Posted: Oct 5, 2021

Research Fellow/Senior Research Fellow

Salary: Annually
Application Deadline: Dec 31, 2021

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago seeks a visionary translational scholar to lead a large research portfolio in child welfare. We seek to hire an individual who shares our core values and standards for designing and conducting high quality research intended to improve quality of life, well-being, and outcomes for children, youth, and families. As a research center affiliated with the University of Chicago, Chapin Hall seeks to improve the evidence base; inform decision making at the federal, state, and local levels; support the design and testing of interventions; enable faithful implementation and adaptation; and develop innovative means of leveraging administrative data to inform systems change. This is an ideal opportunity for an established scholar and leader. 

The successful applicant will develop, lead, and collaborate with a team of staff to design and conduct translational research that informs systems, policies, programs, and interventions related to child welfare and child well-being. This research leader will have a national reputation, a rigorous portfolio of funded, policy relevant translational research, and a track record of effective mentoring. This leader will maintain a clearly articulated research agenda, a dynamic, funded portfolio and work across teams to generate research that can inform public policy and interventions. They will establish themselves as an organizational leader who attracts collaborators and designs and executes research in partnership with colleagues and state child welfare leaders, pursuing a range of dissemination outlets aimed at diverse stakeholders. Additionally, the Senior Research Fellow/Research Fellow will seek and maintain an active, positive role in contributing to the organizational culture through formal and informal engagements, mentoring, and service. We seek a professional whose deep commitment to equity and social justice is evident in their track record of accomplishment. 

Experience leading a body of large research projects (including federal) and strong management skills are fundamental to the role. The exact subspecialty is open and will include a record of published scholarship within child welfare. This individual will lead Chapin Hall’s substantial partnership with the IL Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS), with over a dozen projects per year, and will pursue within and beyond that their own translational scholarship. The successful applicant will have a demonstrated record of leadership and collaboration with internal and external partners (e.g., public and private funders, fellow scholars, implementers), be well versed in child welfare policy and practice, and a prominent member of a community of child welfare scholars. We seek a national leader whose portfolio, funding record, contributions, and historical capacity for mentoring are well established and influential.  


A doctoral degree in social work, public policy, education, public health, child and human development, psychology, sociology or another relevant field plus a minimum of 10 years of experience leading the design and implementation of research and evaluation in child welfare.


  • A longitudinal record of scholarly productivity, e.g., ample experience in the design and conduct of research, including positions of successive responsibility and leadership (e.g., principal investigator, center director, team leader on funded projects, administrative leader).
  • A track record in securing funding from multiple sources, i.e., an established, funded portfolio of translational research, including grants and contracts from public (federal, state, jurisdictions) and private (foundations, other sources) sources.
  • Evidence of successful collaboration and partnership with funders, colleagues, senior scholars, administrators, and other leaders.
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise and mentor junior staff and/or graduate students who develop and execute independent portfolios of research.
  • Expert knowledge of the relative strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research methods, including the clear ability to design, develop, execute, present, and publish translational research.
  • Successful dissemination, including but not limited to writing and publishing research reports for scholarly (peer reviewed) and non-scholarly audiences, delivering presentations and providing consultation to a diverse range of stakeholders, and effectively tailoring messages to the audience

Other Required Qualifications

  • Strong communications skills with the ability to translate and convey complex concepts and study findings in oral and written communications.
  • Strong project and personnel management skills, with the ability to manage multiple, concurrent tasks required.
  • Highly flexible problem-solving and analytic skills required.
  • Demonstrated capacity for working in a collaborative research environment and with partners.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the desire and ability to contribute positively to the culture and intellectual life of Chapin Hall and to effectively manage key stakeholder relationships
  • Demonstrated judgment and discretion in the handling of sensitive information.
  • Ability to travel locally and nationally depending on conditions.
  • Understands the relative merits and limitations of diverse analytic software such as SAS, SPSS, STATA, Atlas.ti, and/or NVIVO, as applicable.

This is a nationwide recruitment. This position is intended for our headquarters in Chicago, though there is potential for remote work (i.e., work from home) when feasible.

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