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Director, Research

National Endowment For Financial Education
Denver, CO
  • Posted: over a month ago
  • Full-Time
Job Description
Salary: $85,500-95,500


Job Title: Director, Research

Organization: National Endowment for Financial Education

Reports To: Managing Director, Research

Location: Downtown Denver, Colorado – up to 50% remote work is encouraged

Type: Full-time, permanent

Organization Overview

At the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), we champion effective financial education. We are the independent, centralizing voice providing leadership, research, and collaboration to advance financial well-being. We do this by mobilizing and inspiring educators, researchers, and advocates nationwide to maximize the impact of financial education. We work hard to remove barriers, amplify outcomes, and elevate effective models through leadership, research, and collaboration. We believe this is important because everyone deserves the opportunity to live their best financial life and that equitable and effective financial education makes it easier for everyone to navigate the financial system, creating a more just society.

Team and Role Description

The National Endowment for Financial Education is seeking a Director, Research to join the research team as NEFE continues its transition from programmatic offerings to an intentional focus on research and thought leadership activities. This position primarily supports collaborative or internal, self-directed research projects and the formation of a research advisory group for the research team. This role is an excellent position for individuals with strong quantitative research expertise and an interest in conducting research related to financial education. Ideally, the candidate would start in June or July.

NEFE’s research team funds scholarly research and performs rigorous research (i.e., in-house research, collaborative/contracted research, and grants) to inform educators, practitioners, and policymakers of issues pertinent to improving financial education and financial well-being. The research team also coordinates the organization's consumer polls, which provide insight into the American experience of issues impacting financial well-being and public sentiment on topics central to advancing financial education. Public opinion work speaks directly to media, policymakers, and public audiences. Additionally, the research team conducts knowledge-gathering and fact-checking activities to support other departments within NEFE. NEFE's work directly intersects with that of academia, research organizations, government agencies, and policy-relevant issues. NEFE is invested in the professional development of its staff, and the successful candidate's interests would be considered in the assignment of duties.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

An individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily to be considered for the role. The requirements listed below represent the knowledge, skill, or ability required.

  • Support the foundation’s directed research and grants activities; includes providing technical and/or methodological support, reviewing deliverables, and writing summary reports
  • Represent the foundation at research conferences and partner research groups; includes distilling and disseminating relevant research information back to the foundation
  • Keep apprised of current research published in the field of financial well-being; synthesize and disseminate key findings and trends to the foundation and external audiences
  • Translate technical academic research into plain language for use by practitioners and other non-technical audiences; includes the foundation’s grants research, internal research, and collaborative research as well as external publications
  • Develop and pursue an independent, scholarly research agenda in the field of financial education and well-being and in alignment with organizational priorities, as appropriate
  • Collaborate with the Managing Director, Research to establish a research advisory group for the foundation and lead the advisory group toward its stated goals
  • Act as an internal subject matter expert on topics in the financial education and well-being field as related to organizational priorities
  • Assist in defining institute and departmental strategic priorities and activities
  • Collaborate with the foundation’s operations, insights, research, engagement, and operations staff on various projects and initiatives
  • Manage the Manager, Research on specific projects as necessary
  • May supervise other research staff (up to 1 to 2 at most)

Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • Implement and coordinate projects as directed by Managing Director, Research
  • Participate in NEFE’s grant funding process
  • Perform other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in economics, public policy, business, social sciences, education policy or a related field, or equivalent experience
  • Excellent organizational skills; ability to multi-task and meet deadlines
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in managing projects from development to completion
  • Ability to communicate progress, risks, timelines, expectations, and deliverables clearly and effectively on multiple ongoing projects, both internally and with vendors
  • Five to ten years of experience with applied research or scholarly research at a foundation, academic organization, government, or private sector; relevant experience during graduate school may be counted toward total experience
  • Experience creating project plans based on project goals and individual skill sets, directing the work of others, and providing feedback and assessment of others’ work quality
  • Baseline understanding of various data collection methods in the social sciences (qualitative and quantitative)
  • Ability to translate technical research into plain language, both conversantly and in writing
  • Demonstrated technical and scholarly writing skills
  • Strong personal belief in the importance of research integrity (e.g., conducting, citing, and using it appropriately)
  • Comfortable collaborating with a team as well as working alone
  • Comfortable facilitating group discussions toward a common goal or plan
  • Knowledge of, or ability to quickly learn, the current body of research on financial well-being and financial education
  • Must be permanently authorized to legally work in the United States (NEFE is not able to sponsor work visas)

Preferred Qualifications

  • Professional experience/comfort with using survey design tools and data visualization tools
  • Interest in cultivating a community of scholars or research-informed audiences to create a research agenda
  • Five to ten years of experience with project management, at a foundation, academic organization, government or within the private sector; relevant experience during graduate school may be counted toward total experience
  • Passion for helping individuals achieve financial well-being
  • Experience managing, developing, training, and mentoring junior staff
  • Ability and willingness to travel

Physical/Mental Demands of the Job

The physical demands of this position are aligned with that of general office-based work, such as: regularly being required to stand, sit, talk, hear, and use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone keyboard. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision requirements due to computer work. Light or moderate lifting may be required. Ability to uphold the stress of occasional traveling. Ability to uphold the stress of giving presentations. Reasonable accommodations may enable individuals with disabilities to perform these functions.

Work hours are generally 8:30 AM -5:00 PM Monday – Friday – up to 50% remote work is encouraged under normal circumstances. Employees work directly with their supervisor and HR to determine the best work schedule, providing sufficient overlap with other NEFE employees.

Travel Required



This base salary range for this position is between $85,500-95,500 and commensurate with experience, with an additional annual bonus potential based on successful completion of goals. NEFE values employees’ ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance, offers a generous employee benefits program that currently includes vacation, sick, parental, and holiday leave; health, dental, vision, long term care, and life/AD&D/disability insurance; EcoPass; professional development; tuition reimbursement; employee assistance program; employer 403(b) match; employer contribution to the defined benefit plan.

Application Instructions

Use the following link to apply for this posiiton:


Please discuss your interest in the organization and describe your most relevant skills and experience(s) in a cover letter—no phone calls. We will review applications on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? We understand that some candidates who could excel in this role may not have all the qualifications precisely listed above. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse work experiences and backgrounds.

NEFE is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.


Applicants must be authorized to work for any employer in the United States. We are unable to sponsor or take over sponsorship of an employment visa at this time.

National Endowment For Financial Education


Denver, CO
80202 USA



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