Senior Researcher

Thu, 08/26/2021 - 10:47

The Child Welfare Reviews Project and the Child Welfare Compliance Reviews Project provide analytic, training, and logistics support to the Children’s Bureau in administering federal child welfare reviews. The Senior Researcher plays a lead role in analyzing data from those reviews to enhance understanding of the results in context of state child welfare programs and national program performance. This team member will be responsible for managing analytic databases, conducting and guiding analysis of findings, and preparing reports and presentations on results from (a) Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs), (b) Title IV-E Foster Care Eligibility Reviews (IV-E ERs), and (c) National Youth in Transition Database (NYTD) Reviews. Position requires special combination of advanced analytic skills, including ability to design and conduct complex statistical analyses and modeling, experience with federal child welfare datasets (i.e., AFCARS and NCANDS), and expertise with analytic tools including SPSS syntax. This team member will identify and pursue new business opportunities, participate in capture planning, as well as manage proposal development and support collaboration across JBS Centers. The Senior Researcher contributes to team qualifications by development of professional publications and presenting at professional meetings (as permitted by the funding agencies).



  • Develop and refine process to access, download, and validate data from CFSRs, IV-E ERs, and NYTD Reviews, and coordinate with project and corporate I/T staff in receiving, reviewing and coding data for downloading and/or transferring into study databases.
  • Assist with the calculation of and support for the annual IV-E Foster Care Error Rate, which identifies IV-E Foster Care improper payments as per the Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019 (PIIA).
  • Oversee development and management databases in Access, SPSS or other formats as needed for storage and analysis of review data.
  • Develop and maintain thorough understanding of data resulting from CFSRs, IV-E ERs, and NYTD Reviews in order to provide consultation to projects regarding the most appropriate quantitative or qualitative analysis techniques to apply to respond to project information needs and answer different research questions.
  • Develop plans and recommendations for data management (i.e., transferring data from one format to another automatically using syntax) and data analysis based on understanding of review data variables (e.g., nature of data, relationships between variables and review instruments), project reporting requirements, and client information needs.
  • Perform substantial conceptual and analytic work to use data from State Child Welfare reviews to enhance understanding of state system operations and performance. This should include appropriate application of modeling techniques.
  • Partner with project team members as needed to analyze qualitative review data, as needed, and identify opportunities to compare and contrast findings to enhance understanding of program performance.
  • Assume primary responsibility for designing, conducting, and/or overseeing broad range of statistical analysis, as appropriate, to address reporting requirements and information needs.
  • Validate existing complex syntax files against operational definitions of multifaceted data indicators to ensure accuracy and completeness of syntax files and resulting analyses and reports; Troubleshoot syntax and reporting queries/reporting scripts as needed to ensure validity of reports.
  • Evaluate and interpret analytical findings.
  • Prepare client-ready written materials (e.g., reports, PowerPoint presentations, charts and graphs) to communicate results clearly, concisely and precisely in a manner tailored to the intended audience and specific information need(s)¬†
  • Clearly explain limits to generalizability of findings and conformity of findings with any applicable precision requirements in a manner appropriate to the audience.
  • Lead business development and proposal development activities.


Education: Doctoral degree in social sciences or statistics, with particular expertise in research methodology and advanced statistical analysis

Language: English fluency (oral and written)

Experience: Minimum 9 years’ total research design and analysis experience.  Business development experience.  Experience leading proposal development including technical and business proposals. Experience publishing in evaluation and/or content area of team projects (e.g., peer-reviewed journals).  Experience working with Child Welfare data (e.g. Involvement (including AFCARS and NCANDS), IV-E eligibility and enrollment, Administrative data, Programmatic data).

Knowledge: Understanding of federal child welfare reviews.  Strong understanding and ability to independently select and apply univariate and multivariate statistical techniques and modeling approaches to yield results that answer specific research questions and are defensible, able to withstand high level of scrutiny/review. 

Soft Skills: Ability to communicate research and evaluation findings clearly to a variety of audiences both orally and in writing. Exceptional attention to detail and commitment to excellence.

Software Proficiency:  Proficiency in SPSS, SAS, Stata, and/or R

Location: North Bethesda or Remote



Experience: Experience in data analysis for evaluations of child welfare programs.  Experience working with Medicaid data (e.g., Eligibility, Medical data; Medical data; Behavioral health and Substance use disorders, Administrative data, Programmatic data) and Child Welfare data (e.g. Involvement (including AFCARS and NCANDS), IV-E eligibility and enrollment, Administrative data, Programmatic data).

Software Proficiency:  Proficiency with MS-Access and/or SQL, in addition to Python.  Proficiency with qualitative data analysis (e.g., Atlas.ti).   Experience working with Tableau workbooks.

OTHER DUTIES AS ASSIGNED: This position description should not be construed to imply that these requirements are the exclusive standards of the position nor will it be the sole basis for any subsequent employee evaluations. Incumbents will follow any other instructions and perform any other related duties as may be required by their supervisor.

This position is subject to availability of funds and to any and all restrictions contained in the contract or contracts that provide funding for this position.


If you meet the minimum requirements for this position, please click on the "Apply" link posted below and complete the application. Please include a cover letter, resume, and at least three (3) professional references. 

Our company is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Applicants can learn more about the company's status as an equal opportunity employer by viewing the federal "EEO is the Law" poster at EEOPost.pdf.   Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or protected Veteran status.


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