Research Specialist II

Michigan Virtual - Lansing, Michigan - Full time

Starting Pay: $46,977 per year (negotiable based on education & experience)

Position Summary: The primary role of the Research Specialist II is to assist with the planning, development, and execution of educational research projects for Michigan Virtual. Writing and communicating research findings to a variety of audiences including internal staff members and external stakeholders such as parents, school personnel, online learning experts and legislators are a critical part of the researcher’s responsibilities. The Research Specialist II will work closely with the Research Manager and the Director of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute and other team members to complete projects.


  1. Support a wide variety of education research activities, including planning data collection, developing both quantitative and qualitative data instruments, conducting analyses of both quantitative and qualitative data, and developing recommendations for strengthening online and blended teaching and learning;
  2. Co-author and review reports, literature reviews, research articles, policy papers and other documents that provide significant contributions to the field of K-12 online and blended learning and through these activities bring greater attention and credibility to Michigan Virtual as a leader in this space;
  3. Develop and maintain relationships with K-12 online and blended researchers and research- related organizations;
  4. Certify that the research-related materials produced by Michigan Virtual adhere to appropriate professional publication standards;
  5. Represent Michigan Virtual at external meetings, conferences and workshops and serves as a spokesperson on online and blended learning research issues;
  6. Other duties as assigned.


▪Conduct focus group interviews and design surveys to collect input from parents, students, teachers and other educational stakeholders;

▪Present Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute work to internal and external audiences including site visits and conferences;

▪Work collaboratively with other Michigan Virtual staff to complete Institute tasks on time and in adherence with appropriate academic and professional publication standards;

▪Contribute to the creation of social media products, including webinars, podcasts, and blogs to bring greater attention and credibility to Michigan Virtual as a leader in this space.


▪Advanced degree in education (minimum of Master of Education) or equivalent, with preference to expertise in qualitative and/or quantitative educational research methods.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE (minimum requirements):

▪3 to 5 years of general experience in conducting or utilizing research in online and blended learning, preferably with a focus on the K-12 level;

▪Experience with social media production and outreach.


▪Established history of collaboration in the field of K-12 online and blended learning research;

▪Experience and familiarity with state and national online and blended learning education policy;

▪Previous K-12 teaching experience.


▪Evidence of outstanding written and oral communication skills to communicate complex information in non-technical terms that are quickly and easily understood;

▪Demonstrated knowledge of techniques in data collection and data analysis used in educational and psychological research, graphical and tabular representation of data, visualization of data displays, and concepts of statistical inference in educational contexts;

▪Demonstrated ability to conduct focus group interviews and design surveys to collect input from parents, students, teachers and other educational stakeholders;

▪Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively across cultural boundaries and work harmoniously with diverse groups of stakeholders, students, teachers, and staff;

▪Demonstrated commitment to contribute to a safe work environment;

▪Working knowledge of Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint);

▪Ability to work a standard forty-hour week in the Michigan Virtual office in Lansing, MI.


▪Experience in grant writing and reporting

▪Experience communicating with K-12 education teachers and school leaders.

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Experience Level

Mid Level

Michigan Virtual

Improving Learning, Improving Lives Michigan Virtual is a  nonprofit corporation with a mission to Advance K-12 digital learning and teaching through research, practice, and partnerships. The Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute  examines and promotes best practices in digital learning. 

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