[No longer accepting applications]
The Beeck Center is looking to hire a full-time, temporary Project Researcher from February 2024 – December 2024, to support our GovTech Project. Beeck Center Researchers are hired to turn big ideas into actionable insights by collecting comprehensive information with, from, and about practitioners, and publishing landscape scans, findings, stories, case examples, and insights to be shared across our networks. Researchers are critical for understanding opportunity spaces by documenting existing solutions and gaps where solutions can be created by the Beeck Center and partners in the public interest tech space.
Researchers are responsible for:
- Developing methods for surfacing insights from across the field, drawing from their research expertise as well as the Beeck Center Research Framework
Capturing and documenting what’s happening (surveys, interviews, case studies, case examples, and summary reports)
- Supporting their project team as they identify ways that the Beeck Center can better support the needs of government and public interest practitioners using data, technology, and design to drive toward better outcomes in society
We are recruiting one researcher position to be split evenly across 2 main areas of work:
Project 1: GovTech Research
A common challenge identified across all Beeck Center programs has been the problematic nature of the govtech market in the US and beyond — large systems and waterfall approaches, undertaken by a diminishingly small pool of large vendors, dominate the current market, impacting choice, quality and value for money for governments and, most importantly, outcomes for citizens.
We believe that we need a new govtech market: one that works on the basis of openness, collaboration and shareability; that allows for new entrants by reducing the cost and barriers to entry, overcoming monopoly and capture and bringing constant innovation and improvement to our technology reliant public services; that is agile, user centered, open and transparent by default, and constantly evolving; and that serves citizens better and provides frontline practitioners the tools to support citizens to live fulfilling lives. We want to see a vibrant market that saves governments huge sums of money in the cost of program delivery so that money reaches the people who need it most rather than being depleted by a complex, inefficient chain of service delivery.
As part of this mission, we will be undertaking a research project to better understand and frame both the challenges and the opportunities for govtech intervention and improvement. This will consist of research looking at existing challenges in government technology delivery in the US and around the world, and the development of best practice case studies to point to areas of opportunity, and designing a work plan for future market interventions to deliver a range of possible solutions. We expect this to include desk research, primary interviews and a short series of expert-led roundtables to develop our understanding and focus down on areas most ripe for intervention and impact. The term will culminate in summary publications and proposed follow on work, outlining opportunities for both the Beeck Center and partners to deliver strategic interventions to shift the nature of the govtech market.
It will be the role of the Researcher to lead the design and delivery of the research project in collaboration with Beeck Center Fellows as well as co-author the research outputs in whichever format is agreed upon.
Project 2: Unemployment Insurance Modernization Initiative
The project team is also currently supporting a small number of “learning by doing” initiatives in the government technology space, assisting both the federal government to transition to an “enabling role” with States as well as a limited number of States themselves in developing change roadmaps.
This researcher role will help one such initiative – the Department of Labor’s IT modernization strategy for unemployment insurance systems. An ambitious multi-million dollar program, the intent is for the DoL and partners to support 19 States and Territories to effectively target spending to maximize impact and improvement activity in areas such as cloud, modular products, analytics and customer experience. Working in partnership with NASWA, the Beeck Center is playing an advisory and research role both directly with localities, but also across the program. We are currently developing a research paper outlining the range of approaches being taken by localities and the challenges and opportunities being faced.
Over the coming period, the Beeck Center is looking for a researcher to continue to support the program as a whole, documenting key insights, lessons learned and opportunities relating to the emerging Open UI Initiative, its technical advisory group, the approach and implementation of technology modules with pilot states.
Before submitting your application to Georgetown University, visit the Beeck Center’s careers page to learn more about the recruiting process, timeline and supplemental application requirements.
Our Researchers work very closely and frequently with their project team. They report to a senior member of staff at the Beeck Center and the GovTech Fellows to both support professional development and track the delivery of their research and publications. The GovTech team is currently led by Fellows Aaron Snow and Dominic Campbell, whom the Project Researcher will jointly report to.
Researchers are charged with building and maintaining relationships with and among government and public-service practitioners and policy makers. They serve as domain experts and points of contact for members of our program participants, which will include employees of agencies at all levels of government and employees of non-profit organizations.
