Overview of ACLS
Formed a century ago, the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) is a nonprofit federation of 78 scholarly organizations. As the leading representative of American scholarship in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, ACLS upholds the core principle that knowledge is a public good. In supporting its member organizations, ACLS utilizes its $179 million endowment and $34 million annual operating budget to expand the forms, content, and flow of scholarly knowledge because we value diversity of identity and experience. We collaborate with institutions, associations, and individuals to strengthen the evolving infrastructure for scholarship. In all aspects of our work, ACLS is committed to principles and practices in support of racial and social justice.
ACLS’s strategic plan outlines four strategic priorities: encouraging scholars and scholarship responsive to diverse audiences; strengthening relationships among our core constituencies within the academy and our partners beyond the academy; lifting the public profile of humanistic knowledge; and empowering staff and partners to work responsibly and inclusively.
ACLS is seeking a Research Manager with data gathering and analytic skills who is interested in the structure of higher education, has a particular interest in the humanities and social sciences, and who values diversity and inclusion; the ideal candidate will welcome a fast-paced, dynamic office environment; possess strong attention to detail, and enjoy figuring out creative ways to gather, analyze, and present quantitative and qualitative data.
ACLS works to understand and support forward-looking change in the humanities and social sciences through convening individuals from across our various networks, instigating experiments in change of various kinds in various institutional and networked communities, and sharing the lessons learned from this change-oriented work. The Research Manager will play a key role in working with the President, Vice President, and other ACLS staff to set the agenda for, and support the work of, projects including:
- Compiling a clearinghouse of successful efforts to bolster undergraduate humanities enrollments and/or majors in humanities departments, working with ACLS constituents and partner organizations; .
- Compiling and categorizing institutional reform efforts in graduate admissions, curricular structure, and support services, such a career diversity efforts;
- Researching the evolving landscape in measures of faculty productivity and the evolution in scholarly communications that affect the creation of, dissemination of, and rewards for scholarship in the humanities;
- Gathering evidence about how reward systems succeed or fail to recognize the time and the full range of the work of scholars.
This is a two-year term position.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Conduct background research across multiple policy and practice domains related to higher education and particularly the humanities and social sciences, contributing to policy solutions and specific efforts at institutional change by articulating the key evidence-based takeaways and insights for existing projects as well as proposals for new bodies of work
- Support senior staff in synthesizing research findings to identify and recommend best practices in program or policy interventions, and equip changemakers with guidance in the form of templates, toolkits, blogs, and other accessible products
- Design research approaches for particular projects, selecting appropriate quantitative or qualitative tools of analysis
- Oversee the gathering of data and quality control activities for specific projects, including ensuring the accuracy of data management, analysis, and reporting
- Support the execution of virtual and in-person roundtables, working groups, and other meetings by taking notes, and summarizing action items
- Draft assigned sections of reports, op-eds, blogs, talking points, and presentations for external audiences
- Manage projects to ensure the timely completion and release of research reports and other deliverables in collaboration with colleagues
- Support and prepare senior staff for regular internal and external meetings
- Present research findings and report writing
- Conduct and/or lead focus groups and field research
- Master’s degree or the equivalent in work experience
- An interest in and a capacity for policy and practice analysis across a range of issues related to the issues of scholarship and higher education in humanistic fields, potentially including but not limited to departmental policies, undergraduate and graduate enrollments, faculty research productivity measures, reward structures, racial and socioeconomic equity, and addressing structural racism as a cross-cutting issue
- An emerging understanding of policies, programs, and agencies and an ability to assess the application, outcomes, and impacts of policy proposals and programmatic interventions as they relate to higher education and particularly to the humanities and interpretive social sciences
- The capacity to lead original data collection efforts (e.g., educator surveys, stakeholder interviews, and direct assessment of fellows and other stakeholders)
- Excellent oral and written communication skills with an ability to communicate effectively with diverse internal and external audiences; experience engaging and communicating with external clients and stakeholders a plus
- A commitment to effective project management and the ability to juggle multiple priorities while maintaining attention to detail
- Strong interpersonal skills and comfort working both independently and in team environments supporting collaborative projects
- An ability to adapt to changes in work assignments, deadlines, and project management style
- Demonstrated commitment to racial justice and to developing evidence-based strategies to redress racist and inequitable structures
- Candidates will be required to show proof of being fully vaccinated (including booster) against COVID-19 upon commencing employment. Reasonable accommodations will be considered on a case-by-case basis for exemptions to this requirement in accordance with applicable law.
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