Current Opportunities


Work for the Leader in Early Childhood Education

Clayton Early Learning is one of the nation's leaders in early childhood education, dedicated to improving the quality of learning that children experience before they begin kindergarten. When we have positions available, we seek early childhood professionals who want to spread their wings, share their talents, work collaboratively with other leaders in early childhood and actively incorporate research-based strategies into improving their practice.

Senior Research Associate

Department: Research & Evaluation
Location: Denver, CO


"Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose." - Zora Neale Hurston

 Senior Research Associate

 Reports to: Director, Research and Evaluation           Classification: Exempt

 Hours: Full time: 8:00AM - 5:00PM


 Assess program implementation and performance using rigorous qualitative and quantitative social science research methods, partner with programs to design and carry out evaluation strategies, provide essential database, data management, dashboard solutions and other reporting tools essential to assessing program operations and effectiveness.


 We are looking for candidates that have strengths in three or more areas (in priority order):

  1.  Quantitative Analysis
  2. Data Systems and Programming (e.g., databases, programming)

  3. Implementation Science and Research (e.g., isolating effective program practices, conducting fidelity studies.)

  4. Data Utilization, Visualization and Design (e.g., educator rapport, data dialogues, graphics, and web design)

  5. Qualitative Analysis


 Minimum education: MA/MS required. Degree in Education, Educational Research Methods, Human Development & Family Studies, Psychology or a related field preferred. Doctoral degree preferred.


  •  Minimum of 5 years research experience, including experience as a research or evaluation project manager or coordinator, statistical analyst, database manager and/or programmer.
  • Significant experience in the field of early childhood education, particularly as it relates to research, evaluation, implementation science, policy, and/or data utilization.

  • Strong expertise with designing and carrying out qualitative and quantitative data collection methodologies.

  • Skilled in advanced quantitative research methods, with expertise in at least one of the following areas: survey methods, propensity score matching, regression discontinuity design, survival analysis, multi-level modeling, difference in differences, or others.

  • Statistical and data management expertise required (i.e., the general linear model, multivariate procedures, sampling, weighting, merging and linking databases). Competency with at least one statistical package (e.g., SPSS) is required. Expertise with matching data sets and manipulating large amounts of data from multiple sources.

  • Experience working with programming tools and interactive reporting and dashboard systems such as SQL and Crystal Reports. Collaboration with IT department on developing solutions. Significant computer expertise is required, specifically in a Windows environment with experience in Excel, Access, Word, and Outlook. Preference for both wide and deep knowledge of online and network database solutions and linking systems.


  •  Conduct and oversee evaluation projects that apply qualitative and quantitative methods to assess programs and initiatives within and outside of the organization, drawing upon primary and secondary data including administrative data housed at Clayton, Denver Public Schools, and other sites.
  • Lead evaluations and perform major project tasks, including formulating research questions, writing evaluation plans and scopes of work, designing data collection and analytic plans, establishing and managing project timelines, and leading project deliverables.

  • Engage in collaborative relationships with partners and stakeholders to design and conduct implementation and outcome evaluation projects. This includes involving others in planning and design, as well as collecting, processing, managing, and sharing student-, classroom-, and organizational-level data.

  • Present evaluation findings and recommendations in briefings, reports, and presentations to lay and academic stakeholder audiences such as program staff, directors and executive leadership, professional associations, and other external organizations; prepare manuscripts for publication in academic journals.

  • Supervise and mentor departmental staff and support job-specific professional development. Supervise rigorous, high-quality child, parent and staff survey data collection. Provide effective frameworks for scheduling and completing data collection activities with instructional teams in early childhood settings.

  •  Participate in statewide and Clayton-wide committees and task forces aligned with Clayton’s strategic goals.

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