Senior Research Associate

Learning for Action

Our Company
Learning for Action (LFA) is a San Francisco-based consulting firm that provides the social sector (nonprofit, philanthropic, and public organizations) with evaluation, research, strategy, and capacity-building services, with an emphasis on supporting the development of strong learning organizations. For nearly 20 years, LFA has worked with clients to design, implement, and evaluate strategies, initiatives, and programs that create meaningful social impact in the service of greater justice and equity. Our work spans a range of issue areas including, but not limited to: health and human services; early childhood, K-12, and higher education; youth development; community and economic development; justice system reform; and immigration. Ultimately, LFA’s services support the work of the social sector locally, nationally, and internationally to address the needs of communities affected by systemic oppression and inequities. Additional information about our dynamic and social justice-oriented company—including our mission, vision, and values—is available at our website:

Our Culture
LFA’s most important asset is its people. As such, LFA is committed to living our values as a company and invests in the leadership and professional development of our staff, primarily through job-based learning and growth opportunities, and we prioritize internal promotion for growing our consulting teams. From professional development funds to our supervision model, LFA provides opportunities to ensure that each employee’s strengths are deepened, expanded, nourished, and utilized to enhance effectiveness in achieving our mission. We value a diverse workforce that is a microcosm of our communities and aligned with the social justice work of our clients. We actively strive to sustain a learning culture and an equity- and social justice-focused approach, institutionally supported by directors and committees, and guided by a set of Learning Culture Aspirations that are our North Star with respect to how we seek to engage with each other in the service of achieving our mission. For example, our Equity Leadership Team is an internal workgroup dedicated to facilitating ongoing organizational learning and developing tools and approaches for employing an equity lens both internally and in our consulting, keeping LFA’s work relevant and responsive to our clients’ diverse values and cultural contexts.

Our company thrives through our high-performing, team-based, participatory, and fun-loving work environment. To support employees, the Health and Wellness Committee supports the overall health and wellness of employees through a holistic, multi-faceted vision of health and wellness, including organizing social events, sharing health- and safety-related information, offering educational opportunities, and encouraging community building.

Senior Research Associate Position
We are currently conducting a search for a passionate, committed, skilled, and experienced senior research associate to provide support on a diverse array of team-based consulting and research projects. This is a rare opportunity to work with and learn from a high-performing group of people committed to equity and justice. The ideal candidate will contribute to the diversity of LFA, thrive on enhancing the effectiveness of social justice organizations, and support the advancement of our rising consulting firm.

What you can look forward to as a Senior Research Associate:
▪ You’ll contribute to a diverse array of team-based evaluation, research, strategy development, and capacity-building projects. You will have opportunity to engage in a range of our consulting engagements and interact with many fields and sectors.
▪ You will be a member of several project teams at any given time, allowing you to contribute to projects from start to finish and build relationships with team members and clients. You will bring your existing experience and expertise to projects while also building new skills and learning about a range of fields and sectors.
▪ The Senior Research Associate position helps you build technical and consulting skills needed to consult for the social sector. You will have an opportunity to contribute your knowledge and skills while continuing to develop the technical, consulting, and people skills needed to consult for the social sector. You’ll have the support of Project Managers, Project Directors, and your supervisor, who can provide mentorship and partner with you in setting and meeting your professional development goals. LFA has a strong focus on internal professional development and promotion from within.

Position responsibilities:
Our consulting projects are team-based. Projects are led and overseen by experienced Project Directors and managed by Project Managers. The Senior Research Associate will support project teams in the following ways:
▪ Collecting, managing, and analyzing data
▪ Using data to create charts and visuals and working with an in-house design resource to make them engaging
▪ Taking notes at internal and external meetings
▪ Developing and assisting in the design of survey instruments
▪ Developing interview protocols and conducting interviews
▪ Conducting literature reviews and other secondary research tasks
▪ Writing report sections; assisting with editing as needed
▪ Using technology to create efficiencies in creating and deploying client project deliverables
▪ Coordinating and executing other project-related tasks as requested and needed

On most projects, the Senior Research Associate’s work will be managed and reviewed by a team Project Manager. As Senior Research Associates deepen their skills and experience, they have opportunities to take on more responsibility on projects, such as tracking project budgets and managing small projects with the close support and oversight of a Project Director or other senior colleague.

