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Research Manager

Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy

Position Location
Grand Rapids, MI
Application Deadline

About the Organization

The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University (Johnson Center) was established in 1992 with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Our mission is to be a global leader in helping individuals and organizations understand, strengthen, and advance philanthropy, resulting in a smart, adaptive sector that helps create strong, inclusive communities.

We put research to work with and for professionals across the country and the world. Through professional education offerings; research, evaluation, and consulting services; and bold thinking to advance the field, we support a philanthropic ecosystem defined by effective philanthropy, strong nonprofits, and informed community change.

Position Description

The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy seeks to understand, strengthen, and advance philanthropy in order to create strong, inclusive communities. 

The Center is seeking a Research Manager to join an interdisciplinary team of social science and information technology professionals. This is a full-time (40 hours per week) position with the center’s Community Data and Research Lab, located at our offices on the Pew Campus at GVSU, with the opportunity for flexible work arrangements according to the GVSU remote work policy (see Salary and Benefits and ADA sections below).

As a Research Manager, you will focus on program evaluation, quantitative and qualitative analysis, writing, and presentation support for applied research and evaluation projects. 

The Research Manager works collaboratively with research associates, data analysts, and web developers at the lab as well as staff across the Johnson Center. In addition, the Research Manager builds relationships with current and potential clients and engages in public speaking and facilitation at workshops, presentations, and conferences. Key to the position is maintaining the highest standards of research quality and ethics, including collaboration with the university’s Institutional Review Board. 

In addition, the Research Manager proposes research methodology (including alternative and equitable approaches to evaluation and participation), follows existing Johnson Center data protocols, suggests and implements improvements, and serves as an internal and external “evaluation ambassador” for the Johnson Center.

The Research Manager will regularly meet one-on-one with the Director of the Community Data and Research Lab, who will work closely with you and support you regarding project selection, client engagement, research, and final presentation. On-the-job training and professional development opportunities will be available. 

  • Leads team decision-making regarding study design, data collection, data analysis, and methodology
  • Responsible for project management: manages multiple projects at one time, monitors project cost, meets project deadlines, and utilizes project management software
  • Proactively learns new methodologies that are applicable to projects
  • Ensures the integrity of project data, including data extraction, storage, processing, manipulation, and analysis
  • Guides data analysis plans and oversees data analyses (conducting analysis firsthand when needed) and ensures that interpretations/reporting of results are valid and add value for the client
  • Public speaking or facilitation on research and evaluation design, data collection, and analysis at workshops, presentations, and conferences as well as with team members and other Johnson Center staff
  • Builds relationships with clients to identify needs; designs and implements plans to meet client needs
  • Report, grant, and proposal writing
  • Budgeting and staff time management on projects
  • Potential supervision of staff, students, and/or interns
  • Performs other duties as necessary/assigned by manager

  • Required
    • Ph.D. with strong background in research, or Master’s degree with 3+ years of professional research experience
    • Demonstrated prior experience in program evaluation
    • Prior experience in client consulting and project management
    • Prior experience conducting community-based research
    • Excellent written and verbal communication skills 
    • Ability to work effectively as part of multiple teams
    • Strong collaboration, interpersonal, and cultural responsiveness skills
  • Preferred
    • Ph.D. in evaluation or related field (e.g., community psychology)
    • Experience with leading others and/or teaching
    • Advanced program evaluation skills
    • Advanced quantitative and qualitative research skills

Salary & Benefits

Salary for this position is $63,800-$80,800 depending on experience. The Research Manager position is eligible for the GVSU AP benefits package including paid vacation and sick time, health insurance, and retirement plans. See more information at

How to Apply

Apply online at and select "Apply now."  Please include a cover letter, resume/curriculum vitae, and writing sample of 5-15 pages such as a prior report or publication in which you were the sole or primary author. (An excerpt of a longer document is appropriate, as long as the selection starts at a chapter or section heading.) The online application will allow you to attach these documents electronically. 

On the application, you will be required to provide names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses for three professional references. Applicants selected for interviews will be required to submit official transcripts prior to the interview. If you need assistance, call Human Resources at 616-331-2215.

Grand Valley State University is an EOE which includes protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. See TDD Callers: Call Michigan Relay Center at 711 (in State) or 1-800-833-7833 (out of State)