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Who We Are

The University of Michigan seeks a Research Area Specialist – Associate to become an active member of the Youth Policy Lab (YPL).

The Youth Policy Lab’s mission is to help community and government agencies make better decisions by measuring what really works. We’re data experts who believe that government can and must do better for the people of Michigan. We’re also parents and community members who dream of a brighter future for all of our children. At the Youth Policy Lab, we’re working to make that dream a reality by strengthening programs that address some of our most pressing social challenges. We recognize that the wellbeing of youth is intricately linked to the wellbeing of families and communities, so we engage in work that impacts all age ranges. Using rigorous evaluation design and data analysis, we’re working closely with our partners to build a future where public investments are based on strong evidence, so all Michiganders have a pathway to prosperity. For more information, please visit us at

YPL is a partnership between the Institute for Social Research & the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, and this position will be situated primarily at the Institute for Social Research location.


The Research Area Specialist – Associate will assist a team of faculty and staff on a study of a kindergarten math program. Responsibilities include the following:

  • Develop data collection tools (logs, observations protocols and surveys to assess quality and fidelity of implementation).
  • Help train staff to collect classroom observation data from schools to assess quality and fidelity
  • Assist with collecting logs, classroom observations and surveys from classrooms
  • Help analyze, and report on data from logs, classroom observations surveys for fidelity, and training purposes.
  • Assist with the development and editing of a curriculum for a classroom-based kindergarten small group math enrichment program. Help to develop a scope and sequence that aligns with the primary classroom curriculum.
  • Assist with the development and delivery of training for teachers implementing the program in two locations.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Required Qualifications*

  • Bachelor degree in education.
  • Two to five years on-the-job experience involving mathematics curriculum development, mathematics education, or teacher preparation.
  • Experience and familiarity with studies of education programs.
  • Commitment to principles of social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. For more information on the University’s commitment to these principles, please visit:
  • Excellent computing skills including Microsoft Office (specifically Word and Excel), & cloud content management and file sharing with teams
  • and some experience with statistical software such as SPSS, Stata, or SAS.
  • Personal commitment to high quality work; strong organizational skills and attention to detail; ability to multi-task and prioritize effort across multiple simultaneous projects.
  • Excellent communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work both as part of a cohesive team and individually while meeting deadlines. 
  • Ability to travel occasionally.

Desired Qualifications*

  • Graduate Degree in Education 
  • Experience working in preschools or elementary schools.
  • Experience with classroom observation protocols.

Additional Information

  • This is a one year term-limited appointment and is dependent on continued grant funding.
  • A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume.

The Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to serve the diverse people of Michigan, to maintain the excellence of the university, and to ground our research in varied disciplines, perspectives, and ways of knowing and learning.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.