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Research Director

at McREL International

Posted: 10/17/2019
Job Reference #: 88

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Job Description

Join McREL International and become part of our rich legacy of making a difference in the quality of education for all, through excellence in applied research, product development, and services. Since 1966, we have a track record of success in the U.S., Canada, the Pacific Region, Australia, and other parts of the world. McREL is committed to being the organization that changes the odds for students and those that work with them. We turn knowledge about what works in education into practical, effective guidance and training for educators and education leaders, sharing the mission of the schools and systems we work with: to help students and staff be successful in identifying and achieving goals.

The Director of Research would focus on supporting courageous leaders across the Pacific region who are committed to improving student achievement. To accomplish this, the Director would lead staff in working with practitioners within the region to research, develop, implement, and evaluate strategies for improving systems and creating environments in which students achieve great results consistently.


The Director of Research collaborates with the Executive Director of Research and Evaluation to provide strategic vision, direction and leadership in co-developing and guiding a research agenda focused on education problems of practice for the Regional Education Laboratory for the Pacific Region (REL Pacific) as well as other research studies in Hawaii and the Pacific region. The person in this position is a thought leader who (1) designs and leads research and evaluation studies (2) communicates research and evaluation results to practitioners in meaningful ways that is focused on the connections to practice, and (3) mentors and develops a team of researchers and consultants.

The Research/Evaluation Director collaborates with leadership to establish long term strategy and creates aligned team goals, ensuring that gaps are identified. The Research/Evaluation Director exhibits ownership and accountability for team outcomes, and ensures that staff demonstrate corporate strategy through day-to-day activities.

The Research/Evaluation Director is responsible for mentoring and developing staff, escalating staff concerns to leadership as needed. The Research/Evaluation Director is responsible for monitoring and securing staff coverage and ensuring performance discussions are occurring across project teams.

This position will be based in Honolulu, Hawaii and requires frequent national travel and occasional international travel.


  1. Serves as a member of McREL Research & Evaluation leadership team to provide strategic vision, direction, and leadership in developing and delivering on a research agenda for the REL Pacific, identifying funding opportunities, and securing funding to advance research opportunities in a variety of content areas.
  2. Assists education research partnerships in analyzing data to identify problems of practice and develop and test potential interventions through small-scale research studies.
  3. Designs and conducts research studies in collaboration with education research partnerships, ensuring that all study designs meet Institute of Education Sciences’ requirements for research in the REL program.
  4. Builds and maintains relationships with regional and national partners, including leadership and staff in state and national offices of education in the Pacific region jurisdictions.
  5. Leads and directs development, planning, and implementation of strategic direction for research and evaluation endeavors, including developing, planning, and implementing a research agenda.
  6. Leads and directs projects by establishing project work plans, timelines, and staffing resources needed to successfully support projects.
  7. Directs a client portfolio typically consisting of multiple large-scale projects that offer broad opportunities for staff to support and provide direct service to clients and build their expertise.
  8. Conceptualizes complex, customized project designs.
  9. Ensures that research, development, and evaluation projects align with corporate strategy and goals, including providing thought leadership, guiding technical assistance for K-12 systems, and translating research or evaluation findings into applications that help clients solve their most pressing problems of practice.
  10. Identifies and acquires new business through responses to solicitations (RFPs) and direct outreach to prospective clients, to provide target coverage levels for self and staff.
  11. Leads the conceptualization, planning, and writing of proposals and bids for clients. Able to conceptualize complex, customized research designs.
  12. Develops and maintains existing and new client relationships.
  13. Responds to internal and external requests in a timely matter, including, frequently, during non-traditional business hours.
  14. Proactively seeks input from others and fosters cross-team work.
  15. Leads, develops, mentors, and coaches staff. Ensures proactive communication between managers and directors concerning staff performance.
  16. Makes decisions, performs, and encourages others to act in a manner which is congruent with organizational goals, strategy, vision, mission, and values.
  17. Models and champions corporate policies, procedures, and processes.
  18. Ability to perform role expectations of Managing Researcher/Evaluator.
  19. Performs other duties as assigned.


  • Demonstrated expertise with quantitative and/or qualitative methodologies, methods, and associated analyses as well as the ability to determine the appropriate methodology for the questions being asked.
  • Strong organizational and project management skills and ability to help staff problem-solve.
  • Authoritative knowledge and application of the Common Guidelines for Education Research and Development (IES & NSF, 2013).
  • Knowledge and understanding of significant issues in education.
  • Deep knowledge of methodologies and methods of inquiry; ability to conceptualize improvements to known methodologies and methods.
  • Ability to apply research or evaluation theory.
  • Deep knowledge of instrument design. Ability to create instruments based on extant ones or create sound instruments.
  • Ability to collect data using various approaches (i.e., focus groups, interviews, surveys).
  • Ability to coach and mentor staff to develop skills and improve outcomes.
  • Anticipates trends and shifts in education research and evaluation to refine current strategies and develop future strategies.
  • Advanced skill using SPSS (preferred), SAS, R, or MAXQDA, and online survey software; ability to leverage these skills to guide and develop other staff.
  • Ability to work effectively in a team environment.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, project management software, and McREL-specific tools and reports.


  • Ph.D. in education or a related research field, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 5+ years of relevant work experience.
  • 5+ years complex project management experience.
  • 2+ years of experience with people management.
  • 2+ years leading proposal development.
  • 2+ year of relevant business development experience (competitive grant writing, direct sales, etc.).


  • 2+ years as a senior leader in educational research, measurement, or evaluation.
  • 3+ years of experience with people management.
  • 3+ years leading proposal development.
  • 3+ year of relevant business development experience (competitive grant writing, direct sales, etc.).
  • Knowledge of Pacific Region languages, cultures, and traditional practices. Strong relationships with other educators and educational institutions across the region.
  • Willingness to increase knowledge of education, Pacific Region languages and cultures, business processes, and effective leadership practices.
  • Functional language skills in one or more of the local languages of the Pacific Region.


Must be willing and able to perform all national and international travel (including overnight and commercial airline travel) that is necessary to accomplish the essential functions of this position. Travel for this position is estimated at up to 30%.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume. When applying, please select the option to add another document in order to upload your cover letter.

We are proud to offer our employees a substantial benefit package including health, dental, vision, life and accident insurance, flexible spending accounts, and an employee assistance program. In addition, we offer a retirement savings plan with a significant employer contribution. We strive to support a work-life balance for our employees with a generous time off policy including vacation, personal time, sick days, and paid holidays.

Applicants must have work authorization that does not now or in the future require sponsorship of a visa for employment authorization in the United States and with McREL International.

Relocation assistance will be available for this position.

McREL International is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Job Location
Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Position Type