Required minimum qualifications:
▪ Commitment to our mission, our values of integrity, curiosity, collaboration, and compassion, and the pursuit of equity
▪ A love of learning and an interest in contributing not just technical skills but critical thinking and your own unique perspective to consulting projects and internal company initiatives
▪ An ability to work collaboratively with teams and communicate proactively and effectively
▪ 1-3 years of research, evaluation, or strategic planning experience in a professional or academic setting
▪ Understanding and appreciation of the history, strengths, and experiences of multiple communities, particularly those which experience systemic oppression
▪ Experience designing basic research, evaluation, and/or strategic planning inquiry tools (e.g., interview protocols, survey instruments)
▪ Experience with qualitative data, including conducting stakeholder interviews and analyzing qualitative data
▪ Experience with quantitative data, including managing and analyzing quantitative data with accuracy and attention to detail
▪ Experience creating charts, graphs, and formulas in Excel, and ability to follow instructions and custom templates provided
▪ Experience developing engaging visual products and reports of findings, including infographics, slide docs, graphics, dashboards, etc.
▪ Ability to format documents and presentations in Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with efficiency and attention to detail
▪ Strong writing skills, particularly using quantitative or qualitative data to tell a story
▪ Demonstrated strong organizational and time management skills
▪ Ability to manage multiple tasks on multiple projects, close communication loops, and thrive in a fast-paced environment
▪ Ability to seek out, receive, and provide appreciative and constructive feedback with team members
▪ Demonstrated efficiency and attention to detail in executing administrative tasks, such as scheduling, data entry, and note-taking
▪ Be a U.S. Citizen, non-citizen national, or foreign national possessing a visa permitting permanent residence in the U.S. (Alien Registration or “Green Card”). Student visas and temporary work visas do not qualify.

Preferred qualifications:
▪ Experience in a consulting environment and/or in positions supporting organizational learning
▪ Experience with SPSS or other statistical analysis software
▪ An active interest in prioritizing equity and dismantling white supremacy and all other forms of oppression and an eagerness to learn from and contribute to company-wide discussions on transforming white privilege
▪ Fluency in speaking, writing, and reading Spanish or another language, including ability to translate to and from English
▪ A valid driver’s license for travel to meetings when necessary

We strongly encourage people of color, individuals who identify as part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer communities, people impacted by the criminal justice system, and people with experience in the nonprofit, philanthropic, and public sectors to apply. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we do not ask about applicants’ prior arrest and conviction records.

Compensation and benefits:
This position is full time, exempt, with an annual starting salary of $65,000-$70,000, depending on experience. Compensation also includes 10 paid holidays (including your birthday and a floating winter holiday) and 18 additional paid days off per year (increasing to 23 days after 2 years). We are committed to positive work-life balance and have systems and support in place to help employees maintain a workload that fits into a 40-45 hour/week schedule, but the nature of consulting work and client-driven deadlines occasionally requires longer hours. LFA offers a generous benefits package for a small business, including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance and a 401k plan, profit sharing, and bonus structure on top of the opportunity to join an outstanding team working towards equity and justice. We are a small but mighty company, and we look forward to adding to our constellation of colleagues.

To apply:
Those interested should apply via our online form:
In the cover letter field, please indicate how you learned about this position. We will only review applications submitted via our website. We apologize that we are unable to field emails or calls about this opportunity during the application process. The deadline to apply is 11:59 pm on September 27, 2019.

Our hiring process and timeline:
▪ We will review applications after the application period closes.
▪ We will contact candidates for phone interviews in early to mid-October
▪ We will conduct a first round of in-person interviews in late October to early November
▪ If you are invited for an in-person interview, we may ask you to subsequently complete an assessment that we will provide
▪ We will conduct a second round of in-person interviews in November
▪ We will request and check references for finalists following in-person interviews
▪ We would like to have the selected candidate start in December

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