Sr. Research Officer

Oregon Community Foundation | Portland, OR

Posted Date 4/20/2021

Oregon Community Foundation

Senior Research Officer

Location: Portland, OR

Application Deadline: 5/10/2021


Since 1973, the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) has pursued a mission to improve lives for all Oregonians through the power of philanthropy. The Foundation invites Oregonians with different perspectives to come together around the shared value of giving back. We work with individuals, families, businesses and organizations to create charitable funds that support the community causes they care about. These funds support the critical work that nonprofits are doing across Oregon. Our headquarters are in Portland, with regional offices in Bend, Eugene, Salem, and Medford, Oregon.

Primary Purpose:

The Senior Research Officer works as part of a collaborative, innovative and dynamic team directing, conducting and disseminating research and analysis of Oregon’s pressing issues and evaluation of OCF’s own programs and initiatives to inform OCF’s priorities, activities and operations. The focus of research and evaluation projects is driven by OCF’s priority areas and programs as well as by donor interests.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

A. Plan and manage Research & Evaluation Projects Percentage of Time 30%

  • In coordination with OCF’s Research Director, plan and direct all aspects of multiple research and evaluation projects (typically between 5 and 8) of varying scopes. Establish timelines, ensure timely and quality work products and manage project budgets. Ensure effective and efficient use of resources.
  • Develop and oversee development of research and evaluation plans, logic models, and data collection instruments, building on or adapting existing tools and creating new tools when needed.
  • Collaborate with OCF staff, donors and other stakeholders to ensure relevance and usefulness of research and evaluation efforts.
  • Manage data collection, data entry and data management conducted by research branch staff and contractors.
  • Build relationships with local, regional and national research, evaluation and content area experts and select, guide, and monitor the work of independent contractors.
  • Build trusting and professional relationships with foundation staff and leaders, grantee staff and leaders, donors and other external stakeholders in support of research and evaluation goals.
  • Apply professional evaluation standards and principles of equitable evaluation across all projects.
  • Work innovatively and collaboratively to solve problems for individual projects as needed.

B. Collect & Analyze Research & Evaluation Data Percentage of Time 25%

  • Coordinate and conduct multiple methods of data collection, including conducting interviews, administering surveys, conducting focus groups, working with administrative data sets, and conducting program observations.
  • Conduct site visits to grantee organizations and communities around the state of Oregon.
  • Complete literature reviews on topics related to OCF’s priorities and programs.
  • Create and maintain Excel and SPSS data files, coordinate data entry, and ensure data quality and integrity.
  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative data analysis.

C. Report & Disseminate Research Findings Percentage of Time: 25%

  • In collaboration with program staff, develop actionable research and evaluation findings that support learning and improvement, including internal recommendations for OCF and external recommendations for other stakeholders as appropriate.
  • Develop and oversee development of products and reports in multiple formats and for multiple audiences including the OCF board, grantees, general public, and field at large.
  • Use creative and innovative ways to communicate findings and lessons learned that are audience appropriate.
  • Present research and evaluation study findings to OCF staff, board, grantees, donors and volunteers.
  • Represent the foundation in presenting findings externally, such as through speeches, conference presentations and publications.

D. Support Learning and Application Percentage of Time: 15%

  • Stay apprised of current research and evaluation practices and required competencies, maintaining networks with expert resources on various topics related to research and evaluation, and curating and sharing resources internally to support organizational and professional learning inside the foundation.
  • Design and lead engaging learning opportunities and provide one-on-one support to nonprofit organizations, OCF staff, donors and volunteers.
  • Support OCF staff, board, grantees, donors and volunteers in using and understanding data to make good decisions.
  • Support and collaborate with research, and program team members in applying or developing new or emerging research and evaluation tools, techniques, and approaches as appropriate.
  • Contribute to and participate in internal foundation groups and cross-functional teams as needed and in support of branch and department goals.
  • Cultivate relationships with practitioners, thought leaders, funding partners, and within professional associations to advance the use and usefulness of research and evaluation projects in broader fields as appropriate.

E. Supervisory Responsibilities Percentage of Time: 5%

  • Hire, train and supervise temporary research assistants for specific projects as needed.

F. Marginal or Non-Essential Job Duties:

  • Participate in statewide efforts to advance branch and department priorities as appropriate

Required Cultural Values: In addition to the specific job requirements for each position, staff are expected to embody certain cultural values to support OCF’s mission: communicate effectively, value one another, demonstrate accountability, embrace possibilities, address conflict and take action.

Required Education, Skills, Training and Experience and Skills

Studies have shown that women and people of color are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are most interested in finding the best candidate for the job, and that candidate may be one who comes from a less traditional background. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to think broadly about your background and qualifications for the role.

