Vice President, Content Research and Evaluation
Research | New York, NY | Full Time
Sesame Workshop is seeking to hire a Vice President, Content Research and Evaluation. The right candidate should be an experienced executive with a strong background in (development/child) psychology and significant quantitative and qualitative experience in media (television, digital) and educational research to lead its Content Research and Evaluation department.
The Content Research department plays a critical role in enabling the Workshop to deliver on its mission and impact objectives on a global basis. As the head of this department, the Vice President is responsible for overseeing a team that conceives, designs, monitors and delivers on all educational research undertaken by Sesame. The ideal candidate is a thought leader who understands child development and is able to develop and /or provide input into research designs and measurement methodologies to understand the impact of the work we do. Additionally, the head of the Department is also a big picture strategic thinker who can partner with the Senior Leadership team to define the Workshop’s research agenda in a rapidly shifting media landscape.
- Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology
- 10+ years of applied experience in a research organization
- MA/BA in a related field (psychology/communications)
- Research & Technical Expertise: In-depth expertise on research in media, early childhood, education, and evaluation. Expertise in quantitative and quantitative methods with knowledge of statistical software (e.g. SPSS) and multivariate analysis (e.g. MANOVA, Regression). Ability to present complex research to a variety of audiences, ranging from funders to academics, and laymen audiences
- Leadership & Managerial Skills: Motivate, coach and develop team members for high performance. Influence, lead, and delegate responsibilities. Prioritize and translate corporate goals into meaningful tasks for the team.
- Collaboration & Communication: Influence, build relationships, navigate politics, manage conflicts, negotiate responsibilities across departments, ensure diplomacy.
- Strategic & Creative Insights: An ability to think strategically, creatively and conceptually to develop insights, implications and recommendations for the organization. Suggest new ways of thinking and analyzing, including the evolution or development of new methodologies or processes. Provide insights and recommendations about broad initiatives based on research findings.
- Flexibility & Problem Solving: Critical and solution-oriented thinking. Ability to make and communicate decisions and plan accordingly.
- Budgeting: Ability to develop research budgets for a variety of projects, manage cash flow
Research is a critical component of the Workshop’s DNA and the three-way partnership between the Education, Creative and Content Research teams remains a key point of differentiation between Sesame and other media organizations.
As an educational media organization, the Workshop routinely conducts needs assessments for and formative evaluations of its content. As a starting point for any intervention (e.g., broadcast television domestically or internationally, content delivered through direct services providers or digitally), the Content Research team partners with the Domestic and/or International Education teams to develop and implement needs assessments for the proposed target population (e.g. preschoolers in the US, refugee children in SRR and Bangladesh). These assessments provide the building blocks from which the Education teams develop a curriculum which then serves as the basis of the intervention the Workshop is seeking to implement. As the creative begins to take shape, formative research is conducted with children to ensure both engagement and comprehension of the curricular messages. This information is then shared with Creative and Education teams to further refine and develop the content and curriculum.
Once the work is completed, the Content Research team is often asked to implement or work with a third-party provider to design and implement an impact evaluation of the content. These evaluations provide valuable feedback to the Workshop and its funders on whether we have been able to deliver against our intended impact in any particular intervention.
As the media environment in which we operate has become more complex (from both content proliferation and platform perspective), the Workshop’s work has expanded beyond traditional long-form video content delivered via television to other formats and platforms (short form, digital, partnerships with direct services providers and community-based organizations who deal directly with children and their families) our research work has become more varied and complex. It is important that the head of the department be flexible enough to work closely with various internal teams – Philanthropic Development, International and Domestic Social Impact, Creative and Education to define the types of research that are suitable for different projects and budgets.
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