Senior Associate, Research/Survey Quality Support

  • Job posted by The Pew Charitable Trusts

Job Type

Part Time




Dist. Columbia
United States


The Pew Charitable Trusts is driven by the power of knowledge to solve today's most challenging problems. Pew applies a rigorous, analytical approach to improve public policy, inform the public and invigorate civic life.

We are an independent nonprofit organization – the sole beneficiary of seven individual trusts established between 1948 and 1979 by two sons and two daughters of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew.

Our work lays the foundation for effective policy solutions by informing and engaging citizens, linking diverse interests to pursue common cause and insisting on tangible results. Our projects encourage efficient, responsive governments – at the local, state, national and international levels – serving the best interests of the people. We partner with a diverse range of donors, public and private organizations and concerned citizens who share our interest in fact-based solutions and goal-driven investments to improve society.

With offices in Philadelphia, Washington DC, Australia, Brussels and London, and with additional staff in other regions of the United States and around the globe, Pew provides an exciting learning environment and the opportunity to work with highly talented individuals. We are a dynamic, rapidly evolving organization that values creativity and innovative thinking and fosters strong teamwork with mutual respect.

The Research and Science Portfolio at The Pew Charitable Trusts
The research and science portfolio includes both programmatic, functional and outreach elements. It spans all of Pew's programmatic work with a focus on advancing quality research and science and deploying research expertise to further the goals of ongoing projects. The portfolio reviews the design of new research projects across the institution to ensure they are high quality, unbiased, and methodologically sound. The programmatic elements of the portfolio include specific projects related to biomedical science, environmental science, the Philadelphia research public policy research and fiscal federalism. In addition, research and science has a role in communicating timely, accurate information on state issues to the general public as the Pew daily news publication, Stateline, is part of our organization. The portfolio also includes an operational aspect working to ensure effective management systems across the program department and coordinating with key partners across the institution.

Research Review and Support Overview
Research review and support (RRS) facilitates the research process across all Pew programs and projects. Staff help ensure the integrity and quality of all research outputs, including reports, surveys and polls, literature reviews, and data collection and analysis. This work involves taking a research concept from initial hypothesis and proposal through post-analysis data checks, fact checking, and peer review. RRS advises project teams on the best methodological or analytical approaches, datasets and, if appropriate, external vendors to achieve desired outcomes. RRS staff also provides direct research assistance, most commonly data collection and literature reviews, as required.

Finally, RRS fosters a Pew research community that leverages and builds staff expertise, tools and capacity across project teams and on a wide range of topics and disciplines. On behalf of projects, RRS coordinates with other Pew divisions and departments involved in the research process. The aim is to help ensure excellent, unimpeachable research outputs that significantly impact major policy changes at the federal, state, local, and international levels.

Position Overview
The senior associate, based in Pew's Washington, D.C., office, contributes to RRS's expertise in surveys and qualitative research methods as applied across all the policy areas in Pew's program portfolios. The senior associate supports project teams as they design and manage surveys and qualitative studies and helps them navigate Pew's survey review process. This position will also coordinate between RRS, project teams, and central procurement to ensure that the technical aspects included in survey contracts align with quality standards and considerations. The senior associate reports to the director.

• Develop expertise in three core Pew processes – the research review process, survey quality process, and contract and grant development process.

• Participate in the research review process by providing written feedback on proposals for new research projects.
• Develop relationships with project teams across Pew to maintain awareness of upcoming survey and qualitative research needs in order to establish relationships with domestic and international providers with appropriate methodological and subject matter expertise.
• Help develop workplans and budgets for projects using surveys and qualitative research methods.
• Support teams throughout the process of commissioning surveys and qualitative studies – from the solicitation of proposals, through negotiations, and drafting agreements.
• Participate in communication with research vendors when appropriate to help project managers and vendors navigate Pew's research review process and understand Pew's quality standards, particularly for survey research.
• Work with project managers to translate RRS feedback on research plans and proposed methods into appropriate design specifications in contracts or grants.
• Work with subject matter experts on project teams to develop screeners, focus group guides, interview protocol, and survey questionnaires.
• Track the progress of surveys and monitor the completion of deliverables, such as providing direct support or oversight of survey development and reporting (observing focus groups, listening to survey pretests, and reviewing results for quality control).
• As needed, assist project teams in analysis and interpretation of data for publication or use in policy campaigns.
• For international surveys, help identify and develop agreements with vendors with appropriate knowledge of Pew's survey requirements and language skills.
• Develop and maintain awareness of high-quality research vendors, appropriate costs for services, and appropriate sub-contracting options.
• Manage internal staff surveys, as needed.


• Bachelor's degree required; advanced degree preferred.
• Minimum of four years directly related professional experience.
• Experience working on public affairs surveys and engaging on all aspects of survey and qualitative research design, logistics, and analysis.
• Experience writing survey questionnaires for multiple modes of administration as well as screeners, focus group guides, and interview protocol in collaboration with colleagues and management.
• Experience with quantitative data analysis in Stata, SPSS, or R.
• Demonstrated commitment to producing high-quality, unbiased research.
• Demonstrated strong analytical and problem-solving skills. Ability to synthesize large amounts of information and to focus quickly on the essence of an issue/problem, determine whether it is ripe for intervention and identify the means to address it.
• Excellent written and oral communications skills, including an ease in briefly summarizing the essence of issues and means to address them. Strong oral and written advocacy skills such that complex ideas and concepts are clearly articulated for a general audience. Clear, effective writing style.
• Strong diplomatic and interpersonal skills; able to develop and manage productive relationships with consultants, partners, and others who contribute to the development of a project by anticipating possible outcomes.
• Seasoned judgment, able to make decisions, justify recommendations, and be responsive, clear, and firm with colleagues and partners.
• Self-directed and accepts full responsibility for completing assignments and resolving issues. Ability to think proactively, take initiative, and see tasks through to completion with appropriate follow-up.
• Ability to understand organizational structure and work through administrative systems and processes.
• Experience with research budgets and contract development, particularly in an international context, a plus.

Travel is not expected in this position.

Compensation and Benefits
We offer a competitive salary and benefit program, including: comprehensive, affordable health care through medical, dental, and vision coverage; financial security with life and disability insurance; opportunities to save using health savings and flexible spending accounts; retirement benefits to help prepare for the future; and work/life benefits to maintain a good balance.




Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree