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Operations Associate

Position Summary

Reporting to Student Experience Research Network’s Chief of Staff, Director of Operations and Strategy (COS-DOS), the Operations Associate (OA) will be a key contributor to our team’s collective efforts to connect people and ideas across research, practice, and policy to advance relevant scientific knowledge and improve decision-making by education system leaders. The Operations Associate will support the COS-DOS’s efforts to implement systems, execute objectives and promote efficiency. This role will contribute significant capacity to the organization by providing cross-functional project management support on operations and strategy projects, executing key operations deliverables, and supporting the COS-DOS’ work to develop and execute mission-aligned strategy.

This is a new role in our organization created to increase and strengthen our internal operational capacity as we implement our adaptive strategy. The candidate who is hired to fill this role will work collaboratively with the COS-DOS and Executive Director (ED) to shape this role over time.

As a team, we seek a colleague who:

  • Is committed to work that benefits students and educators and advances educational equity;
  • Is excited to learn about research to advance our team’s collective vision and impact;
  • Is passionate about continuously improving their own work and that of our team;
  • Is energized by the prospect of being an integral part of a small, remotely staffed and highly collaborative team; and,
  • Can simultaneously think about the ‘big picture’ and execute on day-to-day management and planning skills.

About Student Experience Research Network

Student Experience Research Network (SERN) is grounded in an interdisciplinary understanding that, in order to learn and thrive, students need to experience respect as valued people and thinkers—and that the practices, policies, and norms in education and society have inequitably shaped this experience of school depending on who students are and the opportunities they are afforded.

Our work is to connect people and ideas across research, practice, and policy to advance relevant scientific knowledge and improve decision-making by education system and institution leaders so that every student’s experience of school sets them up to learn and thrive. 

Decades of academic scholarship has shown that the United States K-16 education system is comprised of practices, policies, and norms that advantage some students and disadvantage others, along the lines of race, ethnicity, indigeneity, class, gender, sexuality, language, ability, and immigration status. Institutional segregation and resource inequities are upheld by legislation, judicial decisions, and individual choices. Curricula and instruction have traditionally privileged certain knowledge and cultural legacies and excluded others. Institutional policies and national trends have produced an instructional workforce that does not reflect the diversity of the student body. Policies around tracking, assessment, special education, and discipline are exclusionary and punitive and disproportionately deployed. 

These long-standing structures affect students’ opportunities to learn and thrive directly, by affording or constraining access to instructional resources, and indirectly, by sending repeated messages to students that they are—or are not—respected as valued people and thinkers.

Research that draws on rigorous methods and theories from across the social sciences is essential to understanding the complex ways these structures systematically and differentially shape students’ experience of school—and how these structures can be changed. But this knowledge-building is too often siloed within individual academic disciplines and methods and disconnected from the needs and perspectives of education stakeholders. To this end, SERN connects people and ideas across research, practice, and policy to promote research that is responsive and interdisciplinary, and to enable its timely application to decision-making in education. We engage with academic researchers, intermediary organizations, funders, and other practice and policy influencers in education to advance this work.

Responsibilities and Tasks 

Operational and strategic support

  • Provide project management and relationship management support to the COS-DOS for projects within the operations and strategy portfolio
  • Support the COS-DOS in the planning and execution of recurring internal and external meetings by managing scheduling, notetaking, calendar invites, dissemination of pre-meeting resources and follow-up tasks
  • Support the COS-DOS in creating, maintaining, and improving core internal team processes and structures that increase operational effectiveness. This includes updating and refining project management resources, developing best practices and user guides for tools and software, updating the SERN handbook, etc.
  • Coordinate the logistics of SERN’s relationship with New Venture Fund (NVF), SERN’s fiscal sponsor, by participating in monthly meetings, managing tasks shared between SERN and NVF, distributing updates provided by NVF to the appropriate internal team at SERN, etc. 
  • Work with fiscal sponsor and other SERN staff to coordinate the processes for contracts, subgrants, MOUs, and reimbursement 
  • Maintain the organization’s annual operating calendar including office closures, key organization meetings, deadlines for important internal deliverables and org-wide events
  • Coordinate with COS-DOS and project leads to process payments
  • Provide administrative and logistical support for funder relationship management 

Talent and culture support

  • Support the COS-DOS’s efforts to foster a strong and strategy-aligned internal culture. This includes organizing quarterly staff culture events, managing and distributing staff culture surveys, etc.
  • Collaborate with the COS-DOS to plan and execute professional learning events for staff
  • Support the COS-DOS in managing the interim and annual review process by updating and distributing materials
  • Support the hiring needs of the organization, including assembling hiring resources, managing communication with applicants and contractors, and assembling resources to support onboarding

Other duties: Perform other duties as assigned, including contributing to team meetings and retreats. All employees of NVF are required to complete timesheets.

Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills and Ability   

  • 2-4 years’ professional experience, preferably in an administrative or operations support role
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills; ability to draft written products that convey ideas cogently
  • Experience drafting communication for internal and external stakeholders on behalf of senior leaders
  • Experience supporting meetings and/or events (e.g., scheduling and calendar management, agenda development, note-taking, facilitation, etc.)
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Comfortable speaking and collaborating with senior leadership of all levels at partner organizations
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office applications, especially Word, PowerPoint, and Excel; comfort using Google Docs; experience using collaborative project and relationship management tools
  • Ability to work in a small, highly motivated and fast-moving remote office / telecommuting environment with frequent change and innovation
  • Ability to thrive and respond adaptively to ambiguity, creatively solve problems to ensure deliverables are met, and pitch in when necessary at all task levels
  • Time management skills to handle the competing priorities of several projects and ongoing organizational responsibilities
  • Culturally open-minded, flexible, open to suggestions and opinions, eager to learn and grow, direct but polite, and organized in all aspects of work (including communication)
  • Ability to collaborate productively and harmoniously in a team, while also being able to self-manage completion of work tasks, incorporate feedback from multiple perspectives and exercise good judgment and sound decision-making 

Valued and Non-Essential Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills and Ability 

  • Experience working remotely 
  • Experience working with education influencer and intermediary organizations, such as policy organizations, system-level providers, funders, developers of education resources, and teacher preparation and professional learning organizations, that play a key role in shaping decision-making by leaders in education systems and institutions
  • Familiarity with the K-12 and/or postsecondary ecosystem
  • Experience writing in a professional context (e.g., drafting grant proposals, developing email communication plans, etc.)

How to Apply

We welcome and encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds who can bring unique perspectives to the table to apply. We are looking for people committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment that prioritizes continuous professional ‘stretching’ and growth, and helping each other make a positive contribution to the world. No location preference; people in all United States locations are encouraged to apply but must be willing to work within Pacific, Mountain, Central, or Eastern time zone. Once it is safe to do so, this position will require up to 5% domestic travel and is considered exempt for overtime purposes. 

If you would like to apply for this position, please click here; a resume and responses to two written questions will be required. Submissions will not be accepted via email.

Compensation and Benefits

Salary

$50,000

Benefits: 

Comprehensive benefits package that includes 100% employer-paid health, dental, and vision insurance, 3% employer match on 401k contributions, pre-tax transportation benefits, and paid holidays, vacation, sick, and volunteer time off.

Hiring Statement

Student Experience Research Network is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working. 

Position Summary

Reporting to Student Experience Research Network’s Chief of Staff, Director of Operations and Strategy (COS-DOS), the Operations Associate (OA) will be a key contributor to our team’s collective efforts to connect people and…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Start Date
    March 7, 2022
  • Education
    4-Year Degree Required
  • Professional Level
    Entry level
Salary
Up to USD $50,000
/ year

Benefits

Comprehensive benefits package that includes 100% employer-paid health, dental, and vision insurance, 3% employer match on 401k contributions, pre-tax transportation benefits, and paid holidays, vacation, sick, and volunteer time off.

Comprehensive benefits package that includes 100% employer-paid health, dental, and vision insurance, 3% employer match on 401k contributions, pre-tax transportation benefits…

Location

Remote
Work may be performed anywhere in United States
Associated Location
1201 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20036, United States
#300

How to Apply

We welcome and encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds who can bring unique perspectives to the table to apply. We are looking for people committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment that prioritizes continuous professional ‘stretching’ and growth, and helping each other make a positive contribution to the world. No location preference; people in all United States locations are encouraged to apply but must be willing to work within Pacific, Mountain, Central, or Eastern time zone. Once it is safe to do so, this position will require up to 5% domestic travel and is considered exempt for overtime purposes. 


If you would like to apply for this position, please click here; a resume and responses to two written questions will be required. Submissions will not be accepted via email.

We welcome and encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds who can bring unique perspectives to the table to apply. We are looking for people committed to cultivating an…

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