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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 23 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.

Department/Program Description:

Stanford Impact Labs:  The world’s biggest social problems are complex, multi-faceted, and stubborn.  No academic center, company, or organization can solve issues like economic inequality or pandemic response alone. We need leaders with different skills and experiences to come together to create fresh insights, evidence, and action to make progress.

Stanford Impact Labs—a major new initiative at Stanford University—invests in highly-motivated teams of researchers and practitioners from government, business, nonprofit organizations, and philanthropy. These teams—impact labs—work together on social problems they choose and where practical progress is possible. With our support, they can rapidly develop, test, and scale new solutions to social problems that affect millions of people worldwide.

Our approach builds on what works in the life sciences and engineering to turn academic discovery into medical advances and new technologies people use: significant investment in research and development, and close partnership with academics and leaders outside the university. Stanford is developing a new model to support the social sciences the same way. With financial capital, professional support, and training, we can catalyze problem-focused research and partnerships to generate new insights and solutions to persistent social problems. In doing so, we can make social science work for society.

Position Summary:

Stanford Impact Labs is seeking an inaugural Investments & Accountability Manager to manage a portfolio of grantees putting science to work for society. Reporting into the Director of Investments & Accountability, this role will be joining Stanford Impact Labs at a unique time of dramatic growth in the organization; supporting the organization to build the systems for a replicable investment model; and laying the groundwork for building the case toward substantial national investment in R&D on social problems. This is a one year fixed-term position with the possibility of renewal.

In this role, you will:

  • Lead due diligence of grants, including reviewing proposals by assessing their scientific contribution, quality of team and partnerships as well as their pathway from science to impact. This role requires a strong understanding of the strength and credibility of different research designs in answering different types of questions.
  • Independently manage a portfolio of multiple grantees, including by developing tailored key performance indicators for each grantee, supporting grantee learning and continuous improvement; and conducting ongoing portfolio monitoring.
  • Evaluate grantees’ performance, proactively identifying barriers to impact and work with grantees to overcome those barriers, in close collaboration with the Program Manager. 
  • Represent Stanford Impact Labs with both internal and external stakeholders, including faculty members, lab partners (which include policymakers in leading municipal, state, and federal government agencies, as well as non-profits), among external experts (including practitioners and affected communities) as well as public & private funders that are current or potential future supporters of labs.
  • Review and analyze trends across Stanford Impact Labs’ investments. Identify issues and recommend solutions to improve Stanford Impact Labs’ investment process.
  • Support the design, implementation, and on-going evaluation of an investment process to allocate grants to people, projects and labs that most effectively support Stanford Impact Labs’ mission.
  • Support the continued development and delivery of Stanford Impact Labs’ approach to shared governance in our investment process, including by sharing power and voice with practitioners and affected communities.
  • As a new initiative within the university, this role requires the ability to take on new assignments and projects as they arise. Of relevance to this role is the expansion of funding, grantee programming and replication of SIL’s model.      

To be successful in this role, you will bring:

Education & Experience:

Bachelor’s degree and five years of relevant experience, or combination of education and relevant experience.

Demonstrated experience putting social science insights to work for society; either by participating in multiple researcher-practitioner partnerships, or by overseeing or funding multiple partnerships.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Demonstrated ability to establish priorities, manage shifting priorities, and handle numerous time-sensitive projects with multiple deadlines.
  • Ability to accomplish goals working through formal and informal channels, with diplomacy and tactfulness.
  • Demonstrated creativity, problem solving, critical analysis, initiative, judgment and, decision-making skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and meet budget goals.
  • Demonstrated solid planning and organizational skills.
  • Demonstrated experience working independently and as part of a team.
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communication skills.
  • Strong relevant subject matter knowledge.
  • Ability to direct the work of others, for jobs requiring supervision.

In addition, preferred requirements include:

  • 7-10 years of relevant experience, or combination of education and relevant experience.
  • Advanced degree (Masters or PhD) in economics, public policy, or other social science discipline. This may include graduate-level coursework in research methods, even if a degree was not conferred. 
  • Experience in researcher-practitioner partnerships from the perspective of government, non-profit organization or funder preferred. 
  • Appreciation for the value of research; someone who brings a social science mindset to the work
  • Passion for Stanford Impact Lab’s mission and the real-world implementation of research insights through research-practice partnerships

We know that many people who may excel in this role may not meet all the preferred qualifications. We encourage applications from all people who meet the required qualifications - through work experience, volunteering, and other personal experiences - who will grow and thrive in this position. Stanford Impact Labs is an equal opportunity organization and is committed to racial and social justice. The work we do is frequently in service of and in partnership with traditionally underrepresented and underserved populations. To that end, we particularly encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds to apply.

The School of Humanities and Sciences (H&S) is the foundation of a liberal arts education at Stanford. The school encompasses 23 departments and 25 interdisciplinary programs. H&S is home to fundamental and applied research, where free, open, and critical inquiry is pursued across disciplines.

 

 

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