The University of Tennessee Knoxville, College of Social Work, through the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service (SWORPS) is accepting applications for the Director of the Division of Applied Research and Evaluation (DARE). SWORPS is a mission-driven community impact extension of the College of Social Work that has three divisions actively engaged in responding to the needs of public sector and nonprofit agencies in Tennessee and beyond: the Division of Technology and Development, the Division of Applied Research and Evaluation, and the Division of Field-Based Services.
The Division of Applied Research and Evaluation (DARE) needs an innovative and dynamic individual to serve as its director. The Director of the Division of Applied Research and Evaluation (DARE) is responsible for overseeing and successfully delivering SWORPS’ existing research and evaluation activities in the fields of early childhood education, child support, education, health, and child welfare and for providing leadership and project management expertise for new and emerging applied research and evaluation projects and priorities. Reporting to the SWORPS Director, the Director of DARE will also serve as a member of SWORPS' senior management team.
The ideal candidate will have a background in designing applied research programs and conducting evaluation studies using mixed methods approaches, leading or coordinating complex research projects, and working in a collaborative setting. She or he will also have experience in conceptualizing and preparing briefs, reports, articles, and grant proposals and responding to requests for research-based information. Candidates should have outstanding academic credentials (an earned doctorate in social work, education, psychology, or related discipline) and a record of scholarly publications.
The job duties include, but not limited to:
- Serves as a core member of the SWORPS leadership team.
- Leads division-level strategic planning and forecasting to manage growth.
- Establishes and maintains relationships with key internal and external stakeholders and partners.
- Participates on SWORPS project teams to complete multidisciplinary initiatives that provide insights and solutions for external clients.
- Develops semi-annual division-level performance reports and ensures knowledge sharing and dissemination throughout SWORPS.
- Provides supervision and coaching for four managers.
- Prepares an annual project development strategy and implementation plan.
- Conducts outreach to potential clients and develops or leads the development of project proposals.
- Actively engages in ensuring client satisfaction and quality assurance for all DARE projects.
- Leads project design and implementation for large projects.
- Provides general oversight of small and mid-sized projects led by division managers.
- Develops and/or provides oversight for the development of research plans, including research questions, research methodology, data collection and analysis plans, deliverables, staffing roles and responsibilities, cross functional interfaces, timelines, and budgets.
- Provides day-to-day oversight of and support to DARE project teams, including leading or supporting regular internal project meetings and external client meetings, conducting and/or reviewing data analysis and interpretation, and developing and/or reviewing all project deliverables, including presentations and reports.
- Ensures projects are completed within time and budget constraints.
- Reviews and provides direct feedback to DARE managers on project plans.
- Manages complex stakeholder relationships.
- Collaborates effectively with internal and external partners to plan, implement, report, and activate recommendations from projects.
- Presents research findings to clients and other key stakeholders as well as at conferences and forums.
- Establishes and maintains a standard of excellence for project deliverables.
- Develops evaluation frameworks and plans.
- Develops or supports development of position descriptions and collaborates with the SWORPS Human Resource representative to classify, recruit, and select candidates to fill division vacancies.
- Conducts annual performance reviews.
- Develops annual professional development plans with direct reports.
- Engage teams in reflective practice to promote continuous learning and program improvement.
- Attends and participates in required educational programs and staff meetings.
- Conducts other related tasks, requests, and duties as assigned.
PhD in Social or Behavioral Sciences; Health; Child & Family; Education; or related field
- 5 or more years of demonstrated skill in program/project management and employee supervision
- 5 or more years of demonstrated skill in contract negotiation and grant writing
- 8 or more years of experience designing applied research projects and conducting evaluation studies using mixed methods approaches in one of SWORPS’ priority areas or a related field
- 5 or more years of experience in budget management
- Demonstrated commitment to research with strong practical applications
- Ability to work with communities and systems to evaluate implementation of evidence-based practices
- Strong skills in quantitative and qualitative analysis
- Excellent communication skills
- Highly developed interpersonal skills
- A record of scholarly publications
- 10 or more years of demonstrated skill in program/project management and employee supervision
- 10 or more years of demonstrated skill in contract negotiation and grant writing
- 10 or more years of experience designing applied research projects and conducting evaluation studies using mixed methods approaches in one of SWORPS’ priority areas or a related field
- 8 or more years of experience in budget management
Exempt Position: Market Range, 16.
WORK SCHEDULE: Monday-Friday with occasional weekends, evenings, and overnight travel.
WORK LOCATION: Knoxville
Application Process: Interested individuals should provide a cover letter addressing professional experience relevant to each required and preferred qualifications, a resume, and complete contact information for 3 professional references. Screening of applicants will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.