Researchers also work to identify opportunities for collaboration across other teams at the Beeck Center and the broader Georgetown community.
Distributed Working Environment
This position has been designated as Telework. Please note that work mode designations are regularly reviewed in order to meet the evolving needs of the University. Such review may necessitate a change to a position’s mode of work designation. Complete details about Georgetown University’s mode of work designations for staff and AAP positions can be found on the Department of Human Resources website.
The Beeck Center operates as a distributed team, with some team members working remotely and others working in-person in our Washington, DC offices. A distributed team means there will be heavy reliance on asynchronous communication channels such as Slack, Asana, and Gmail, while also having many meetings fully virtual or hybrid to include remote employees, using Zoom.
The Beeck Center has two office spaces in Washington, DC: one on Georgetown University’s Main Campus and a second downtown on Georgetown’s Capitol Campus. We prioritize spending time in person with our student analysts for collaboration and career development as well as building relations across the various other centers on campus. Remote employees will have the opportunity to and are expected to travel up to 10% for team retreats, conferences and in-person work weeks.
Research + Publishing (80%)
- Develop and execute research strategies for the projects in partnership with the Beeck Center, with defined processes, methods, and outputs
- Produce research outputs and deliverables as agreed, including drafting, editing, and publishing insights, possibly to include: written reports (case studies, white papers, policy briefs, blog posts, etc.) documenting best practices, digital transformation processes and/or research processes; technical documentation of processes and/or data discovered; ad-hoc outputs, such as interviews, conference presentations, slide decks, or webinars
- Communications and dissemination materials to promote the research outputs including social media posts, emails, etc.
- Support (occasionally in-person) convenings to bring together key stakeholders to drive research processes and co-create action-oriented outcomes from the research
- Ensure the collection and proper management of sufficient and appropriate data for analysis
- Anticipate and manage risks, including methodological and ethical risks and organizational and logistical challenges
- Draft project documentation, synthesizing various points of view, discerning priorities and identifying conflicting information
Cross-Team Coordination (20%)
- Work with the project team to develop detailed project plans, identify milestones, manage timelines, and track progress towards research deliverables
- Manage and mentor student analyst(s) hired to support the project
- Communicate daily with project team members, report community statuses and needs, and provide thought partnership; exchange ideas and share best practices for cohort engagement, learning, and development
- Work closely with internal Beeck Center colleagues to support grant reporting, project proposals, and other reporting to highlight project activities and progress
- Manage any operations and internal project management tools used for the project
Ideal candidates for this position have the following experience:
- Bachelor’s degree and 3-5 years of experience required (or equivalent combination of education and work experience)
- Experience with conducting and publishing research, human-centered design, and/or writing for publications
- Experience working in or in partnership with government
- Expert-level writing and editing, particularly with an eye toward specialized audience(s)
- Familiarity with the subject matter of the Beeck Center’s project(s)
- Experience with group facilitation and learning
- Commitment to centering equity in supporting government officials and public interest practitioners as they leverage data, design, and technology to improve service delivery
- Flexible, adaptable workstyle, willingness to collaborate with the team, and ability to co-create something that’s never been done before
Salary, Benefits, and Employment Term
The Project Researcher is a full-time (40 hours per week) temporary position from February 2024-December 2024. The Beeck Center will utilize a third-party hiring staffing agency, NextSource, to facilitate the hiring and benefits process.
This position will be paid monthly at a compensation range of $5,417-$6,666, commensurate with experience, and includes full benefits provided by NextSource.
Before You Apply
Please visit the Beeck Center’s careers page to review more details regarding the recruitment timeline and supplemental questions, which may be helpful to guide your Georgetown application.
Please complete this application form to be considered for this role. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with a priority deadline of Monday, February 12.
If you are a qualified individual with a disability and need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please click here for more information, or contact the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (IDEAA) at 202-687-4798 or email@example.com.
Need some assistance with the application process? Please call 202-687-2500. For more information about the suite of benefits, professional development and community involvement opportunities that make up Georgetown’s commitment to its employees, please visit the Georgetown Works website.
Georgetown University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer fully dedicated to achieving a diverse faculty and staff. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply and will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and expression, and sexual orientation), disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.