Director of Early Childhood Initiatives

Is this a Job, Postdoc, or Internship?: 
Date posted: 
Tuesday, January 7, 2020
Application Deadline Date: 
Friday, February 7, 2020
Employer Name: 
University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work
Denver, CO

Throughout its 75-year history, the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work has administered countless externally funded projects targeting children and families. These efforts preceded and provided the impetus for the establishment of the Butler Institute for Families in 1994. Today, we are nationally recognized for our leadership and collaborative work at the national, state, and local level in evaluation, research, and technical assistance aimed at improving the quality of child-, youth-, and family-serving systems.

We bring together researchers, practitioners, public and private service system experts, and community members to: engage in program evaluation and research; examine outcomes; and provide technical assistance and training to program administrators, direct service providers, and community leaders. Currently, Butler conducts business in three primary content areas: child welfare (including tribal child welfare); early childhood systems; and behavioral health. These content areas operate within a Research-to-Practice framework that promotes the use, adoption, adaptation, replication, and/or scaling of research and/or evaluation knowledge and the integration of this knowledge in practice.

Position Summary

The Director of Early Childhood Initiatives leads the early childhood content area within Butlers Research-to-Practice framework. The position generates and leads sponsored research and evaluation projects related to early childhood systems and workforce development and leads a project team of 9 research staff. The position involves: proficiency in statistical and/or qualitative analyses and interpretation; planning research and evaluation studies and framing research/evaluation questions; identifying appropriate instrumentation to address research questions; synthesizing information from diverse data sources; and report generation for projects within the early childhood content area. Responsibilities also include applying for and receiving external support for Butlers early childhood research and evaluation work, collaborating to write research and evaluation grant proposals, and completing other project management tasks, such as budget projection and coordination of tasks with multiple stakeholders. The position is part of the Butler Institute leadership team and includes the option of being recognized for scholarly contributions through a post-hire research faculty appointment.

Essential Functions

  • Content Lead Oversight (5%)
    • Provide vision and direction for the early childhood content area
    • Apply for and receive early childhood research and evaluation contracts
    • Develop research partnerships with other early childhood researchers and stakeholders within Colorado and nationally
      Generate, disseminate and promote uptake of early childhood research and evaluation findings
    • Ensure Butlers strategic priorities, including the Research-to-Practice framework, are incorporated into early childhood content work
    • Facilitate early childhood learning and professional development among project staff
    • Communicate and coordinate with other content leads within Butler
  • Content Lead Administration (10%)
    • Manage communication within the early childhood content area
    • Communicate and coordinate with other content area leads, including coordinating staffing assignments across content areas
    • Conduct cross-project staffing resolutions within the early childhood content area
    • Act as Principal Investigator (PI) on projects and coordinate with other Principal Investigators within the early childhood content area
    • Supervise direct reports and oversee supervision structure within early childhood content area
  • Research and Evaluation Design, Data Collection, Statistical Analysis and Interpretation and Project Management (65%)
    • Lead the design and development of research or evaluation projects
    • Collaborate with the Graduate School of Social Work on research project partnerships
    • Lead framing of research and evaluation questions
    • Design intervention, implementation and evaluation capacity-building protocols
    • Develop innovative qualitative and quantitative data collection protocols, tools and methodologies
    • Verify the validity of data
    • Participate in conducting interviews and focus groups
    • Lead data analysis activities
    • Identify qualitative and/or quantitative analysis techniques appropriate for answering research questions
    • Analyze complex qualitative or quantitative data
    • Synthesize information from literature reviews and multiple data sources
    • Utilize content expertise to make novel and/or impactful interpretations and conclusions
    • Plan and organize research projects as PI or Co-PI
    • Manage teams on projects
    • Execute and control the research study and makes high level decisions about project direction and scope
    • Manage scope of work against available budgets and identify solutions/communicate changes with funders when appropriate
    • Negotiate contract and sub-contract statements of work
    • Maintain positive working relationships with clients, programs, and other key project stakeholders
  • Dissemination (10%)
    • Lead the writing of reports, publications, and dissemination materials
    • Develop and present results to key stakeholders, funders, and other identified audiences
    • Generate and implement dissemination plan
    • Present findings at conferences or other dissemination events
  • Grant Writing and Business Development (8%)
    • Seek funding opportunities and bring in new or expanded work in early childhood content area
    • Lead screening, planning and preparation of grant proposals
  • Other duties as assigned (2%)
  • Supervisory Duties:
    • Lead the early childhood content area
    • Supervise Senior Associates and/or Associates
    • Make recommendations about hiring, advancement, performance improvement, and/or termination of supervises
    • Oversee team structure and strategic hiring priorities

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Excellent written and oral language skills required for professional report generation, presentations, and grant applications as well as coordinating and communicating with content lead team members, and multiple professionals and lay stakeholders
  • Ability to communicate and collaborate effectively and diplomatically with a variety of stakeholders using various modes of communication including in person, by phone, over email, by virtual technology, and through written project materials
  • Deep understanding of and current expertise in early childhood content area
  • Reasoning ability at the post-Ph. D. level required
  • Ability to work with members of diverse cultures and communities with respect and humility
  • Ability to manage projects within the Research-to-Practice Framework
  • Ability to analyze and interpret quantitative and qualitative data
  • Broad array of research skills including research design, data collection and management, and statistical analysis, including proficiency in SPSS, Atlas-TI and/or other statistical analysis packages.
  • Ability to manage and develop relationships with multiple stakeholders, including researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.
  • Ability to utilize flexible evaluation approaches to meet changing project needs
  • Ability to use independent discretion and judgement beyond daily routine decisions including comparing and evaluating possible courses of conduct or decision making on matters of significance.
  • Ability to select outcome instruments and indicators
  • Ability to draft complex narrative reports and correspondence with minimal guidance
  • Strong organization and time management skills including ability to multi-task and prioritize competing deadlines and timelines
  • Ability to tactfully hold project members and leadership colleagues accountable to deadlines
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Advanced skills in Microsoft Office Word and PowerPoint
  • Strong analytical and solution-building skills
  • Ability to conduct and implement project design while managing and collaborating with others
  • Ability to set and achieve high performance goals and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Adaptable to changing priorities while demonstrating the highest level of customer service
  • Independently motivated to identify, research, and propose approaches and solutions as needed for projects
  • Strong initiative to learn and share information relevant to this position and Butlers projects

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in early childhood education or related field 
  • 3-5 years experience leading program evaluation or community-based research
  • Experience writing grant proposals
  • Experience working with grant funding in government, non-profit, or university settings
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Experience supervising staff or teams

Preferred Qualifications

  • 6 years experience leading program evaluation or community-based research or 2 plus years of Senior Associate 1 experience within DU
  • Experience creating logic models and conducting theories of change
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish

Working Environment

  • Standard office environment
  • Noise level is moderate at office location

Physical Activities

  • Ability to sit in front of a computer for an extended period of time
  • Often required to move about the office/campus and transport objects up to 30 lbs.
  • Occasional travel required for projects

Work Schedule
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Evenings and weekends as required. 

Application Deadline
For best consideration, please submit your application materials by 4:00 p.m. (MST) on February 7, 2020.

Special Instructions
Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Range:
Salary will be determined by the qualifications of the selected candidate balanced with departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information.

Please include the following documents with your application:
1. Resume
2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is committed to enhancing the diversity of its faculty and staff. We are an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment regardless of age, race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, military/ veteran status or any other status protected by law.

All offers of employment are based upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

Advertised: January 07, 2020
Applications close: Open until filled

For more information and to apply:

Doctorate Degree Required: 
Masters Degree Required: