Associate Director of Research, Effective Philanthropy Learning Initiative (EPLI)

90834 Requisition #

The School of Humanities and Sciences (H&S) is the center of a world-class liberal arts education at Stanford University. H&S encompasses 23 departments—from Art and Art History, English, and History to Economics, Mathematics, and Biology—as well as 25 interdisciplinary programs. As the university’s largest school, H&S serves as the foundation of a Stanford undergraduate education no matter which discipline students pursue as a major. Graduate students work alongside world-renowned faculty to pursue and shape foundational research that leads to breakthroughs and discoveries that shed new light on the past, influence the present, and shape the future. Together, faculty and students in H&S engage in inspirational teaching, learning, and research every day.


The Stanford Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society (PACS) is a global interdisciplinary research center and publisher of the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR). Stanford PACS develops and shares knowledge to improve philanthropy, strengthen civil society, and address societal challenges. By creating a shared space for scholars, students, and practitioners, Stanford PACS informs policy and social innovation, philanthropic investment, and nonprofit practice. 


Professor Paul Brest is a Faculty Director and the Principal Investigator of the Effective Philanthropy Learning Intiative (EPLI) which is co-led by Erinn Andrews. EPLI is a key research program at Stanford PACS. It conducts applied research to better understand high-capacity donors’ philanthropic interests, motivations, and behaviors. EPLI’s guiding question is How might we help high-capacity donors increase their philanthropic impact? An interdisciplinary research initiative working at the intersection of strategic philanthropy, the behavioral sciences, and design thinking, EPLI aims to improve the knowledge of donors—and of intermediaries providing donor education and advisory services—so they can make more informed, outcome-focused decisions, thereby increasing their philanthropic impact. Learn more about EPLI here.


EPLI  is currently seeking an Associate Director of Research to conceptualize, coordinate, and conduct research within EPLI’s areas of interest. S/he works closely with the co-directors to develop and manage EPLI’s research agenda and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders including scholars, practitioners, students, and other university and community-based networks. The Associate Director of Research will participate in planning processes, monitor implementation and seek out new opportunities for collaboration for EPLI; ensure EPLI’s research products are available to core audiences; develop the curriculum for new education programs; assist in teaching some of the education programs EPLI offers; and work closely with the Director on integrating EPLI’s work into the larger PACS community.

This is a two year, fixed term position.

Job Responsibilities

Research (50%)

  • Conceptualize and coordinate existing EPLI research activities and research projects
  • Conceptualize and conduct scholarly research on topics of interest to EPLI (including for instance, trends in donor behavior, trends in how intermediaries such as wealth advisors support high-capacity donors, understanding how high-capacity donors structure their gifts to nonprofits, how younger donors think about philanthropy and prefer to engage)
  • Lead all research activities such as applying for IRB approval, developing consent forms, developing research protocols, conducting interviews and surveys, analyzing research results and drafting reports of the findings, producing final research reports, drafting additional articles on research topics for publication in a variety of periodicals
  • Excellent writing skills; ability to communicate with scholarly and lay audiences
  • Interest in creating/participating in new forums for communicating research

Curricular Development and Teaching (30%)

  • Lead the development of and ensure that the curriculum for the Stanford PACS Education for Philanthropy Professionals (EPP) is thoughtful, engaging, effective, and in alignment with EPLI’s mission and teaching practices and for any other education programs EPLI develops
  • Support Guest Speakers in developing their curriculum for the EPP program, and any other education programs EPLI develops
  • Assist in teaching during the EPP program and any other education programs EPLI develops, for instance leading discussion sessions

Programs and Communications (20%)

  • Coordinate strategy, planning, and visioning with EPLI Co-Directors and other staff, responsible for the implementation and monitoring of activities and goals that are specific to research and courses.
  • Represent EPLI to internal and external audiences regarding potential partnerships and funding opportunities.
  • Seek potential new audiences and collaborators for EPLI’s work, including scholars, practitioners, and policymakers.
  • Work with the Director on production of EPLI’s research and publications.
  • Work with communications colleagues to ensure EPLI’s digital assets are up-to-date on research outputs and content.

The position requires a PhD, in a social science discipline; a record of early-career scholarly or related writing and a demonstrated interest in topics related to philanthropy 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

The job duties listed are typical examples of work performed by positions in this job classifications and are not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, tasks and responsibilities. Specific duties and responsibilities may vary depending on department or program needs without changing the general nature and scope of the job or level of responsibility. Employees may also perform other duties as assigned.


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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