Posted: Jul 27, 2022

Researcher in the arts/culture/community sector

Salary: $60,000.00 - $75,000.00 Annually
Application Deadline: Sep 9, 2022

Slover Linett Audience Research works with cultural and community organizations and major foundations across the U.S., including performing arts venues and ensembles, museums of all kinds to libraries, parks, public spaces, public media enterprises, science engagement producers, immersive experiences and placemaking projects. Founded in Chicago in 1999, the firm uses the tools of social research, evaluation and dialogue to help changemakers increase equity and access, deepen engagement and collaborate with their communities. Our projects grapple with a wide range of questions, from programming, experience design and community needs to marketing, audience development, social impact measurement, co-creation and strategic planning. We’re empirical researchers above all, but also consultants and facilitators dedicated to justice and change; we strive to help practitioners, funders and policy leaders make culture more responsive, relevant and rewarding to more people.

Our Chicago-based team includes social scientists from disciplines such as psychology, anthropology and public policy, many with advanced degrees, and includes people with a wide variety of personal identities and experiences. We believe that only a staff with diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds and a wide range of perspectives and experiences can successfully tackle the complex challenges ahead, and we aspire to help create a more inclusive cultural research field with every new hire.

For this expansion position, we are seeking a Researcher with a passion for equity in the arts/culture/community field and a demonstrated ability to apply the tools of social research and/or program evaluation to that goal. Researchers and Senior Researchers are the heart of our firm and work on all aspects of our projects, from study design, instrument development and sampling to fieldwork and data collection, analysis, interpretation, reporting writing, and co-presenting findings and recommendations. Our Researchers collaborate with Project Directors/VPs and are supported by the firm’s Research Managers, who help across the firm’s engagements. The ideal candidate will bring experience in social research data-collection and analysis in both qualitative and quantitative forms, the ability to understand and communicate the implications of that data to our clients and the ability to juggle multiple projects while meeting deadlines and staying on budget. Day-to-day responsibilities for this position include:

Research Design:

  • Work with clients to understand their strategic goals and research objectives through active participation in meetings, co-facilitating kickoff and planning workshops, and discussing the project with the Project Director
  • Create and monitor project timelines
  • Design quantitative survey instruments based on client goals, with sensitivity to equitable research practices and the needs, experiences and assets of the audiences/communities of interest in the study
  • Develop survey sampling and analytical plans
  • Design qualitative interview guides, focus group screeners, focus group guides and observation-and-interviewing protocols, with sensitivity to equitable research practices and the needs and experiences of the audiences/communities of interest
  • Participate in and co-lead key touchpoints with the client team, such as instrument reviews

 Research Implementation:

  • Monitor and manage recruits for interviews and focus groups in collaboration with our Research Manager/Coordinator
  • Conduct video and in-person interviews, conduct participant observation and in-context intercept interviewing at various public locations, client venues and research facilities, and moderate focus groups
  • Collaborate in qualitative debriefs and meaning making with other project team members
  • Lead client trainings and strategy sessions in collaboration with the Project Director
  • Work with Research Manager/Coordinator to test survey language and programming, then make updates via our survey software (Forsta)
  • Manage and monitor survey launch, reminders and response rates
  • Clean and analyze data in SPSS using syntax to run descriptive statistics, crosstabs, factor analysis, regression analysis, cluster analysis, etc.
  • Create and apply weighting schemes for quantitative data
  • Run and analyze detailed data tables & other analysis outputs

 Research Dissemination:

  • Write comprehensive research reports for a range of audiences in both bulleted and narrative text formats, including key findings, implications and both strategic and tactical recommendations
  • Participate in the presentation of reports to clients and discussion of implications and recommendations
  • Create clear, accurate and compelling data visualizations (charts, tables, diagrams, etc.) using Excel, PowerPoint and other programs for our reports and presentations, training documents, etc.
  • Review reports to ensure accuracy, clarity, polish and readability
  • Review the formatting of appendix materials for reports (e.g., research protocols/instruments, detailed data tables and open-ended responses)

The successful candidate will have all of these core qualifications:

  1. Experience with social research, including some of the following: quantitative survey research, in-depth interviewing, community-based or participatory research, moderating group discussions, observation and in-context interviewing. (Note: While we welcome qualitatively trained researchers, we need this new hire to bring some experience with quantitative research and analysis.)
  2. Experience using research to increase equity and support organizations in making cultural spaces, experiences, or communities-of-practice more welcoming and relevant to all, and a desire to do the same in the arts and culture field
  3. Experience conducting research with and in communities of color
  4. Ability to write clearly and concisely and tell compelling stories from research data

In addition, candidates should have some or all of these desired qualifications:

  • a demonstrated ability to communicate and collaborate richly with colleagues in both written and verbal forms
  • experience applying principles of equitable research and evaluation in practice
  • experience with a statistical analysis software package (e.g., SPSS, SAS, R) and with Microsoft Excel (including functions and formulas), Word and PowerPoint
  • an interest in data visualization (e.g., charts and graphs, infographics, diagrams, interactives, etc.)
  • being a proactive, flexible colleague who can shift focus with ease, learn new skills, embrace new challenges, and be extremely well-organized and detailed-oriented
  • being able to work both independently and in close collaboration with project teams, research and consulting partners, and vendors, all of whom may have different goals and needs

We are open to diverse academic and work backgrounds, including but not limited to qualitative and quantitative social science disciplines (cognitive or social psychology, sociology, anthropology, ethnography, public policy, etc.), program evaluation, learning sciences research, user experience (UX) research, market research, visitor studies, cultural policy research, etc. Given that we are increasingly working with Spanish-speaking populations, fluency in a second language, particularly Spanish, is a plus though not required.

This is a full-time, salaried position based in Chicago. Although hours can be somewhat flexible, we work during regular business hours (Central Time) and occasionally in the evenings or on weekends as needed to meet deadlines. Researchers typically work an average of 45 hours per week, with some weeks in the 50-60 hour range and some in the 30-40 hour range. The Researcher will travel occasionally for on-site fieldwork, client trainings, presentations and conferences (likely not more than two or three trips per quarter, depending on pandemic-related policies). Our current structure includes at least two days per week in the office and up to three days working from home, but that may shift toward more in-office days in the future. We require all employees to be vaccinated and boosted.

We’re offering a starting annual salary of between $60,000 and $75,000, depending on experience. (For the right candidate, we would be open to hiring at the Senior Researcher level, with a salary starting on the higher end of this range.) In addition, we offer a benefits package of paid vacation days (15 days, which increases to 20 days after 5 years at the firm), paid holidays (10.5 days), unrestricted episodic sick days, health insurance reimbursement of $275 per month (along with assistance in selecting a plan), disability insurance, a 401k plan with no waiting period plus an annual employer contribution, and sometimes year-end bonuses when revenue goals are exceeded.

Slover Linett is committed to creating an inclusive and diverse working environment, and we particularly encourage applicants from historically excluded communities to apply.

Regarding physical disability, we are currently working to improve the accessibility of our office building, but it includes a step to enter the building and a double-gated elevator to reach our suite on the third floor. The building does not have automatic or push-button doors. Please let us know if you have accessibility concerns about the office and we will make alternate arrangements.

How To Apply:

If this position is a good match with your interests and experience, please visit the job-page for this posting, which provides more details about how to apply: 

We look forward to hearing from you!