Co-directed by Dana Suskind (Biological Sciences Division), and John List (Economics), the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health aspires to create a population-level shift in the knowledge and behavior of parents and caregivers to optimize the foundational brain development in children, birth to five years of age, particularly those born into poverty. The TMW Center has conducted 12 randomized control, quasi-experimental and implementation trials to date and plans to continue its active randomized control and implementation trials, including ongoing data collection and analysis in the coming years. In addition to evaluation of its research projects, the Center will continue to adapt and validate the Scale of Parent/Provider Expectations and Knowledge (SPEAK), a tool designed to assess expectations and knowledge of early childhood cognitive and language development, for early childhood educators. Another emerging line of inquiry is the use of ‘big data’ and machine learning to better understand the population-level impact of interventions, what works and with whom and to better ‘personalize’ or target future programs. Within the vibrant research environment of the TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health and the University of Chicago, the Research Professional (RP) will, in close collaboration with the Co-Director and Principal Investigator, Dr. Suskind, lead the development of the SPEAK scale as a computer adaptive test. The position entails building upon past research and application of the SPEAK scale to oversee and manage the design, build-out, and calibration of its computer adaptive test for research, clinical, and programmatic work. This position will work collaboratively with internal and external research partners to leverage SPEAK CAT capabilities and functionalities to allow large scale use of the SPEAK across practice settings and research disciplines. Additionally, the RP will develop and contribute to publications and presentations, and present results from the SPEAK CAT at early childhood, education, and public health conferences and symposiums. Opportunities for collaborative research, related to SPEAK CAT development under guidance of PI, will be available. This position requires a commitment of at least 3 years.
Responsible for all aspects of research projects and research facilities. Plans and conducts clinical and non-clinical research; facilitates and monitors daily activities of clinical trials or research projects. Directs engineering and technical support activities to develop and maintain tools and computational methods needed to gather and analyze data.
Career Track and Job Level
Facilitates and promotes a research project or contributes to the scientific direction of a research resource.
P1: Performs routine assignments in the entry level to a professional job progression. Typically requires a college or university degree or the equivalent work experience that provides knowledge and exposure to fundamental theories, principles and concepts. Develops competence by performing structured work assignments. Uses existing procedures to solve routine or standard problems. Receives instruction, guidance and direction from others.
The job performs routine assignments that facilitate and promote a research project or contributes to the scientific direction of a research resource. Receives instruction, guidance, and direction from others.
1) Performs experiments and collects and analyzes data. Participates in the promotion of a research project., 2) Participates in the preparation and writing of grant applications and reports, and co-authors/authors scientific research manuscripts. Provides peer review of grant applications and scientific manuscripts., 3) Collaborates on development of new research projects with academic and community-based organizations., 4) May present work at scientific meetings., 5) Performs other related work as needed.
1) Develop and manage comprehensive project plan for SPEAK CAT development with input from Primary Investigator, TMW Research Director, and other senior TMW Center leadership.
2) At the direction of the Principal Investigator, and in coordination with collaborating psychometricians and content experts, manage the development of the SPEAK CAT tool, including but not limited to: Creation and testing of new survey items and Identification of the testing and analysis needed to validate and norm the tool.
3) Recruit, coordinate, and manage the progress and quality of work outputs of collaborators and expert reviewers working to build and give feedback to the development of the SPEAK CAT.
4) Coordinate and lead regular meetings and convenings between collaborators, TMW Center senior leaders, and the SPEAK CAT team in service of development of the SPEAK CAT tool.
5) Serve as the primary liaison for external partners interested in using the SPEAK CAT.
6) Develop cognitive interviewing protocols to validate test items; consult with Research Ops Team to train TMW Center field staff to conduct cognitive interviews.
7) Conduct analysis related to the development and testing of the SPEAK CAT (including analyzing psychometrics), publish and present research findings in collaboration with Co-Directors.
8) Design protocol for testing the SPEAK CAT tool and work with others on TMW Center staff to ensure TMW Tech Platform can support SPEAK CAT.
9) Manage ongoing SPEAK CAT research agenda in collaboration with Principal Investigator.
10) Author scientific publications related to SPEAK CAT development in collaboration with the PI.
11) Present results from the SPEAK CAT at early childhood, education, and public health conferences and symposiums.
1) Excellent organizational, qualitative, and analytical skills with high-level of accuracy and sharp attention to detail.
2) Superior interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of individuals and constituencies in a diverse professional environment.
3) Ability to effectively manage a heavy workload, competing priorities, and tight deadlines.
4) A quick, self-learner with ability to initiate, organize, prioritize and complete multiple, high-level projects; and work effectively with minimal supervision in a fast-paced environment.
5) Strong computer skills including ability to work with data sets and data visualization.
6) Ability to work both independently and as a member of a team.
7) Ability to communicate research findings clearly to multiple audiences through oral presentations and written work.
1) Ph.D. in Psychology, Child Development, or a related field.
1) Two or more years of relevant research experience.
2) Experience and expertise in child development, developmental psychology, and early childhood education.
Technical Knowledge or Skills
1) Knowledge of SPSS, Stata, and/or R.
2) Knowledge of REDCap.
3) Expertise in Tableau or another data visualization tool.
2) Cover Letter (include earliest available start date)
3) Research Statement
1) Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit up to three published or unpublished research papers.
NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application and should be named as 'LastName_FirstName_TMW_RP'.
Internal Number: JR08449
About TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health, University of Chicago
The TMW Center for Early Learning + Public Health is an interdisciplinary research institute at the University of Chicago that advances a novel public health approach to prevent early cognitive disparities and achieve impact at scale.