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How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your resume. The cover letter should include 1) your specific interest in the position; 2) your skills and experience that directly relate to this position; and 3) your approach to understanding the perspectives of colleagues and community partners from different backgrounds and cultural viewpoints.

Job Summary

The Department of Psychiatry in the University of Michigan Medical School is seeking an experienced, energetic, highly motivated, and organized individual to join a growing research and program development team with the TRAILS Program (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students) as a Research Area Specialist Lead/ TRAILS Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Lead.

The mission of TRAILS ( is to provide more equitable and improved access to evidence-based mental health services for all students. TRAILS partners with a wide variety of community stakeholders to build capacity within K-12 schools so that their students affected by mental illnesses and mental health challenges are best supported. TRAILS provides clinical resources, training, and implementation support to educators and school or community mental health professionals with the aim of improving student health and social and educational outcomes and promoting health and healthcare equity. TRAILS has a particular focus on partnering with under-resourced communities with elevated Medicaid enrollment. Current major initiatives are centered in Michigan, Colorado, and Massachusetts.  

The Research Area Specialist Lead/ TRAILS Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Lead will work with the principal investigator and other team members of the TRAILS Program. The SEL Lead will be expected to provide guidance and input regarding the development, expansion, and evaluation of TRAILS SEL programming; identify strategies for ensuring high instructor fidelity and adherence to TRAILS SEL material; generate ideas and action plans to help TRAILS achieve long-term SEL program sustainability and durable funding streams; identify and build relationships with key state- and national partners specializing in SEL; understand and contribute to implementation research for SEL; and support day-to-day SEL program operations, as needed. Ideal candidates will show the capacity to contribute to the development of a long-term vision for TRAILS SEL and think critically about the implementation challenges the program will face and potential strategies for overcoming them.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I)
Learning and working in environments designed for diversity, equity and inclusivity are necessary for TRAILS to address the vast inequities in access to evidence-based mental health care for young people of color and other marginalized populations.  In addition to collaborating with faculty and staff on projects that explicitly focus on DE&I, TRAILS uses inclusive design and implementation processes in all of our work. Individuals from groups historically underrepresented in higher education and healthcare settings are strongly encouraged to apply, including individuals with disabilities, BIPOC, and individuals identifying as LGBTQIA+. For more information, please visit our website:


Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead new and established initiatives to implement and evaluate the TRAILS SEL curriculum in a variety of partner schools and districts both within and outside of the state of Michigan
  • Collaborate with existing and to-be-hired TRAILS clinical staff to review SEL implementation pilot data and use findings to inform revisions and updates to curriculum materials, training protocols, and implementation support strategies
  • Review current best practices for assessing SEL outcomes, including: educator fidelity and adherence, and impacts on core student SEL competencies, student academic outcomes, and student wellness.
  • Utilize SEL assessment best practice guidelines and input from key stakeholders to inform design and development of a comprehensive SEL assessment strategy to accompany the TRAILS SEL curriculum
  • Through activation of the SEL assessment strategy, generate high quality data to document the impact of the TRAILS SEL curriculum on student social-, emotional-, and academic outcomes
  • Engage with state and national SEL implementation and evaluation partners through meetings, conferences, work groups, and collaborative initiatives to promote strong alignment between the TRAILS SEL curriculum and current gold-standard SEL benchmarks.
  • Maintain a focus on equity throughout the TRAILS SEL curriculum materials and implementation practices
  • Identify potential partnerships – academic, non-profit, corporate, tech – that could provide value to TRAILS by leading or assuming aspects of our SEL program (e.g., data management, software management, material design, translation, cultural adaptation, assessment, evaluation, etc.), and provide recommendations to TRAILS team members and administrators regarding potential collaborations
  • Promote state-wide and national recognition of TRAILS SEL programming through active participation in local, state, and national conferences and meetings
  • Identify, measure, and address organizational barriers to provider adoption of SEL
  • Inform the design and execution of implementation strategies for school professionals to ameliorate barriers to adoption and implementation of SEL programming
  • Develop programmatic operational manuals, standard operating procedures, and materials to facilitate the expansion, scaling, and sustainment of TRAILS SEL programming in schools and districts statewide and nationally
  • Collaborate with trainers, consultants, website content experts, communications staff, statisticians, grant writers, and other personnel in a team-oriented manner
  • Prepare manuscripts and assist with manuscript development in a team science environment

Required Qualifications*

  • Demonstrated commitment to educational and/or health equity through prior work, research, or educational activities.

  • Master’s or PhD degree in education, public health, social work, psychology, or related field or an equivalent combination of education and relevant experience
  • A minimum of six (6) years of experience in SEL education, research, implementation, or evaluation in community or educational settings
  • Knowledge of SEL best practices, including familiarity with the national SEL landscape, the SEL research agenda, and future directions for SEL nationally
  • Familiarity with assessment and evaluation
  • Knowledge or experience with implementation or quality improvement science and methods 
  • A solid understanding of evidence-based practices for child and adolescent mental health
  • Experience working or conducting research in school or educational settings
  • Experience with and knowledge of fidelity monitoring strategies and practices
  • Expertise in quality assurance and program evaluation within mental health or educational settings
  • Highly motivated, organized, and autonomous 
  • Excellent multi-tasking ability and record-keeping skills
  • Computer proficiency (i.e. Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, asynchronous task-sharing platforms)

Desired Qualifications*

  • Strong technical writing and verbal/public speaking communication skills
  • Familiarity with existing SEL curriculums
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships with community, administrative, and State partners
  • Professional demeanor and excellent interpersonal skills
  • An interest in public policy and/or the marketing and sustainability of mental health programs 
  • Ability to work and communicate effectively with a multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, evaluators, and school-based professionals in the community
  • Ability to demonstrate flexibility within an evolving community participatory research project 
  • Knowledge and skills in applying mixed methods with the ability to oversee qualitative and quantitative data collection, coding, and analysis

Work Schedule

Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 5 pm

Work Locations

University of Michigan
Department of Psychiatry
NCRC, Building 520
1600 Huron Parkway
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Additional Information

This is not a remote position, however, due to COVID-19, the responsibilities of this role will be performed remotely until notified. 

Excellent benefits are available, for details, see

The salary for this position will be based upon the selected candidate’s education and experience. The salary range for this position is: minimum $68,010; midpoint $88,420; and maximum $108,820.

Background Screening

Under Michigan law, a criminal history check including fingerprinting is required as a condition of transfer or employment for this position.

Background Screening

Michigan Medicine conducts background screening and pre-employment drug testing on job candidates upon acceptance of a contingent job offer and may use a third party administrator to conduct background screenings.  Background screenings are performed in compliance with the Fair Credit Report Act. Pre-employment drug testing applies to all selected candidates, including new or additional faculty and staff appointments, as well as transfers from other U-M campuses.

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.


The University of Michigan participates with the federal EVerify system.  Individuals hired into positions that are funded by a federal contract with the FAR EVerify clause must have their identity and work eligibility confirmed by the EVerify system.  This position is identified as a position that may include the EVerify requirement.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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