  • At least 7 years’ experience in applied research or evaluation, ideally in either the social or philanthropic sector.
  • At least 3 years’ experience managing research projects and cross-site program evaluations including coordinating project teams and data collection and ensuring timely and high-quality deliverables.
  • Master's degree in social sciences, public administration, or public policy.
  • Relevant content-area expertise in the fields of education, youth development, children and family services, the arts, environment and/or community engagement preferred.
  • Experience crafting research and evaluation approaches at the strategy or portfolio-level, in addition to for programs.
  • Experience in gathering, analyzing and summarizing qualitative and quantitative data to generate useful findings, including experience with collaborative or participatory approaches.
  • Learning and analytic mindset – intellectual curiosity and motivation to quickly come up to speed on current and future priority areas.
  • Comfortable with ambiguous and/or complex situations.
  • Outstanding writing and verbal communication skills; ability to translate technical language and complicated ideas into language easily comprehensible to non-specialists.
  • Demonstrated public speaking experience, ability to present research and evaluation findings to varied audiences and ability to speak before large audiences.
  • Cultural agility skills necessary to work effectively with diverse people, teams, and communities.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity-focused research and evaluation with expertise in or a desire to learn about culturally responsive and equitable evaluation practices and approaches.
  • Experience facilitating learning and providing evaluation technical assistance and capacity building to foundation staff and/or nonprofit organizations including through trainings, webinars and one-on-one assistance.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and to lead, motivate and inspire teams.
  • Broad knowledge in research and evaluation design, methodology, and instrumentation, including experience with collaborative or participatory approaches.
  • Strong project and time management skills, able to prioritize and manage several projects concurrently, coordinating teams at every level of an organization or in communities.
  • Ability to navigate and cultivate broad professional networks and resources to support innovative research and evaluation practice.
  • Demonstrated creativity in research or evaluation reporting, including high-quality data visualization skills.
  • Ability to work independently and take initiative to complete tasks, demonstrate accountability, discretion critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Working knowledge of relevant national and local datasets, current applied research and evaluation practice, and/or trends in philanthropic strategy.
  • Strong interest in nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, community foundations, and civic engagement; some work or volunteer experience in nonprofit organizations preferred.
  • Quantitative data analysis skills, including advanced Excel skills and experience with SPSS, R or other statistical analysis software. Experience with Tableau and/or ArcGIS beneficial but not required.
  • Experience with design software (e.g. In Design) beneficial but not required.
  • Ability to learn quickly to use other software including foundation specific software and data analysis tools.
  • Strong knowledge of MS Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint and Teams. Experience working in a network environment with an integrated database.

Physical Demands and Working Conditions: This job is typically performed under very comfortable working conditions; any disagreeable elements are general absent during normal performance of the job. Job duties are performed in an office setting or indoor meeting rooms. Requires some periods using computer and monitor and may require prolonged sitting. Requires ability to operate motor vehicle.

The physical effort typically applied in this job includes: Carrying, keying/typing, and driving.

The amount of effort typically applied and the frequency of application: (Whereas, the following refers to lifting, any equivalent effort may be substituted.)

Less than 1 pound – Effort applied more than 70% of the time

Between 1 and 5 pounds – Effort applied more than 70% of the time

Between 5 and 25 pounds – Effort applied 40-70% of time

Between 25 and 60 pounds – Effort applied 15-40% of time

More than 60 pounds – Effort applied less than 15% of time

The effort reflected above is typically applied when sitting and standing.

Travel: is required. Percentage of Time: 20%

In-state travel to regional offices, speaking engagements or conferences, and for site visits to grantees or communities participating in research or evaluation projects. Driving distances can be anywhere from less than an hour (close to the Portland metro area) to six or more hours (e.g., eastern Oregon) and sometimes include travel through rural and remote parts of the state. Overnight stays are sometimes needed, occasionally multiple nights in a row.

Safety: Support a safe work environment by performing work duties safely and according to procedures. This includes reporting all injuries, illnesses or accidents sustained while working to your immediate supervisor as soon as possible after the occurrence or within 24 hours of the injury, illness or accident, and reporting any accident involving OCF vehicles, equipment or other property, regardless of the nature of the accident, to your immediate supervisor as soon as possible after the accident.

Attendance Requirements: Regular punctuality and attendance are required.

Compensation and Benefits: This is an exempt, full-time position. The hiring range for this position is $75,696 to $94,620, DOE.

Our excellent benefit package includes generous paid time off, choice of medical and dental coverage, vision, outstanding 401k retirement plan, commuter and healthcare pre-tax savings accounts, employer-paid disability and life. Employees have access to an Employee Assistance Plan, paid volunteer leave, professional development opportunities, and much more!

To Apply: The Oregon Community Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. We strive to build a diverse workforce to promote effective work in partnership with all communities and population groups in Oregon. We welcome a diverse pool of qualified applicants.

To be considered for this position, please provide a cover letter addressing how you meet the requirements of this position and a copy of your most recent resume. Apply online at

Listing Type
Clerical/Administrative | Nonprofit | Research
Position Type
Full Time
Experience Level
Senior Level
Employer Type
Direct Employer

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