Project Director – Boston, MA

Project Director

University of Massachusetts Boston

Boston, MA


General Summary: 

The Project Director within the Center for Social Development and Education (, will direct all aspects of an ongoing national evaluation of Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools. This school-based social inclusion program, currently in over 6,500 schools across nearly every U.S. state, brings students with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities together through sports and school-wide engagement activities. This large-scale, national evaluation examines program implementation strategies and program impacts on social inclusion and the social development of students with and without disabilities, including pro-social behavior, sense of belonging, friendship, emerging identity, as well as school-wide cultural change around inclusion and attitudes toward disability.

Under the supervision of the Director of the Center, the Project Director will be responsible for scheduling and coordinating daily project activities; designing teacher and student surveys; coordinating evaluation activities with principals and teachers; with the guidance of the Center’s research staff, will be responsible for implementing the data management system for collecting and coding the program evaluation data, performing data analysis and interpreting results; and writing reports and papers summarizing evaluation findings and presenting findings to the U.S. Department of Education and Special Olympics North America. The Project Director will serve as the liaison with collaborating states and participating schools; will assist the Principal Investigator(s) in the training and supervision of support personnel; and will be actively involved in the development of journal articles, presentation at national conferences, and summary reports to states. To date, the findings from the national evaluation have led to five journal articles and 26 conference presentations.

Examples of Duties: 

  • Responsible for the day-to-day management of the evaluation, including correspondence with states and schools, scheduling evaluation activities, supervising the work performed by Research Assistants and Graduate Assistants assigned to provide the daily research and evaluation support surrounding the project, and overseeing resource allocation and workloads to move the various evaluation components forward.
  • Draw on theories, concepts, and the literature on youth development, social identity, and peer networks to help design evaluation methodology and protocols for assessing program impact on students.
  • Responsible for the coordination of site visits at schools, as well as student and teacher interviews and online surveys of students, teachers, and program staff; oversee the development of survey materials and interview protocols; track and monitor evaluation activities and data collection.
  • Oversee the data management system established in conjunction with the Center’s research staff for the collection, coding, and analyzing of quantitative and qualitative data across participating schools/states.
  • Work with the Center’s Director of Finance and Operations on budget development for the yearly report.
  • Lead the development of the final evaluation report(s) submitted to Special Olympics North American and the U.S. Department of Education; collaborate with the Center’s research staff in the preparation of manuscripts for publication and national conference proposals.
  • Maintain correspondence with pertinent stakeholders in the project, especially school personnel and SO state directors.

Master’s degree in psychology, Educational Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Sociology or a closely related field and a minimum of 2 years of experience coordinating and/or managing research or program evaluation projects in a non-laboratory setting is required. Doctoral level education is preferred.

Experience conducting applied research and/or program evaluation, preferably within the education system, is required. Prior management and supervisory experience is required. Understanding of intermediate and advanced statistics and fluency in quantitative and qualitative software (e.g., SPSS, Stata, NVivo, Atlas.ti) is required. Prior publishing experience and/or experience presenting at a regional/national conference is required. The incumbent will be required to travel, both locally and nationally. A valid driver’s license is required.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of issues surrounding social inclusion of students with disabilities and youth programming.
  • Knowledge of theoretical frameworks for understanding youth social development, such as positive youth development, development of friendships, positive identity development, etc..
  • Knowledge of and ability to collect data through virtual (e.g., Zoom), telephone, and/or in-person interviews.
  • Knowledge of survey scale development and measurement design.
  • Experience conducting survey research, especially in schools.
  • Experience with observational data collection.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Knowledge of and ability to coordinate and monitor large-scale data collection and databases.
  • Ability to supervise a team of research assistants and graduate assistants.
  • Ability to exercise good judgment in prioritizing tasks.
  • Ability to write educational reports involving project data.
  • Strong written communication skills.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate with both internal and external partners.
  • Strong organizational skills and strong attention to detail.

Application Instructions: 

Please apply online with your resume, cover letter and list of three professional references.

Review of candidates will begin following the application closing date. 

Only Internal candidates in the Professional Staff Bargaining Unit will be considered during the first 10 business days of the posting.  All other candidates will be considered after that period. 

Salary Ranges for the appropriate Pay Grade can be found at the following link: 

Grade: 33              

This is an exempt union position. This is a grant funded position with a current end date of Sep 30, 2024, subject to renewal is contingent on funding and university needs.

All official salary offers must be approved by Human Resources.

UMass Boston requires all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and to confirm proof of their vaccination status. Exemptions from the vaccine requirement will be permitted only for qualifying religious or medical reasons.



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