Research Analyst

Research Chicago (Preferred), Illinois


Work. Serve. Thrive.

Imagine a place where your talent can make a meaningful difference in peoples' lives. Working at Feeding America is a uniquely rewarding experience in which our employees work together as vital parts of a much larger mission. We are innovative, mission-focused, diverse, collaborative, values-driven and focused on results.

We are a national, nonprofit organization and the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, our mission is to feed America's hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.

The Opportunity

To provide research support to the organization through contribution to the development, execution, and management of primary and secondary research and analysis, facilitating the development of organization and policy-based research to support evidence-based programs, legislation, and organization advancement of Feeding America.

  • Takes direction from Research Manager/Director to implement project tasks, processes and analysis for key research studies and initiatives (e.g., Service Insights, Map the Meal Gap, State of Senior Hunger and other special population studies), progressing key project components and coordinating with team members, appropriate personnel, and/or consultants in a timely and clear fashion.
  • Collaborates with research managers and directors to define project goals, research design and deliverables and to draft and manage project budgets. When appropriate, delineates tasks to team members, appropriate personnel, and/or consultants to support key project activities and deliverables.
  • Supports research functions and initiatives by providing project management functions, including coordination, progress management, and support activities.
  • Coordinates meetings and updates for project team members.
  • Presents at learning conferences, policy forums and similar events on Feeding America research.
  • Provides data management functions including data analytics plan development, data structure development, and data integration with other data sets and resources as appropriate. Manages data set repositories and ensures data integrity and use upon request for data use.
  • Leads data analytic activities with a range of data to provide data collection and support, cleaning, and quality control.
  • Develops data analysis protocols and conducts in-depth data analytic analyses with quantitative and/or qualitative methods, as appropriate, and provides analyses of the data findings, from both original research and secondary sources including, but not limited to, primary research studies data, Census Bureau data, American Community Survey estimates, and proprietary data from partner organizations.
  • Uses gathered data to create data visualizations, executive summaries, and other deliverables that interpret and disseminate outcomes and key findings from research studies and initiatives.
  • Provides support for personalized data analysis provided to the food bank network and partners interested in accessing data to use for programmatic and strategic alignment.
  • Conducts literature reviews and provides analysis and summary materials to document findings available internally. Reviews and provides summaries of the literature on key research topics and best practice indicators of success.
  • Supports the development of national and local protocols for understanding dimensions of food insecurity and related topics, providing support in analysis and development of materials, development of support materials to share with the food bank network members, and communication and technical assistance materials (e.g., guides, webinars, digital resources) to support ease of access and use among food bank network members.
  • Provides research and data analysis-related technical assistance to food bank and partner organizations, assisting in understanding the best practices in developing strong data collection and management structures.
  • Collaborates with research managers and directors to provide technical assistance to other departments and food bank network members on a range of research initiatives and ongoing queries into the literature base.
  • BA/BS or relevant experience preferred
  • Master’s degree (Public Policy, Statistics, Analytics, Public Administration, Social Work or related field) or relevant experience, preferred
  • 3 plus years experience in applied research in the social sciences or related fields with statistical analysis preferred

Foundational Requirements

  • Committed to the organizational mission to end hunger.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion – Committed to a workplace that values different backgrounds and life experiences and allows everyone to bring their authentic self to work. Builds equity into structure, systems, and processes for our employees and the communities we serve.

Required Leadership Competencies

  • Leverages Functional Expertise – Ability to leverage functional research and analytical knowledge.
  • Manages for Results – Works to apply project management skills to ensure that all projects are managed and accurately researched, analyzed and implemented.
  • Collaborates Internally and Externally – Ability to collaborate across internal departments as well as partner and engage with a wide range of external partner organizations and researchers.
  • Communicates Effectively - Experience with foundational research functions and analysis to analyze and present research findings in clear and compelling ways.

Required Technical Competencies and Experience

  • Advanced experience with research study support and project management on topics related to poverty and social services.
  • Basic knowledge of statistical concepts and professional working proficiency in statistical software (e.g., R, SPSS, STATA, and/or SAS).
  • Excellent knowledge of the database systems and resources for seeking out research insights and literature on the issue of food insecurity and related issues of poverty.
  • Professional working proficiency in Microsoft Office applications.
  • Experience with quantitative and/or qualitative data collection, data management, and analysis.
  • Familiarity with interactive data visualization best practices, with Tableau proficiency preferred.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Preferred Technical Competencies and Experience

  • Advanced data analytics and data analysis systems management skills.
  • Experience with the development of technical assistance and learning materials for social service organizations.
  • Experience working with partner organizations, communities, and researchers to understand research needs and provide data and research tools to support learning and data collection needs.

Feeding America embraces a philosophy that recognizes and values diversity.  Our goal is to attract, develop, retain and promote a talented diverse workforce in a culture where all employees will contribute to their fullest potential.