Job Opportunity: Director for Policy

SRCD is hiring a Director for Policy. Join our dynamic team or share if you know of any strong candidates.

About the Organization:

The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) is a professional research society established in 1933 by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. SRCD is dedicated to serving as a respected source of scientific knowledge about human development and the application of this knowledge to policies and practices for improving human well-being. Its membership of more than 5,700 scientists is representative of the various disciplines and professions that contribute to the production and use of knowledge about child development, with members from academic institutions, research firms, professional services, government, and more. 

Position Description:

The Director for Policy will work closely with SRCD’s Executive Director, Society leadership, and membership of the Society to support SRCD’s core mission, to advance developmental science and promote its use to improve human lives, and further its strategic goals.  

The Director plays an integral role in establishing bridges between developmental science and policy through the following activities: (1) administering the SRCD Policy Fellowship Programs, (2) communicating policy-relevant scientific evidence to policymakers, (3) communicating policy developments and other opportunities to SRCD members, (4) facilitating policy-related training and networking opportunities, and (5) building SRCD’s capacity to support evidence-based policymaking.  

The ideal applicant will have a vision for how best to facilitate bidirectional connections between research and policy to strengthen evidence-based policymaking. The candidate should possess insight into the information needs of policymakers and working knowledge of policymaking processes, expertise to support the refinement of existing programs and products to address those needs, and strategic planning skills to build SRCD capacity in this area.  The Director for Policy will supervise a small team to complete this work. Major duties and responsibilities include: 

Administers the SRCD Policy Fellowship Programs  

  • Oversees the planning and implementation of the annual selection cycles for federal and state policy fellowship programs.  
  • Coordinates fellowship placements, plans monthly professional development opportunities, mentors fellows, and maintains regular communications with fellows’ placement supervisors.  
  • Prepares grant proposals for fellowship support, administers grants (including budgeting and reporting requirements), and maintains regular communications with program officers from federal agencies and foundations. 

Communicates policy-relevant scientific evidence to policymakers to inform evidence-based policymaking  

  • Works with editors, authors, and other SRCD stakeholders to proactively plan and produce timely, relevant, and actionable policy briefs and evidence-based position statements on child and family policy topics.  
  • Facilitates the Rapid Response Request process and associated response products for pressing social policy issues. 
  • Coordinates with the Director for Science Affairs and other policy stakeholders to produce letters/statements to inform science policy. 
  • Collaborates with SRCD’s Director for Communications to plan and coordinate targeted and timely policy product dissemination plans for policymakers and research audiences. 
  • Serves as a knowledge broker to child and family policy staffers and other policy stakeholders about policy-relevant research and its implications for child and family policies. 

Communicates policy developments and other opportunities to SRCD members  

  • Oversees the preparation of a monthly Policy Update e-newsletter and monthly Federal Funding Opportunities summaries to update members on policy activities in the legislative and executive branches, identify information needs of policymakers, opportunities to leverage their research expertise to inform child and family policy. 
  • Oversees the preparation of the biweekly SRCD Bulletin on Child & Family Policy Opportunities for fellowship alumni, which provides a summary of upcoming policy events, trainings, and job opportunities.  
  • Serves as informational liaison to the Science and Social Policy Committee, Governing Council, caucuses, and members.  

Facilitates policy-related training and networking opportunities  

  • Works with SRCD Directors for Communications and Meeting/Events, committees, caucuses, and members to produce webinars on policy-related topics. 
  • Coordinates the Zigler preconference, policy and federal agency informational sessions, and professional development workshops at SRCD’s biennial meeting.
  • Supports activities of the University-based Child and Family Policy Consortium
  • Facilitates information exchanges and networking opportunities through SRCD Commons and other events.  

Build SRCD’s capacity to support evidence-based policymaking  

  • Develop and maintain strategic partnerships to further strengthen the dissemination and translation of research into policy actions between research and policy with policymakers, advocacy groups, other professional organizations. 
  • Serve as an organizational steward of SRCD’s principles and policies for social policy engagement.  
  • Work with SRCD’s Science and Social Policy Committee, Senior Leadership, and working groups to further its mission and accomplish its strategic goals.  
  • Track metrics to evaluate the success of these efforts over time to ensure SRCD efforts are a strategic investment of its resources . 


Required Qualifications 

  • Minimum of five years’ experience bridging research and social policy related to child development, including engagement with federal agencies and/or U.S. Congress
  • Experience writing policy products for policy audiences 
  • 2+ years of education program management experience 
  • Commitment to, and understanding of, the ethical translation of developmental science research into policy and successful dissemination practices for policymaker
  • Proven track-record of successful proposal writing and funded project administration
  • Ability and willingness to travel to SRCD and sibling society meetings 

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Doctorate in field of developmental science or related area (or equivalent) 
  • Experience conducting and publishing applied developmental research 
  • Experience as an editor or reviewer of scientific publications and policy publications 
  • Strategic planning and implementation experience 
  • Experience in program development and evaluation 
  • Understanding of non-profit governance 

To Apply:  

Interested persons should submit their applications to Applications must include the following items: (1) a resume/C.V., (2) a cover letter describing how the applicant’s background is well-suited to the position and their vision of how this position can contribute to SRCD’s mission of linking research and policy in service to society, and (3) a sample policy brief or statement summarizing research for policy audiences.

The Society for Research in Child Development is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability.