Director, Research and Evaluation

Brief Overview:

We are searching for someone looking for an exciting opportunity to provide leadership and support on a variety of research and evaluation projects that will help inform public health intervention planning and health-related grantmaking as well as measure impact. This is an exempt, full time position based in the Greater Boston area.

Position Description:

It is expected that the Director will be a skilled researcher/evaluator with excellent interpersonal and client management skills. The Director is expected to have experience leading complex projects for various clients and stakeholders, including hospitals, health departments, philanthropic foundations, schools, and community groups, have strong analytical skills, and a commitment to health equity. The Director will need to understand how to balance research rigor with the budgetary and time constraints that are common to applied research as well as be able to navigate different partners’ and stakeholders’ multiple perspectives on a project. The person in this position will need to be adaptable as project course corrections are common in the work we do. Strong presentation, interpersonal, and project management skills are a must.

The Director will lead or be a key team member for a variety of projects including but not limited to short-term collaborative community health assessment and planning projects, large scale grant-funded multi-partner longitudinal evaluations, and formative research to inform program or intervention development. Projects could focus on a range of topics including health systems transformation, chronic disease prevention and related behaviors, behavioral health (substance abuse and mental health), and the social determinants of health including community development, housing, and education. It is critical that the Director be able to discuss research methods and findings in a clear, salient manner to non-research audiences.

The Director will also contribute to the overall growth of the organization, including participating in new business development through proposal writing, presentations, and other HRiA promotional activities.

The Director will be supervised by the Managing Director, Community Health Assessment but will work closely with all members of the R&E Department and many programmatic and administrative staff throughout the organization.

Duties and Responsibilities:

While this position will be involved in a variety of tasks, primary duties will include:

Project, Client, and Staff Management

  • Work with senior-level clients in hospitals, health departments, non-profit organizations, and philanthropic foundations to conceptualize plans, manage the process, implement data collection, and report findings as well as address stakeholders’ multiple perspectives on research projects
  • Develop and lead assessment and evaluation studies including developing research plans, identifying project staffing needs, and overseeing all tasks to ensure they are being completed in a high quality manner, within budget on time and to client and project specifications

Data Collection and Analysis

  • Conduct quantitative data collection/analysis, including analyzing secondary data as well as collecting primary data (e.g., develop survey instruments, oversee survey administration, conduct statistical analysis including bivariate and multivariate analysis).
  • Conduct qualitative data collection/analysis, including developing focus group and interview guides, conducting interviews with stakeholders, facilitating focus group discussions, and analyzing qualitative data
  • Conduct other research-related activities, as needed, such as literature reviews and environmental scans

Capacity-Building and Technical Assistance

  • Lead capacity-building efforts with local partners and organizations to provide evaluation technical assistance
  • Develop webinars, PowerPoint presentations, and training materials on evaluation to guide community-based organizations on topics such as identifying metrics and research methods, developing logic models, creating data reporting systems, and addressing challenges in evaluation

Report Development and Presentation

  • Synthesize data from multiple sources (e.g., focus groups, surveys, secondary data, literature review) and interpreting findings so that they are meaningful to public health practitioners, program planners, and non-academic audiences
  • Write reports geared towards public health practitioners, program planners, health care providers, and non-academic audiences
  • Develop PowerPoint presentations of study findings
  • Present study findings to community and stakeholder audiences

New Business and Other Tasks

  • Work with both Managing Directors in the Research and Evaluation Department and other department and HRiA staff to develop proposals and budgets for new business development
  • Attend project meetings, as appropriate, and perform other related duties
  • Communicate effectively with clients, partners, and community residents about how research findings can inform program and policy priority-setting, development, and implementation
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by the Managing Director, Community Health Assessment
  • Participate in domestic travel (4-7) weeklong trips per year, depending upon the portfolio of projects in any given year


Candidate Qualifications:


  • Doctoral degree preferred (PhD, ScD, DrPH, EdD or similar) in public health, sociology, social or community psychology, social work, or related field with a strong background in social science research and evaluation methods. Will consider candidates with master’s degree with extensive professional experience leading large-scale projects
  • At least 15 years of professional experience in public health, health care, or social science research, with at least 7 years of experience in managing complex projects
  • Strong quantitative analytical skills; experience analyzing qualitative data is preferred but not required; experience with statistical programs such as SPSS or SAS
  • High quality, clear writing; can synthesize large amounts of different types of data into streamlined reports that are understandable to lay audiences
  • Experience in providing research and evaluation technical assistance or trainings; ability to conceptualize research plans, develop and manage project budgets, follow timelines, and be involved in all aspects of project management for research, assessment, or evaluation studies from development to implementation
  • Spanish language skills preferred, but not required

 Personal Characteristics

  • Excellent verbal communication, interpersonal, and public speaking skills
  • Excellent client and project management skills; can work with various funders, stakeholders, and community groups to carry out research and evaluation needs that meet client expectations
  • A commitment to diversity of thought, backgrounds, and perspectives
  • Calm in a fast-paced, busy environment
  • Flexible and a sense of humor
  • Able to work independently and as a part of a team
  • Dedication to support and promote HRiA’s mission and programs
  • A valid driver’s license a plus
  • This position requires that the staff person work in the Greater Boston area.

This description is intended to indicate the kinds of work duties that will be required in this position.  It is not intended to limit, or in any way modify, the rights of any supervisor to assign, direct, and contract work of staff under his/her supervision.  The use of a particular illustration describing duties shall not be held to exclude other duties, not mentioned, that are of a similar level or difficulty.


How to Apply:

HRiA is actively seeking to build a diverse and experienced staff. The organization encourages multiple perspectives and experiences, supports a multicultural environment, and strives to hire and retain a diverse work force that reflects the populations we work with and the communities where we work. Diversity is a core value of HRiA resulting in culturally competent services, materials, resources, and programs. Our hiring and business practices appreciate the strengths offered through different backgrounds.

HRiA is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and is committed to providing access, equal opportunity and reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities in employment, its services, programs, and activities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran status, or genetic information.

Health Resources in Action offers an attractive benefits package including medical, dental and life insurance, retirement plan, tax-deferred annuity, and generous vacation.

To apply, submit your cover letter and resume online.

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