Director of P-12 Research

Based in Washington DC, the Director of P-12 Research will report to the VP for P-12 Policy, Practice, and Research, lead a team of 3-5, and serve as a leadership member of the P-12 team.

The Director of P-12 Research designs, manages and carries out the organization’s P-12 education research agenda on topics such as equity focused social-emotional and academic development and college and career readiness. The Director also supervises a mid-size team of researchers and represents the organization with a wide range of external stakeholders, including funders, advocates, educators, policymakers, media, and other researchers. Successful candidates will be passionate about Ed Trust’s mission for education equity and have strong relationship-building skills to forge trusting partnerships inside and outside the organization with an ability to drive both quantitative and qualitative research projects to completion on time and on-budget.

About the Organization

Ed Trust is comprised of fierce advocates for the high academic achievement of all students — pre-kindergarten through college, particularly those of color or living in poverty. Through research and advocacy, Ed Trust’s goal is to close the gaps in opportunity and achievement that affect millions of young people across the U.S. — especially students of color and those from low-income families. We work alongside educators, policymakers, parents, and community and business leaders across the country to advocate transforming schools and colleges into institutions that serve all students well. Lessons learned in these efforts, together with unflinching data analyses, help shape our state and national policy agendas.

Major Responsibilities

Major responsibilities for this role include but are not limited to the following:

  • Setting 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 and 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
    • Opportunity to achieve college and career readiness
    • School funding
    • Equity-centered social, emotional, and academic development practices
    • Evidence-informed assessment and accountability efforts
    • High-quality early childhood education
  • Designing research projects that include 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)
    • Evidence-informed and equity-centered solutions (both practice and policy) that can help eliminate inequities
    • Voices and assets of students, families, and educators of color and students and families from low-income backgrounds
  • Leading the research team to achieve mission-impact by:
    • Managing and supporting a team of 3 – 5 researchers and interns by providing content expertise, project management, and clear, unbiased, actionable feedback
    • Embedding diversity, equity and inclusion priorities within the team, building shared ownership
    • Ensuring team member goals align to the departmental goals and work plan and delegating effectively
    • Assessing the performance of team members through regular feedback, check-ins, and annual performance reviews using tools to mitigate against implicit bias
    • Supporting the growth and development of team members through professional development and coaching
  • Shaping the national conversation by:
    • Presenting research, findings, and recommendations in compelling, accessible written form (including writing and editing briefs, memoranda, magazine articles, op-eds, and blog posts)
    • Giving presentations to education practitioners, policymakers, advocates, members of the media and others (including testimony, conference presentations, advocacy training sessions, media interviews, and videos)
    • Supporting senior leadership in communicating the research and recommendations by drafting talking points and statements (in collaboration with the communications team)
    • Cultivating a network of researchers who are leading experts on educational equity issues to inform our work and the work of others

Qualifications and Experience

The ideal candidate will possess the following 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 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
  • Deep understanding of P-12 education theory, policy, and data
  • Ability to use 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
  • Experience with nimble, iterative research and policy development; excited by – and able to manage flexibly– short timeframes, competing priorities, and high-stakes challenges
  • Experience building and developing diverse, inclusive teams grounded in trusting relationships to support team member growth and achieve mission impact
  • Effective project management skills to deliver work on time and on budget through detail-orientation, collaboration across teams, problem anticipation and mitigation
  • Proven and strong communication and presentation skills with analyst, policymaker, media, and advocate audiences


The annual salary for this position starts at $130,000 and will be commensurate with experience. The Education Trust offers a competitive benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision benefits as well as a 403(b) retirement plan.

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.

At The Education Trust, the health and safety of our employees is of the utmost importance. As such, all Education Trust employees are required to be fully vaccinated and remain up to date on their vaccinations for COVID-19. New hires should be fully vaccinated and up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations prior to their first day of work. Requests for accommodations due to medical or religious reasons will be reviewed by Human Resources.

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