Research and Evaluation Associate - Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation


Part-time position, 40 hours per week

CLOSING DATE: February 28, 2019


JOB #: 13609

POSTED: January 29, 2019


The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation is seeking a Research and Evaluation Associate for immediate hire. The Foundation was established in 1964 by Warren Buffett and the late Susan Thompson Buffett, and works to improve the lives of women and families throughout the world by promoting access to contraception and abortion and expanding educational opportunities for Nebraska students. It is comprised of International, U.S., and Scholarship Programs and the Research and Evaluation Unit. The Associate would be an integral member of the Research and Evaluation Unit.


The Research and Evaluation Unit (R&E Unit) drives learning across the Foundation by providing technical support and guidance to the International, U.S., and Scholarship Programs. The R&E Unit enhances the quality and effectiveness of the Foundation’s grant-making by guiding the early stages of research and evaluation idea-generation and planning, helping partners think through methodological and analytic approaches, and strategizing about the use of findings. In addition, the R&E Unit works with the Programs to commission expert external evaluations that assess the potential impact of major areas of grantmaking. As a part of this effort, the Unit serves as the technical interface between external evaluators, Program staff, and grantees. The R&E Unit itself does not carry out original research, conduct evaluations of Foundation projects, or publish.


The R&E Associate will join a team dedicated to using evidence to advance strategic grantmaking in support of the Foundation’s mission. The Foundation offers a unique opportunity to engage with talented and passionate staff and partners from around the world, and the R&E Director seeks to continually expand her team’s learning. The Foundation offers flexibility to staff to ensure a healthy work/life balance within a friendly and non-bureaucratic work environment.



The R&E Associate will support the work of the R&E Unit and will become deeply involved in several specific projects. Generally, the Associate will:


  • Assist R&E Officers with project management, including: monitoring timelines; reviewing proposals, contracts, reports, study protocols, and budgets and budget justifications; providing input into study design and interpreting study findings; and facilitating relationships with partners. Illustrative examples of projects include:
    • External impact evaluations with numerous partners at the national- and state-levels;
    • Complex and confidential research studies;
    • Large-scale analytics of social media data;
    • Multi-institutional strategies to re-envision public opinion polling;
    • Evaluating efforts to make policy and legal changes.
  • Develop written documents including Requests for Proposal (RFP), internal memos, and other communications;
  • Draft memos and other technical documents for internal and external audiences;
  • Prepare technical presentations to support Foundation learning;
  • Analyze quantitative or qualitative datasets for R&E-supported projects including data from surveys, public opinion polls, social media, interviews, or focus groups, for internal Foundation use;
  • Search for, summarize, and synthesize scientific literature;
  • Organize and lead biannual journal clubs;
  • Assist with other tasks as needed.






The ideal candidate will possess the following professional qualifications and personal attributes: 

  • A demonstrated commitment to reproductive rights and access to education; preferences for candidates with experience working directly in the abortion field;
  • A commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and an interest in engaging with colleagues and partners from an array of racial/ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds, ages, genders, and sexual orientations;
  • Professional integrity, collegiality, and a strong work ethic;
  • An energetic, collaborative, and flexible style, emotional intelligence, and a sense of humor and collegiality;
  • Master’s degree with preference for a degree in the social sciences, specifically public health and/or health economics;
  • At least two years of research and evaluation-related experience in the social sciences, including: designing and conducting studies; analyzing data; interpreting results; and applying lessons learned;
  • An ability to synthesize and comprehensively convey quantitative and qualitative findings – both in written reports and in verbal conversations and presentations – to audiences at all levels of technical expertise;
  • High emotional intelligence with strong partnership building skills;


  • Ability to work independently and proactively to accomplish a wide variety of tasks and projects with strong organizational skills;
  • Willingness to travel as needed;
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office, EndNote, and other relevant software packages;
  • Quantitative research skills and an understanding of the concepts and applications of descriptive and inferential statistics, regression analysis, sampling and power calculations, and experimental design (including randomized control trials);
  • Qualitative research skills, including familiarity with the design and analysis of in-depth interviews, focus groups, and document content analysis;
  • Experience conducting quantitative analyses using a statistical package (g., Stata, SAS, R, SPSS) (preferred); experience conducting qualitative analyses using analysis software (e.g., Dedoose, NVivo, Atlas.ti) (preferred);



How to Apply:



The Foundation is conducting this search with assistance from Allison Kupfer Poteet and Cara Pearsall of NPAG.  Candidates are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Please send a detailed cover letter describing your interest and qualifications, your resume (in Word format), and where you learned of the position to:


As an Equal Opportunity Employer, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and actively seeks individuals who can offer broad perspectives to our organizational thinking and culture.

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