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13 Jan 2021

Director of Research

Job Description

Forcier is looking for a highly self-motivated individual with significant academic training in research design, as well as experience managing and implementing field research projects in complex settings. The Director of Research will be a full-time position based in Juba, South Sudan. The Director of Research’s primary role is to ensure the delivery of high-quality research and data collection projects for its clients. There are three main functions of this role: research team management, client management and engagement, and high-level research input and oversight.

Research Team Management

The Director of Research directly manages the Research Officers and Fieldwork Managers and aims to build their capacity to deliver top quality research deliverables. The Director of Research is integral to Forcier’s aim to execute our work using a sustainable teaching model that builds local research capacity in the world’s most challenging environments 

Client Management and Engagement 

The Director of Research plays a critical role in managing clients, including providing advice on key decisions related to research design by spelling out both the methodological and practical (i.e. budgetary and logistical) implications of a given decision. The Director of Research works alongside the business development team to ensure that all proposals are methodologically coherent, locally contextualized, profitable, and are in keeping with the highest standards of research quality.

High Level Research Input and Oversight

It is the responsibility of the Director of Research to see the lifecycle of every project and support their team through the challenges (fun, some would say) that come with administering high-quality fieldwork in complex environments. They provide expert input on matters of sample design, questionnaire design, and analysis techniques/approaches. The Director of Research guides key decisions related to statistical analysis, including choices of appropriate inferential-statistical tests, data structure, weighting, and other adjustments to account for survey design (including stratification and clustering).

Daily Tasks

  • Guide key decisions related to research aims and methodological design of projects at the proposal stage and during project implementation;

  • Provide or appropriately delegate/assign the provision of quality assurance and quality control on all research-related deliverables (e.g. research protocols, analytical reports, datasets, and presentations;

  • Actively track all key research staff, their levels of utilization, and their skill sets;

  • Actively track all ongoing and incoming/nascent projects, and appropriately match people/teams and their toolkits with projects;

  • Provide input on local context and other practical aspects of research execution, both internally and with our clients;

  • Learn, teach, and uphold Forcier’s existing systems for ensuring quality research, and aid with the roll-out and adoption of new research-related systems as necessary. 

  • Serve as the primary point of contact with clients during the proposal stage and continue high-level management of the client relationship during implementation of projects, including planning and attending client meetings as necessary;

  • Follow all standard work policies and procedures for the research department and conduct annual performance evaluations of research staff in conjunction with the Director of Field Operations;

  • Maintain reasonable workloads and expectations for all research staff;

  • Develop professional development plans for research staff to ensure appropriate skill-building and mentoring activities occur.



M.A. degree and at least 3 years of experience. Appropriate graduate level education will be in political science, anthropology, international development, statistics, public health, or a related field. Irrespective of degree field, graduate level training in research methods and statistics is required.

Required Skills

  • Advanced knowledge of Stata required

  • Fluency in written and spoken English 

  • Excellent knowledge of Microsoft Office package, including good skills in Excel 

  • Graduate-level coursework in econometrics and inferential statistics, ideally including applied regression analysis, survey data analysis, data visualization, and power analysis

  • Demonstrated ability to clean and interpret real-world data, generating publishable insights

  • Experience in managing diverse, multi-cultural teams and human resources to ensure successful completion of projects and objectives

  • Prior experience and technical skills in qualitative and quantitative tool development, scripting questionnaires in CAPI software (preferably with ODK), sampling, operationalization of complex research designs, data cleaning, and quality assurance methods 

  • Demonstrated ability to efficiently and effectively edit the technical writing of others

  • Ability to conduct themselves in a professional manner with it comes to client and partner communication and interaction, and liaising with upper-level management 

  • Ability to work independently in a stressful environment with minimal supervision 

  • Ability to produce high-quality work under tight deadlines 

  • Creativity and an ability to think outside the box to conceptualize projects and implementation strategies 

Preferred (but not required) Skills

  • Prior experience living and working abroad, preferably in a developing country

  • Graduate-level coursework in research design and sample design 

  • Training in, or experience using qualitative analysis software (e.g. NVivo) 

  • Training in, or experience using GIS analysis software (e.g. QGIS) 

  • Knowledge of R, Python, or other statistical programming/databasing languages is an asset

  • Prior experience in a teaching/mentoring capacity

  • Prior experience in planning and managing budgets and resources 



  • Salary commensurate with relevant experience, and in line with Forcier compensation guidelines  

  • In-country living stipend 

  • Accommodation at the Forcier guesthouse in South Sudan

  • Round-trip flights from your home base to duty station at the start and end of the contract 

  • Additional flight allowances during contract period 

  • Generous paid time off

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