Buck Institute for Education - Novato, California or Remote - Full time

Title: Researcher

Reports to: Senior Director of Research & Evidence

Organization Summary

The Buck Institute for Education (BIE), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization headquartered in Northern California, is the industry leader in providing professional development and support services related to Project Based Learning (PBL). BIE creates, collects, and shares high-quality PBL tools and resources with K-12 teachers and leaders across the country. At BIE, we believe that all students—no matter where they live or what their background—should have access to quality PBL instruction to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. We seek to build a multi-talented staff who are passionate about equity in education. At the end of 2016, BIE launched an ambitious new strategic plan that provides a clear roadmap for ensuring equitable, consistent, and positive student outcomes while also creating the evidence base for further adoption of PBL.

Position Summary

The Researcher will work under the supervision of the Senior Director of Research and Evidence on a wide range of research and data-related projects focused on examining the effectiveness and efficacy of BIE’s professional services. BIE is seeking a Researcher with a strong background in research, analytical, and problem-solving skills to help BIE launch our newly-crafted Research & Evidence Strategic Priority plan that sets BIE’s research agenda for through 2021.

The Researcher will work alongside colleagues, including a current Senior Director of Research & Evidence to support the implementation of key research and evidence strategic actions across BIE. Responsibilities include serving as the lead researcher on a range of research projects that may include secondary data-analysis, large dataset creation/analysis, literature reviews, field experiments, and original surveys. The Researcher's tasks include producing research designs, analytic plans, methodology documentations, datasets, reports, fact sheets, formal and informal research briefs and press releases on timely and relevant topics, often in close collaboration with BIE colleagues. The Researcher will assist with research grant proposals writing and support the development of partners and funding sources for research projects.


  • Design and conduct research and evaluation aligned to BIE’s Research & Evidence Strategic Priority Plan, including collecting and analyzing data, using a variety of quantitative methods as well as alternative methods for using student work and authentic artifacts as evidence
  • Lead the design, development and use of systems for archiving research and collecting and reporting on data, including: controlling access, and ensuring data quality and security
  • Manage process for creating, distributing, analyzing, and reporting data across several projects
  • Support the translation of research evidence into practice within BIE and district partners, uncovering areas for improvement
  • Support the design of an integrated data plan that describes data collection and methodologies across current and future projects
  • Manage and fulfill incoming quantitative data analysis and reporting requests, including the creation of blogs, research briefs, white papers, and reports to a variety of stakeholders, including district and school leaders, teachers, and parents
  • Collaborate and communicate with multiple internal teams that need data for planning and decision making
  • Lead internal cross-team meetings focused on data and outcomes
  • Gather and summarize research on BIE-related approaches and practices
  • Support the development of partnerships and funding sources
  • Write and present academic articles, issue briefs, summaries, conference papers and other products to a variety of audiences
  • Where appropriate, contribute to grant development and report writing
  • Assist BIE in developing processes, tools, and products to enhance the future direction
  • Attend regular staff meetings and onsite Home Weeks
  • Other responsibilities as needed

Qualifications and Abilities:

  • A doctorate degree in a relevant field (education, psychology, or related field)
  • Experience designing and conducting research on Project Based Learning (PBL) or other student-centered or deeper learning practices and/or professional development
  • Enthusiasm for using alternative methods to collect and analyze data that show what students and adults know and can do as a result of PBL
  • Research experience in a professional setting where meeting quick deadlines and working collaboratively in teams is common
  • Comfort with multiple projects and delegating and receiving tasks, and making decisions about research and analytic design choices in collaboration with others
  • Experience with developing and executing surveys
  • Organizational skills that demonstrate her/his ability to handle multiple tasks, timelines and priorities in a team environment
  • Exceptional analytical and conceptual thinking skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively with multiple audience, including practitioners and scholars through writing, oral presentations, and graphs
  • Ability to produce reliable, accurate, and readable research products on short deadlines
  • Ability to work collaboratively with BIE colleagues from varied backgrounds and to interact with practitioners of diverse backgrounds, views, and positions
  • Ability to teach basic research and data analysis methods to colleagues
  • Proficiency with data analysis software
  • Excellent oral, analytic, organizational, and interpersonal skills are required; writing as demonstrated in the candidate’s own writing and publications is essential
  • Familiarity with the national K-12 context
  • Integrity, a positive attitude, and self-direction
  • A team player who can interrelate and operate effectively with peers and other associates within a collegial, yet demanding, work environment
  • Strong work ethic and demonstrated passion for BIE's mission and commitment to working collaboratively with a team of senior professionals
  • A belief that equity and inclusion is critical for our students and for BIE

Reporting & Relationships

The Researcher reports to the Senior Director of Research & Evidence.


BIE headquarters is located in Novato, CA. This position requires travel to key meetings, events, and conferences. Remote home office candidates are ideal.

Compensation / Benefits

This is a fixed-term, full time position with full health benefits (including medical, vision and dental), generous retirement contribution, life and disability insurance and an internet and cell phone stipend. BIE offers a competitive salary (commensurate with experience) and a generous benefits package. BIE is a dog-friendly working environment. This fixed term position has secure funding for one (1) year. Based on future funding, job performance and organizational needs, this position may be extended beyond this term.

We are actively seeking diverse candidates. Buck Institute for Education is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, veteran status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status or disability (in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act) with respect to employment opportunities.

Application Instructions:

If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit your resume and a compelling cover letter to You must reference "Researcher application" in the subject line of your email. BIE will contact you if there is a match between the job requirements and your skill set. Please do not contact the employer.

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Experience Level

Mid Level

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