Program Director, Quality Jobs

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Operations, Quality Assurance
Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Friday, April 21, 2023


UL Inclusive Economy Lab

About the Department

Founded in 2015, The University of Chicago Inclusive Economy Lab (formerly the Poverty Lab) conducts rigorous research that expands economic opportunity for people harmed by discrimination, disinvestment, and segregation. We partner with civic and community leaders to identify, test, and implement policies and institutional practices that expand economic opportunity on a broad scale. One of five Urban Labs based at the Harris School of Public Policy, the Inclusive Economy Lab is led by Pritzker Director Marianne Bertrand, Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the Booth School of Business. The Inclusive Economy Lab studies programs and policies that aim to expand economic opportunity in order to understand how well they work. By identifying barriers to social mobility and racial equity and highlighting the programs and policies that have the most positive impact, our work creates greater economic opportunity in cities. We specialize in evaluating policies with the potential to improve lives in four main areas: • College and Career Success • Housing Stability • Financial Security • Quality Jobs Our Values • Conduct science in service of cities: We feel a sense of urgency to do research that improves people’s lives. We select projects that lead to solutions for policy, practice, and increased investments on the ground. Our research is rigorous and informed by the historic and current contexts that shape urban residents’ lives. • Foster lasting relationships: We collaborate with policymakers, practitioners, and people with lived experience to understand multiple perspectives and figure out what works. • Elevate equity & inclusion: We aim to hire people with a range of personal and professional backgrounds, skillsets, and identities. We expand access to evaluation for a broad range of organizations and we conduct work that affirms the dignity of all people. • Check our privilege: We recognize the power and privilege we have as members of the University of Chicago. We practice humility and recognize that expertise comes in many forms and there are limits to our own. • Embrace a growth mindset: We invest in our people and develop our skills and content knowledge together. We work respectfully as a team to achieve our shared goals.

Job Summary

The job manages a team of professional staff responsible for scientific research projects and research facilities. Ensures compliance of research activities with institutional, state, and federal regulatory policies, procedures, directives, and mandates. Manages the production of articles, reports, and manuscripts, and presents research findings at meetings and/ or conferences.


  • Leads strategic initiatives that span multiple programs or functions, such as the development of new research tools and processes to support mixed-methods research.

  • Facilitates planning and goal-setting discussions among program leadership to ensure coordination and alignment to organizational strategy.

  • Leads the development of programs for research activities. Works independently to write articles, reports and manuscripts, and presents research findings at meetings and/or conferences.

  • Builds strategic partnerships with private employers, government agencies and non-profit organizations.

  • Manages the overall budget for the program as well as the specific grants that fund individual projects (both government and private).

  • Supports the Executive Director and University of Chicago development staff to secure additional funding for the program as needed.

  • Writes and submits grant reports, manages key stakeholder relationships, and ensures compliance with data sharing agreements and legal requirements of grants.

  • Works with all project staff and partners, including Senior Research Analysts and Principal Investigators, to produce high quality deliverables.

  • Establishes program milestones and ensures that milestones are achieved.

  • Manages, investigates, modifies and applies new procedures, techniques or applications of technology. Oversees the establishment of goals and operating procedures, practices, and guidelines.

  • Develops research in area of expertise. Writes articles, reports and manuscripts. Presents research findings at meetings and/or conferences.

  • Manages up to 4-5 project staff, including part-time interns.

  • Develops long-range plans for research projects and oversees the development of research projects. Ensures research projects progress according to plan.

  • Collaborates with the Director of External Affairs to plan dissemination activities that reach target audiences and goals.

  • Reviews research of others, and may conduct own research, in area of expertise. Edits and approves articles, reports and manuscripts. Presents research findings at meetings and/or conference. Manages the research of processes in clinical or non-clinical settings. Program and use computers to store, process, and analyze data.

  • Develops goals and operating procedures, practices, and guidelines for research activity based on department strategy.

  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 7+ years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Master's degree in education, sociology, public policy or another relevant field. Will consider applicants with equivalent professional or lived experience.


  • Managing complex projects, with numerous stakeholders.
  • Building trusting relationships with leaders across multiple levels of an organization.
  • First generation college students and those with lived experience in communities experiencing poverty and disinvestment are encouraged to apply.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Managing budgets.
  • Managing projects.
  • Strong computer skills including the ability to effectively use software applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

Preferred Competencies

  • Ability to engage thoughtfully with issues related to race, identity, and equity and work across differences.
  • Demonstrated experience working with communities that have experienced segregation and disinvestment.
  • Interest in finding and testing innovative policy solutions.
  • Content expertise in workforce development, quality jobs and inclusive hiring.
  • Knowledge of research design and social policy evaluation.

Application Documents

  • Resume (required)
  • Cover Letter (required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family


Role Impact

People Manager

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.