Project: Global TIES for Children/ECD in Emergency & Conflict
Title: Research Scientist, ECDEC
Division/Department: Steinhardt/IHDSC – Global TIES for Children
Reports to: Dr. Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Principal Investigator
Work Location: New York University, New York - with opportunities for travel
Work Schedule: Full-time (100%)
Salary (Pay Range): Commensurate with experience
Benefits Eligible: Yes
Paid Time Off: Yes
Start/End Date: As early as April 1, 2020 for 1-year contract (Possibility of annual contract renewal contingent upon satisfactory performance and availability of funding)
Global TIES for Children - Early Childhood Development in Emergency & Conflict (ECDEC)
About ECDEC's Play to Learn and Ahlan Simsim Initiatives
The Rohingya and Syrian refugee crises are two of the defining humanitarian issues of our time, with millions displaced due to conflict and war. In addition, we know from decades of research that all children need nurturing care, a comforting routine, and opportunities to learn through play in the critical first years of life. Yet only about 3 percent of humanitarian assistance goes to education, and only a tiny sliver of that 3 percent to early childhood development services.
The Play to Learn initiative is a partnership between Sesame Workshop, BRAC, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and NYU Global TIES for Children to develop, provide and evaluate high-quality early childhood development services and mass media for young children in Rohingya refugee families in Cox's Bazar. Ahlan Simsim is a partnership between Sesame Workshop, the IRC, and NYU Global TIES for Children to develop, provide and evaluate high-quality early childhood development services and mass media for young children in Syrian refugee families in the Middle East. Research for these projects are implemented in three countries in the Middle East -- Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq – and in Cox's Bazar district, Bangladesh. These partnerships are funded by a $100 million grant from the LEGO Foundation (Play to Learn) and the inaugural 100&Change award from the MacArthur Foundation (Ahlan Simsim). NYU Global TIES for Children is leading the external evaluations of the programming in these projects, including formative and implementation research, impact evaluations, and a large longitudinal prenatal-cohort study in Bangladesh.
We partner with Sesame Workshop, BRAC and the IRC to bring the most rigorous qualitative and quantitative evidence to bear on how to best serve families and children in these communities. We pay special attention to measurement of multiple domains of early childhood development, as well as observational measurement of the quality of implementation of programming in homes, centers, and communities.
The project team includes Hirokazu Yoshikawa (Principal Investigator), Alice J. Wuermli (Co-PI), Lizzie Goodfriend (Project Managing Director), J. Lawrence Aber (Co-Investigator), and research partners at BRAC, IRC and Sesame Workshop.
The successful candidate will act as a member of the projects' leadership team, taking lead responsibility for the overall direction and implementation of at least one of the discrete studies and providing relevant technical and scientific input across the breadth of studies under the Play to Learn and Ahlan Simsim initiatives. The project is specifically looking for candidates with expertise in Global Early Childhood Development, specifically direct assessments of early child development (ECD) and/or observational assessments of service / program quality. Areas of child measurement include play-based learning; social-emotional development; and early cognitive, language, numeracy, and executive function skills (across ages 0-6). Areas of quality measurement include observational measures of adult-guided play and playfulness in settings that include groups of children with a facilitator or teacher; facilitated groups of parents / caregivers with their children; formal preschool classrooms; and home-based visits to support responsive caregiving, nurturing care and parent well-being.
The successful candidate will report directly to the senior leadership of Play to Learn and Ahlan Simsim at NYU Global TIES, and will work in close collaboration with Sesame Workshop as well as the IRC, BRAC, and IPA teams on the ground. The successful candidate will be joining a team of 12 staff, and will have the opportunity to collaborate with a number of affiliated researchers at NYU as well as other research institutions.
This position requires travel to Bangladesh and/or the Middle East.
The incumbent will perform the following activities:
Liaising with relevant project staff at NYU, SW, IRC, and BRAC, provide overall direction for one or more studies, acting as the primary coordination focal point for the assigned study.
