E-mail this job posting to a friend ( does not retain e-mail addresses)

Your e-mail address:

Recipient's e-mail address:
(separate additional e-mail addresses with commas):
Answer the following question: Is ice hot or cold?:
Company: Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism
Seeking Senior Researcher
District of Columbia
Job Status:  Full-time
Ad Expires: 
January 17, 2013
Job ID: 1456407


Senior Researcher Position Summary

The Senior Researcher works directly with the Director, Deputy Director and Associate Director in shaping the Project's research agenda and implementing research objectives. Senior Researchers must be able to work independently in developing, implementing and reporting on stand-alone or longer-term projects, as well as working in teams in a strongly collaborative environment.

This position in particular involves substantial knowledge and skill in statistics, survey and other methodologies and data analysis. It also involves substantial editorial judgment in the interpretation and description of survey findings. The Pew Research Center's reputation for straightforward explanation and assiduous impartiality is grounded in an editorial style and institutional voice that must be applied consistently by all senior writers. The voice of the Project and the Center is grounded in a set of principles, not in the style of individual authors or writers.

At the same time, Senior Researchers must work closely within the team environment, participating in all levels of the research process from the most mundane to the most challenging. The responsibilities include developing research ideas, exploring different methods for answering those research questions, data management and problem-solving, and the analysis and reporting of different research techniques, including survey methods. In all of these roles, Senior Researchers must combine analytical rigor, creativity, a tireless attention to detail and the highest standards of quality control.

The Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism has a relatively "flat" hierarchy, so a Senior Researcher may or may not have any direct managerial responsibilities. However, candidates for this position must provide leadership to other team members with maturity, diplomacy and a cooperative spirit, and will play a lead role in training new staff and developing the skills of other co-workers. The Senior Researcher also demonstrates a clear understanding of the Center's strategic goals and the ability to carry out work in support of those goals independent of senior staff guidance. Senior Researchers also may regularly represent the Center externally, whether in the media, professional organizations, government or other forums.

Primary Responsibilities

Project Planning, Development and Management (42%)

Work side-by-side with the senior staff in developing, overseeing and managing research projects. For surveys, this includes questionnaire development, fieldhouse communications, and the assembly of material for reports, archiving and distribution.

  • Framing research projects
  • Allocating resources and staff time to best meet project objectives
  • Background/literature research and archival survey searching
  • Quality checking of data and technical issues related to the project
  • Managing and overseeing communications with outside vendors if used
  • Serving as the final check on data quality, data coding, and other data management issues

Research, Analysis and Reporting (42%)

Work closely with the senior staff and other team members in interpreting data, making editorial judgments about priorities and writing reports. This includes statistical analysis, graphics production, and writing reports and commentaries based on survey results.

  • Advanced statistical analysis of data
  • Graphics design and implementation
  • Clear editorial judgment
  • Writing reports and commentaries based on survey results
  • Number checking and report quality control

Training and Staff Development (11%)

The Senior Researcher works closely with all staff members, and seeks opportunities to develop technical, editorial and research skills among both junior and senior staff.

External Communications (5%)

The Senior Researcher handles requests for information from reporters and other interested parties. Depending on their personal preferences and abilities, Senior Researchers also may regularly represent the Center externally, whether in the media, professional organizations, government or other forums.


  • M.A. degree with extensive survey research experience is required, PhD preferred.
  • Established background in applied survey development and analysis
  • Established record of publication and/or editorial performance
  • Track record of successful project management experience

Knowledge and Skill Requirements

  • Editorial judgment and proven ability to communicate survey results clearly and concisely in Pew's style in both verbal and written form
  • Skilled in project development and management
  • Strong quantitative and statistical skills, including strong facility with SPSS syntax and other statistical tools
  • Detail oriented with exacting standards to maintain accuracy and impartiality in all work products
  • Ability to work independently to carry out special projects from start to finish
  • Ability to balance numerous tasks simultaneously
  • Background in Social Science research
  • Clear capacity to train and develop skills in co-workers
  • Ability to work well in a team setting and take a leadership role in managing the work of colleagues when needed

Application Procedure

Applicant should send a complete resume and cover letter (indicating where you learned of the opening) to:

Ms. April McWilliams
Human Resources Director
Pew Research Center
1615 L Street, NW Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036

Responses can also be faxed to 202-419-4339 or e-mailed to

We are an equal opportunity employer.



When applying, mention that you saw this opening listed at

Job ads copyrighted by -- © 1998-2009