ChildTrends Seeks Research Scientist - Child Welfare

Child Trends is looking for a Research Scientist to join its Child Welfare research area which focuses on issues such as prevention of maltreatment, child protection, reunification, court oversight, foster care, kinship care, adoption, and youth leaving foster care. This position will is based in the Bethesda, MD office but will require travel. This position will be responsible for designing, planning, and executing major Child Welfare research projects in consultation with colleagues. It requires the ability to design a research approach, guide data collection, perform quantitative and qualitative analyses; write and present reports for various audiences; and draw inferences for policy and practice. The position also includes developing and writing proposals. The successful candidate will direct or co-direct research projects, including managing research analysts or research assistants and serve as a point person for communication between research partners or with clients.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develops or participates in developing research topics, budgets, research design, and proposals
  • Designs methodology for quantitative and/or qualitative data collections and analyses to answer research questions and/or evaluate programs
  • Supervises more junior staff in the analysis of data and the development of reports and proposals
  • Leads the interpretation of results for policy and program perspectives
  • Serves as project manager/principal investigator for one or more projects
  • Writes final reports, research briefs, and executive summaries and presents results to clients, other researchers, policymakers, or practitioners
  • Attends management meetings
  • Reviews resumes and interviews candidates for employment


  • Ph.D. in sociology, public policy, public health, psychology, political science, social work or another social science. Will also consider a Master’s with experience
  • Substantive expertise in child welfare research in topics aligned to the priorities of Child Trends’ Child Welfare team (e.g., maltreatment prevention, child protection, court oversight, foster care, kinship care, adoption, youth in foster care transitioning to adulthood, child welfare system needs assessment, financing).
  • Experience writing successful proposals to private and public funders preferred
  • Experience with  primary data collection and data management
  • Demonstrated ability to manage research projects effectively with keen attention to detail and quality
  • Experience managing research staff and client relationships
  • Knowledge of and experience with both quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Proficiency in either quantitative or qualitative analytic methodologies, including software programing ability (e.g. SAS, STATA, R, NVivo, Dedoose, etc.)
  • Knowledgeable about data security
  • Excellent oral and written communication

How to Apply
Please complete the the form on the ChildTrends web site and follow the instructions on the page. When asked by the system to upload resume, please upload one document that includes your resume, cover letter, transcripts, a writing sample and three professional references. Materials must be combined into one document in order to be uploaded. If you have any difficulties with this process please email the requested materials to and make sure to reference the position in the subject line. No phone calls please!