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Educational Research Scientist

Harvard University Department of Mathematics
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Posted Date
Aug 10, 2023

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Science, Technology & Mathematics, Mathematics
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Educational Research Scientist

Harvard University

Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Department of Mathematics

Job Summary

Harvard’s Math Department is working to improve mathematics curricula by building experiences that embrace mathematical modeling, empower students with quantitative tools to better understand the complexity of the world, leverage active learning, and promote problem-solving skills. The department is hiring an Educational Research Scientist to develop methods to assess the efforts underway and to contribute to strategic planning for the future.  The research will have an equity focus, to make sure that the department is building mathematical experiences that foster a sense of belonging and an intellectual community for students who ordinarily are marginalized in the mathematical sciences.

Reporting to the Director of Introductory Math, the Educational Research Scientist will drive efforts to leverage data and systems-thinking to help ensure that the math department is developing students’ quantitative toolkit to take on challenges in their field of study. This role will work closely with faculty teaching introductory courses to design research studies documenting the success of introductory courses, find areas for improvements, and support the dissemination of effective innovations to help catalyze change in mathematics education at a national level. The Educational Research Scientist will also provide mentorship for members of the department interested in educational research.

For applicants with a background in mathematics instruction, occasional teaching in the introductory math sequence may be possible for additional compensation.

Position Description

This role will conduct evaluations in the department and support efforts of continuous improvement. In addition, the Educational Research Scientist will:

Education Research Facilitation:

  • Develop and Implement Assessment Strategies: Devise a comprehensive plan for evaluating key initiatives and establish clear timelines for major projects. This will ensure efficient monitoring and progress tracking.
  • Promote Scholarly Publications: Collaborate on writing and submitting articles to esteemed scientific journals and publications. By sharing research findings, we contribute to the advancement of the education field.
  • Pursue Grant Opportunities: Identify potential grants that align with our research objectives and take the lead in preparing and submitting grant applications.

Departmental Data Curation:

  • Collect and Analyze Data: Gather, clean, and analyze both quantitative and qualitative data related to course offerings, thereby helping the department assess the outcomes of various initiatives.
  • Create Progress Monitoring Dashboards: Design data-driven dashboards that enable the department to monitor ongoing progress, allowing for more informed planning and decision-making.

Education Research Mentorship:

  • Provide Strategic Recommendations: Conduct thorough literature reviews to support the department in identifying innovative approaches to enhance educational practices. Communicate these recommendations effectively to relevant stakeholders.
  • Organize Training and Workshops: Conduct training sessions and workshops to familiarize department members with the latest education research, fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement.
  • Offer Mentorship and Research Opportunities: Provide mentorship to preceptors and lecturers interested in developing their expertise in educational research. Offer them opportunities to engage in meaningful research projects.

Basic Qualifications

  • Masters Degree in education, statistics, or related field required.
  • 5 years experience in assessment, evaluation, or education research including work completed as a student.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • PhD in Math Education, Educational Metrics, or Learning Assessment preferred.
  • Excellent analytical and research skills; ability to gather, evaluate, and to develop well-reasoned conclusions and recommendations.
  • Ability to effectively communicate information in a clear and understandable manner, both verbally and in writing.
  • Strong attention to detail, ability to consistently demonstrate diplomacy, sound judgment, and flexibility as well as strong problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent organizational and time-management skills; proven ability to independently plan, organize, and implement team-based projects with minimal oversight.
  • Ability to initiate, establish, and foster communication and teamwork by maintaining a positive, cooperative, productive work atmosphere with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Familiarity with the research pipeline and the process of conducting research.
  • A demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusivity, and belonging.

Technical Abilities

  • Practical experience with reporting, analysis, and data visualization tools preferred (e.g., R, STATA, Power BI, Excel, Tableau, etc.)
  • Excellent judgment, analytical and problem-solving skills with a consultative and collaborative approach to addressing issues and opportunities.

Working Conditions
This position will be based on the Harvard campus, in Cambridge, MA

Additional Information

This is a 3-year term appointment from the date of hire.

Recent PhDs should consider this as a potential postdoctoral position that could set them up for a wide range of positions including tenure track positions but should realize that the research focus will be aligned with the department’s priorities.

For consideration please submit

  • A resume or CV detailing relevant professional experiences.
  • A cover letter describing why you are interested in the position.
  • Contact information for 3 references with knowledge of your work in the past 3-5 years will be solicited from finalists.
  • A relevant evaluation report or writing sample (with a brief description of the project or topic) produced in the last 2-3 years.

We are unable to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

Please apply directly to Harvard via Harvard University (

All applications received by December 15, 2023, will receive full consideration.

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