Director of P-12 Research


The Education Trust seeks a Director of P-12 Research.

About the Organization

The Education Trust is a national nonprofit that works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income families. Through our research and advocacy, Ed Trust supports efforts that expand excellence and equity in education from preschool through college; increase college access and completion, particularly for historically underserved students; engage diverse communities dedicated to education equity; and increase political and public will to act on equity issues.

Major Responsibilities

The Director of P-12 Research manages and carries out the organization’s P-12 education research work, supervises a small team of researchers, and represents the organization with a wide range of external stakeholders, including advocates, educators, policymakers, media, and other researchers.

The Director of P-12 Research is responsible for:

Setting and executing The Education Trust’s P-12 research agenda. In collaboration with the VP for P-12 Policy, Practice, and Research, the Director will develop Ed Trust’s P-12 research agenda each year, with an eye toward “usability” for equity advocates and policymakers. This research will support Ed Trust’s policy advocacy agenda at the federal, state, and local levels. We work to ensure success for students of color and students from low-income families, by closing gaps in access to:

  • Strong, diverse educators
  • College and career readiness
  • School funding
  • Equity-centered social, emotional, and academic development
  • Evidence-informed school improvement efforts
  • High-quality early childhood education

Projects will include use of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed method approaches to identify and highlight:

  • Inequities in opportunity (that can be paired with policy recommendations at the federal, state, and local levels to make the case for change)
  • Best practices/bright spots that help us understand what success looks like, why we see success, and how it can be replicated
  • Voices and experiences of students, families, and educators of color and students and families from low-income backgrounds

To execute those projects the Director will:

  • Work with the development team to identify and secure ongoing funding for the work
  • Develop study design including data collection, analysis, and communication of results
  • Collect and analyze data, and publish results
  • Manage and support a small team of 1-2 researcher(s) and intern(s)
  • Work collaboratively with the policy and practice teams (and frequently other aligned organizations) to ensure integrated work that helps advance Ed Trust’s P-12 advocacy agenda.

Shaping the national conversation.

  • Present research, findings, and recommendations in compelling, accessible written form (including writing and editing briefs, memoranda, magazine articles, op-eds, and blog posts)
  • Give presentations to education practitioners, policymakers, advocates, members of the media and others (including testimony, conference presentations, advocacy training sessions, media interviews, and videos)
  • Support senior leadership in communicating the research and recommendations by drafting talking points and statements (in collaboration with the communications team)
  • Cultivate a network of researchers who are leading experts on educational equity issues to inform our work and the work of others

Qualifications and Experience

  • At least 7 years of experience in education research and a master’s degree or PhD in education, statistics, psychology, public policy, or related field
  • A track record of:
    • Success using large data sets to compel diverse groups of people to action (including, via user friendly, jargon-free policy and research briefs/tools)
    • Excellent quantitative and qualitative analytical and research skills
    • Effective team and project management to meet ambitious goals
  • Proven and strong communication and presentation skills with analyst, policymaker, media, and advocate audiences
  • Experience with nimble, iterative research and policy development; excited by – and able to manage – short timeframes, competing priorities, and high-stakes challenges; highly flexible with rapidly shifting needs and priorities
  • Deep understanding of education theory, policy, and data
  • Commitment to getting results and skilled at knowing what it takes to get them, including paying attention to small details, collaborating across teams, anticipating problems, offering creative solutions, driving work forward, and course-correcting when needed

The ideal candidate:

  • Has a passionate commitment to expanding opportunities for students from low-income backgrounds and students of color, and a belief that each student can achieve academically and deserves a high-quality education;
  • Seeks and appreciates feedback on his or her own work, strives for self-improvement and self-reflection
  • Takes initiative
  • Thrives in a highly collaborative work environment


Salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications. The Education Trust offers a comprehensive benefits package.

Apply Here

Please provide a cover letter and resume to be considered for this position. You must combine your cover letter and resume into one document and upload that document. Our application system will not allow you to upload more than one file.

The Education Trust is an Equal Opportunity Employer and encourages diversity in all facets of the organization’s work.