The Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare is located in the School of Social Work in the College of Education and Human Development. CASCW supports the education and training of child welfare professionals, identifies and examines effective child welfare practice methods, informs the public and policy makers about various child welfare issues, and incorporates research and evaluation findings into School of Social Work curriculum and training opportunities. The Minn-LInK project – housed at CASCW – uses integrated administrative data from multiple agencies to answer questions about the effects of policies, programs, and practice on the well-being of children in Minnesota. Minn-LInK researchers also produce training relevant to public child welfare employees based upon knowledge developed within the project. State agencies that provide data work in partnership with CASCW to discuss and address child welfare and child well-being policy questions.
The incumbent in this position will lead the design and implementation of evaluation and/or research projects. This includes working with Minn-LInK staff and stakeholders to answer questions about child and family well-being by linking information across systems (i.e., child welfare, education, employment, health) for the broadest possible perspectives. The person in this position will engage key stakeholders (including study investigators, faculty, community stakeholders, state agency personnel, and other members of the academic community, as appropriate) in conversations about research and evaluation planning, develop planning materials and IRB proposals, prepare project datasets by linking data across systems, clean and analyze data, write technical reports, and present findings to study investigators, community stakeholders, State agency personnel, and the academic community. This position will also collaborate on scholarly publications and prepare training materials relevant to public child welfare employees.
Additionally, the person in this position will support the on-going management and capacity-building of the Minn-LInK project. Duties include managing the storage, utilization, and integration of multiple statewide, identified data sets; providing training, consultation, and support to researchers working on the Minn-LInK project (including Post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, faculty members, and other project team members); developing and updating project materials; developing grant proposals to obtain funding for project- or study-specific needs; and participating administrative and project team meetings.
This is a twelve-month, 1.0 FTE, annually-renewable position.
Research Project Design and Implementation (70%)
Developing and carrying out research and evaluation studies using integrated data available through the Minn-LInK project, including:
the development and implementation of appropriate research design and methodologies,
preparation of research plans for submission to the IRB for approval and updating IRB protocols, as needed,
maintenance of data security and confidentiality,
preparation of datasets via matching data/records from multiple administrative datasets,
cleaning and recoding of data, as needed,
selecting and carrying out advanced-level statistical analysis,
tracking study progress and meeting study time lines,
preparation of technical reports or Minn-LInK briefs for key stakeholders and/or funders,
preparation and presentation of findings to study investigators, community stakeholders, state agency personnel, and/or the academic community (e.g., conference presentations, community presentations, etc.), as appropriate,
determination if findings warrant publication in a professional journal; preparation of written article(s), as appropriate, and
preparation of training materials relevant to public child welfare employees (e.g., learning modules, brochures, etc.).
Engaging key stakeholders (including study investigators, faculty, community stakeholders, state agency personnel, and other members of the academic community, as appropriate) in conversations about research and evaluation planning, findings, and dissemination opportunities, as appropriate
Data Management & Administration (30%)
Managing the storage and utilization of multiple statewide, identified (highly confidential) data sets spanning a period of 18 years via a secure project-specific server, including but not limited to data from the Minnesota Departments of Human Services, Education, and Corrections
Carrying out the integration and de-identification of statewide, administrative datasets for on-going project and study utilization
Providing training, consultation and support to researchers working on the Minn-LInK project (including Post-doctoral researchers, graduate students, faculty members, and other project team members) in regard to data security protocols and practices, research methodology, data cleaning, and statistical analysis and interpretation.
Developing time logs for project/study budgets, estimating the time required for each component of a project/study and indicating this on a time log, which is then transformed into a salary line for a project/study budget.
Working in conjunction with the CASCW Director of Research & Evaluation and the Minn-LInK Researcher to develop project materials, including project guides, codebooks, etc.
Developing grant proposals to obtain funding for project- or study-specific needs, including proposals to national and state funders as well as foundations.
Supporting the on-going management and capacity-building of the Minn-LInK project, including but not limited to development of project materials and engagement in conversation with new stakeholders for expansion purposes.
Participating in CASCW All Staff and SSW Council meetings, and participate in (facilitating as needed) project team meetings to engage stakeholders and research team members in project development, refinement of research design and methodology, and development of research implications.
Advanced degree with substancial research and publication record
Experience with project planning and providing technical assistance to community and University partners
Experience using methodologies to match/integrate data across systems
Experience working with State educational, child welfare, or other State system data
Experience working with large administrative data sets to measure outcomes
Understanding of the child welfare system and foster care service delivery
Strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills
Ph.D. in social work, public health, education, or related social science discipline
Advanced quantitative analysis skills
Advanced knowledge of and experience working with statistical computing software (SPSS, R, STATA)
Experience using Microsoft Office software, including Microsoft Access
Demonstrated project development and project management skills
Strong verbal and written communication skills – both technical and scholarly
Strong organizational and time management skills
Advanced knowledge of program evaluation methodologies
Demonstrated ability to translate research findings into reports and presentations accessible by frontline practitioners and educators
Internal Number: 332724
About University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota, founded in the belief that all people are enriched by understanding, is dedicated to the advancement of learning and the search for truth; to the sharing of this knowledge through education for a diverse community; and to the application of this knowledge to benefit the people of the state, the nation, and the world.