Research Manager – (In-country and remote)

Forcier Consulting

Forcier brings together academic-level research skills with real-world experience collecting data in logistically challenging environments. The Research Manager is Forcier’s jack-of-all-trades for research design and implementation. They are a capable manager, decisionmaker, and communicator. They take responsibility for the quality of research and data produced in their country office. The Research Manager is uniquely qualified to optimize research strategies with reference to 1) client needs, 2) academic standards and M&E best practices, and 3) budget.

Running research projects in South Sudan is no easy task. No project ever goes completely according to plan or schedule, but the work is fascinating and rewarding. Adaptability is as essential as an understanding of best practices in monitoring and evaluation for international development work. Possessing a high level understanding of quantitative and qualitative research methodology, especially survey research methodology, brings the Research Manager a level of confidence to be able to lead Research Officers in the execution of projects in a country where the conditions are some of the most challenging in the world. The Research Manager knows what resources are best suited to meet contractual obligations and ensure that staff are working to their strengths. The Research Manager makes research efficient, while also making it exciting. They are able to design and implement research, playing a key role in business development as the go-to research person on the ground.

What makes the Research Manager unique is their desire to organize, mentor and manage others in pursuit of high quality research, rather than just doing the research themselves. They love to teach, advise, and up-level the research team and the work that Forcier does. They match personnel to projects in a way that accounts for staff capacities and technical project requirements; they ensure that their team always feels challenged and supported. They are team-builders and advice-givers. They know how to help their team look at a research problem and think through it practically and technically. They are resourceful, knowing the answer to “where do I go to find” for all Forcier resources needed to make projects successful. Their communication is grounded in their ability to digest high levels of intricacy and complexity and then create solutions and communications that are as simple and accessible as possible. The toolkit of a successful Research Manager is one of pragmatic problem solving, steadfast management, and the ability to make everyone from the enumerators to the client feel heard. The position is the ultimate test of one’s ability to bring together expert technical knowledge, management acumen, and adaptable creativity.

As we would like the successful candidate to be a long-term hire, this position has the option to switch to partially remote after an initial period of 4 months in country and a demonstrated ability to manage the research team effectively in country. The position will allow the RM to be in country roughly 6 months a year, and working remotely 6 months of the year. The remote work location will be up to the candidate given they can maintain the same hours at the Juba office.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Research:

    • In collaboration with the Country Manager, track all ongoing and incoming/nascent projects, and appropriately match people/teams and their toolkits with projects
    • Provide input on local context and other practical aspects of research execution, both internally and with our clients
    • Learn, teach, and uphold Forcier’s existing systems for ensuring quality research, and aid with the roll-out and adoption of new research-related systems as necessary
    • Serve as the primary point of contact with clients during the proposal stage and continue high-level management of the client relationship during implementation of projects, including planning and attending client meetings as necessary
  • Leadership:

    • Lead, manage, and mentor all research staff in assigned office
    • Ensure daily monitoring and mentoring of all research staff
    • Look after training needs of staff
    • Ensure all research staff are adequately resourced to perform well in their roles and to maintain a healthy work-life balance
  • Business Development:

    • Guide key decisions related to research aims and methodological design of projects at the proposal stage and during project implementation
    • Provide expert input on matters of sample design, questionnaire design, and analysis techniques/approaches
    • Provide input on decisions related to statistical analysis, including choices of appropriate inferential-statistical tests, data structure, weighting, and other adjustments to account for survey design (including stratification and clustering)
    • Provide or appropriately delegate/assign the provision of quality assurance and quality control on all research-related deliverables (e.g. research protocols, analytical reports, datasets, and presentations)
    • Review proposals and provide feedback to the business development team to ensure that all bids are competitive, methodologically coherent, and can be executed fluently by available staff, within proposed budgets and timelines
  • HR

    • Actively track all key research staff, their levels of utilization, and their skill sets;
    • Annual performance evaluations for all research staff
    • Maintain performance database for contract researchers/enumerators
    • Maintain reasonable workloads and expectations for all research staff
    • Develop professional development plans for research staff to ensure appropriate skill-building and mentoring activities occur

Requirements

M.A. degree and at least 2 years of experience. Appropriate graduate level education will be in political science, anthropology, international development, statistics, public health, or a related field. Irrespective of degree field, graduate level training in research methods and statistics is required.

Required Skills

  • Graduate-level coursework in research related field, ideally including applied regression analysis, survey data analysis, data visualization, and power analysis; preference will be given to those who have coursework in statistics or econometrics
  • Knowledge of a statistical software package, preferably Stata but R and SPSS acceptable
  • Demonstrated ability to clean and interpret real-world data, generating publishable insights
  • Practical experience with leading data collection fieldwork in developing countries
  • Strong theoretical training in quantitative and qualitative research design and analysis
  • Background and training in survey methodology

Preferred Skills

  • Experience in managing teams and human resources to ensure successful completion of projects and objectives
  • Experience living and working in post-conflict settings
  • Teaching experience
  • Leadership experience
  • Knowledge of Open Data Kit (ODK), SurveyCTO, or KoboToolbox

How to apply

Apply with Cover Letter and CV in English to https://www.forcierconsulting.com/careers.

Cover Letter must address the following 3 questions:

  • What is your ideal research project?
  • What interests you about living and working in South Sudan?
  • What are three words that describe your professional style?