and researchers, private-sector executives, and behavioral specialists. Come join the effort. And let’s grow kinder together.

Committee for Children is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to cultivating a workplace in which diverse perspectives and experiences are welcomed and respected. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, without regard to race, color, age, disability, gender identity, marital status, national origin, genetics, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, veteran status, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.

To submit an application, please use the following link:

Committee for Children has retained the services of Insight Executive Search to assist with recruitment for this position. For additional information, please contact Aaron Schmidt, President, at