Associate Director of Research, Civic Life of Cities Lab (CLCL)

88011 Requisition #

Associate Director of Research, Civic Life of Cities Lab (CLCL)


The Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University (Stanford PACS) is a research center for scholars and practitioners to explore and share ideas that create social change. Its primary participants are Stanford faculty, visiting scholars, postdoctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, philanthropists and nonprofit and foundation practitioners. 


The Civic Life of Cities Lab (CLCL) is a research program of Stanford PACS that explores relationships between nonprofit organizations and their communities, with a focus on understanding how civic organizations address social needs and tackle the pressing issues of our time, both locally and internationally. Around the world, nonprofits and civil society organizations are integral to the social fabric. Nonprofits address local priorities, cultivate creative expression, spur support for environmental preservation, provide sanctuary for the unhoused, care for the sick, and build recreational spaces for all to enjoy. Their work is not only embedded in daily life, it is constitutive of it. 


At CLCL, we explore these topics through a comparative study of civic organizations in seven metropolitan areas around the world: San Francisco, Seattle, Shenzhen, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, and Vienna. Using surveys and interviews, we seek to understand how nonprofits, and the members, donors, and philanthropists that support them, identify challenges, pursue solutions, and help their local communities navigate global crises. The current research team includes ten faculty and more than a dozen postdoctoral scholars, PhD students, and research assistants at 8 leading universities around the world. More detail about CLCL can be found at


CLCL  is currently seeking an Associate Director of Research to work closely with and report to Prof. Woody Powell, the faculty director of CLCL. (Professor Powell’s webpage can be accessed at


As a key member of the CLCL team, the Associate Director of Research will work with the faculty director and research team to help advance the Lab’s array of research interests and paper-writing projects. S/he will help coordinate the project across the seven research sites, integrate both quantitative and qualitative data across the sites, assist with analytical inquiries into this data, and facilitate communicating results to scholarly, policy, and practitioner audiences. The Associate Director will help manage the Lab’s research agenda and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders, including scholars, students, and other university and community-based networks . S/he will participate in planning processes, will monitor implementation  and will seek out new opportunities for research and publications for the Lab, ensure the Lab’s research products are available to key audiences, and contribute to the planning of conferences and colloquia.


This position is a two-year fixed term. We anticipate the experience will position the Associate Director quite well for either a scholarly or policy career track. There will be space for the Associate Director to pursue his or her own research program too. To apply, applicants should submit a brief cover letter outlining qualifications; a current CV; up to three writing samples;  and contact information for three references.


Job Responsibilities

Research (60%)

  • Conceptualize and coordinate existing lab research across the different teams located at universities across the world, working with the seven metropolitan areas to organize, interpret and harmonize the data across the cities.
  • Contribute to/assist with scholarly research on topics of interest to the Lab.
  • Contribute to the recruitment, coordination and supervision of undergraduate and graduate research assistants;
  • Create/participate in new forums for communicating research as well as identifying opportunities such as conferences and scholar seminars for sharing research.
  • Lead all research administration activities such as applying for IRB approval, developing consent forms and research protocols.
  • Conduct interviews, analyze survey results and draft white papers and reports of the findings, participate in producing research reports, drafting articles on research topics for publication in a variety of academic and general interest journals.
  • Write and/or edit content for proposals, research grants, peer-reviewed publications, and other program activities.


Programs and Communications (40%)

  • Participate in program strategy development, long-range planning and partnership development with faculty director and other researchers affiliated with the lab.
  • Develop or contribute to outreach strategy related to program communications, development, partnerships, and fundraising/funding.
  • Assist with grant writing and proposal development, including identifying and applying for event and program funding in consultation with the staff team at PACS.
  • Seek potential new audiences and collaborators for the Lab’s work, including scholars, nonprofits and philanthropic foundations.
  • Work with communications and external relations team at Stanford PACS to ensure Lab’s website is up-to-date on research outputs and content.

Requirements and Qualifications:

The position requires an advanced degree - PhD, in a social science discipline; a record of early-career scholarly or policy-related writing; quantitative data analysis skills; and a demonstrated interest in topics related to civil society and the nonprofit sector. We seek applicants who wish to join an academic community that values rigorous inquiry and encourages diverse perspectives and experiences. 


Why Stanford is for You

Imagine a world without search engines or social platforms. Consider lives saved through first-ever organ transplants and research to cure illnesses. Stanford University has revolutionized the way we live and enrich the world. Supporting this mission is our diverse and dedicated 17,000 staff. We seek talent driven to impact the future of our legacy. Our culture and unique perks empower you with:


  • Freedom to grow. We offer career development programs, tuition reimbursement, or audit a course. Join a TedTalk, film screening, or listen to a renowned author or global leader speak.
  • A caring culture. We provide superb retirement plans, generous time-off, and family care resources.
  • A healthier you. Climb our rock wall, or choose from hundreds of health or fitness classes at our world-class exercise facilities. We also provide excellent health care benefits.
  • Discovery and fun. Stroll through historic sculptures, trails, and museums.
  • Enviable resources. Enjoy free commuter programs, ridesharing incentives, discounts and more

Other duties may also be assigned, not all unique aspects of this job are covered by this job posting. A full job description will be shared during the interview process.


Consistent with its obligations under the law, the University will provide reasonable accommodation to any employee with a disability who requires accommodation to perform the essential functions of their job.

Stanford is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law,

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