Act as cross-cutting scientific advisor and support in candidate's area of technical expertise to other studies, as required.
Participate in review and selection of appropriate measures.
Liaise with relevant research counterparts on in-country data collection and research teams* to ensure final study designs and planning account for project needs and field realities.
Train enumerators for reliable on-the-ground data collection by teams of in-country research staff. *
Working closely with relevant internal and external counterparts, oversee data collection activities, data quality assurance, data cleaning, data analyses.
Conduct literature reviews on topics relevant to the studies.
Conduct psychometric and predictive analyses.
Prepare Human Subjects Review / IRB applications and amendments.
Ensure compliance with ethical requirements of each partner organization as well as NYU, and ensure client safety through close collaboration with on-the-ground research teams.
Travel as needed to sites in the Middle East or Bangladesh.
Prepare project reports, briefs and correspondence for internal and external dissemination.
Prepare presentations for conferences and manuscripts for academic journal publication.
* In the Middle East our data collection partners are the IRC. In Bangladesh our data collection partner is Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). NYU Global TIES works with the data collection teams hired by the IRC and IPA in training and supervision of data collection waves.
We are seeking applications from candidates with demonstrated expertise in the field of Global Early Childhood Development. The successful candidate is likely to hold a graduate degree in a relevant social science field (e.g., human development, psychology, international education, international development, public policy, public/global health) and have several years of professional experience working on ECD research projects in low-and middle-income countries and/or humanitarian contexts.
Demonstrated expertise include but are not limited to:
Research in Global ECD, including a solid grasp of appropriate methods and measures commonly used across diverse cultural contexts, and familiarity with procedures for translating and adapting measures to different populations and contexts;
Experience training data collectors to reliability on a range of child development assessments, and implementing data quality assurance protocols;
Management of large-scale research projects (ability to track and integrate a myriad of interdependent moving pieces in a large, dynamic, fast-paced, multi-country, multi-partner initiative);
Data management and statistical analysis using STATA, MPlus, R and/or other multivariate statistical software;
Implementation research on workforce characteristics and relations to quality and caregiver and/or child outcomes; experience informing and contributing to M&E systems;
Ability to work independently, and in a multidisciplinary, multi-country team;
Excellent organization skills and attention to detail;
Excellent written and oral language skills in English.
Additional language skills in Bangla, Chittagonian, or Arabic strongly preferred.
Strong command of Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel; EndNote; Google suite (including mail, calendar, etc.).
The ideal candidate will also have a background in international development or humanitarian assistance; a robust understanding of program evaluation using longitudinal, experimental or quasi-experimental designs; experience with psychometric analyses, including item-response theory (IRT) and factor analytic techniques (both exploratory and confirmatory), structural equation modeling, and G (generalizability) studies; and experience preparing and using electronic survey or data collection systems (e.g., Qualtrics, ODK, Ona, Tangerine).
The position will be based at NYU New York.
About Global TIES for Children
Global TIES for Children is a university-based center with researchers across NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York. At New York University's Global TIES for Children we design, evaluate and advise on programs and policies to improve the lives of children and youth in the most vulnerable regions across the globe. Led by University Professors J. Lawrence Aber and Hirokazu Yoshikawa, we work with some of the world's leading non-governmental organizations and with governments in low-income (LI) and conflict-affected (CA) countries on developing and evaluating innovative approaches to promoting the health, education, and social development of children and their communities. Together with our key strategic partner organizations, our work leverages cutting-edge scientific methods and interdisciplinary collaboration to:
Generate actionable evidence to promote child and youth development by conducting and evaluating powerful strategies to transform relevant
Internal Number: 74674
About New York University
Founded in 1831, New York University is now one of the largest private universities in the United States. Of the more than 3,000 colleges and universities in America, New York University is one of only 60 member institutions of the distinguished Association of American Universities.