University of Notre Dame Senior Associate, Project Development in Notre Dame, Indiana

Position Information

Job Description

LEO is looking for a proactive, self-starter who desires to be a part of solving one of the most critical issues our nation faces today—poverty. The Project Development Senior Associate will be responsible for attracting, vetting, and driving forward research partnerships with providers of service to the poor and vulnerable across the country.

Who we are:

The Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO) is a research center at the University of Notre Dame dedicated to reducing poverty and improving lives in the United States through evidence-based programs and policies.

The Challenge:

In order to successfully reduce poverty in America, LEO must continue to produce best-in-class research on poverty-reduction programs to influence public policy and spending. This requires identifying effective and innovative nonprofits, conveying the importance of evaluation, and designing research based on their programs. Identifying these programs is integral to our theory of change, but it’s not easy; there are thousands of providers scattered across the nation, and they are busy and often intimidated by the prospect of external evaluation.

Who we need:

We are looking for someone who wants to change the face of poverty in our country and believes that impacting poverty is possible. Top priorities include outreach and discovery, developing prospective partners into being “Research Ready,” managing and deepening relationships, and integrating providers with our research team. Helping partners become research ready requires translating research and academic terminology into compelling and actionable steps for nonprofit service providers. The Project Development Senior Associate will focus on three areas:

Discover and establish relationships

● Forge relationships with potential partner agencies across the country and deepen relationships with current partner agencies ● Establish relationships with federal, state, and local government agencies, and national networks, that oversee and support anti- poverty programs ● Develop innovative approaches to identifying new partners, including launching and managing conferences, nationwide requests for proposals, and nonprofit award series. ● Develop innovative solutions to ensure a robust pipeline for poverty related research projects

Develop capabilities and readiness

● Communicate with providers and government agencies about how impact evaluations, in particular randomized controlled trials, work and how such evaluations can help them improve the effectiveness of their services ● Identify viable research projects with local service providers and government agencies that are innovative, scalable, and replicable ● Communicate evidence of program effectiveness to national networks of service providers and government agencies

Manage research project portfolio

● Effectively drive forward relationships with providers to ensure research projects are sustained throughout the various stages of research and integrate providers with Principal Investigators (PIs) and Research Associates (RAs) across the organization ● Lead current relationships with service providers already engaged in LEO impact evaluations

About LEO:

Founded as a research center in the Department of Economics at the University of Notre Dame just six years ago, LEO has quickly risen to prominence as a leader in evidence-based interventions against poverty. Since our founding six years ago, LEO has:

● Attracted over $25 million in endowed gifts in support of our mission. ● Secured research funding from private foundations and government sources. ● Launched 25 active projects, with dozens more in the project pipeline. ● Published in leading peer-reviewed journals. ● Grown to eleven full-time employees. ● Forged partnerships with some of the most innovative providers of services to people living in poverty across the country. ● Developed an extensive nationwide network of faculty affiliates.

In the next five years, we plan to grow significantly: doubling our project portfolio and continuing to strengthen LEO’s reputation as the gold standard of research in this area.

Minimum Qualifications

Experience and Education:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent work experience in public policy, evaluations, economics, non-profit services, or related fields is required.

  • Five or more years of work experience is required.

  • Some experience with impact evaluations, particularly randomized controlled trials, is preferred.

  • The candidate should demonstrate strong leadership, communication, writing, and presentation skills.

  • A deep commitment to the mission of both LEO and the University is necessary.

Preferred Qualifications


Writing and communication skills

● must be able to distill complicated topics into interesting and easy to digest pieces.

Willingness and flexibility to travel ● LEO works with service providers all over the country, and an in-person approach is crucial to building trust and developing relationships.

Creativity and problem solving abilities ● we are a small team; the candidate must find creative ways to get things done elegantly and independently in a University environment.

Systematic and organized approach ● the ability to guide prospective partners through a structured approach, as well as to communicate to a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders.

Job Title: Senior Associate, Project Development

Department: Lab for Economic Opportunities (30073)

Department Website:

Family / Sub-Family: Academic Aff / Instr. Dvlpmt/Support

Career Stream/Level: EIC 2 Professional

Pay ID: Semi-Monthly

FLSA Status: S1 - FT Exempt

Job Category: Administrator/Professional

Job Type: Full-time

Schedule: Hours/Week: 40

Schedule: # of months: 12

Job Posting Date (Campus): 11/29/2018

Job Posting Date (Public): 11/29/2018

Job Closing Date: 12/13/2018

Posting Type: Open To All Applicants

Posting Number: S18922

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