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Reports To: Chief Learning Officer

Research Associate, Community Partnerships

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NYSCI is seeking a post-doctoral level Research Associate to support NYSCI’s efforts to build responsive, collaborative partnerships with people and institutions across our local community. With core funding from the Simons Foundation, the Research Associate will map community-level priorities, needs, and assets; examine networks of influence and mutual support that shape NYSCI's relationships with our neighbors; and trace patterns of engagement with specific NYSCI programs and resources among families, schools, and other community stakeholders. This research will involve developing theoretical frameworks and gathering data about the museum’s role within larger community systems. Through this work, the research associate will develop a detailed portrait of where and how NYSCI is responsive and engaged with community partners, and identify directions for growth and investment that can benefit people of all ages in Corona. The Research Associate will work closely with two Director-level researchers, and will supervise one or more research assistants to develop and conduct this line of work.

The Research Associate will collaborate with individuals with a wide range of perspectives and areas of expertise — including educators and community members — to identify shared questions and needs, gather data in complex real-world settings, and synthesize knowledge from a range of data sources. Experience communicating about research methods and findings with nonexpert audiences, and familiarity with using research processes to identify and respond to community needs and assets will be necessary for this position.

The Research Associate will also contribute to institution-wide efforts to develop equitable practices for supporting STEM learning. NYSCI is fundamentally an institution that supports continual improvement and learning, and all of our work is a sustained investigation of how best to support our highly diverse audience as they explore science and engineering concepts and practices. Observing, talking with, and learning from visitors and community members across a wide range of ages and identities is a core professional practice for this position.     


The primary functions for the Research Associate are project management, planning and implementing research plans to understand and strengthen NYSCI’s role within the community, dissemination and communication of research findings with various audiences, and grant-writing to further develop lines of research on the STEM learning ecosystems utilized by diverse families. Each of these functions is described in further detail below.

The Research Associate will be a collaborative and forward-thinking researcher who is able to:

  • Build and sustain relationships with colleagues across departments and external partners

  • Use research processes to understand and address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM learning across community contexts

  • Identify promising opportunities for future projects that respond to community needs and assets

Build and sustain relationships with colleagues across departments and external partners.

Use research processes to understand and address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM learning across community contexts.

Identify promising opportunities for future projects that respond to community needs and assets


Project management:

  • Soliciting input from colleagues and community stakeholders to guide ongoing research efforts

  • Establishing and maintaining systems for project documentation and collaboration

  • Monitoring budgets, paying invoices

  • Establishing and maintaining project timelines and deadlines

Developing and implementing research plans

  • Bringing colleagues and external stakeholders together to define shared goals and research questions

  • Building and maintaining relationships with internal and external collaborators

  • Conducting and/or overseeing data collection for studies involving publicly available data, and interviews/focus groups with families, educators, and other community stakeholders

  • Conducting and/or overseeing data analysis, including quantitative and qualitative analyses

  • Leading interpretation and write-up of research findings

Dissemination and communication

  • Identifying publication opportunities
  • Leading writeup and publication process for articles for both research and community audiences

  • Planning for and delivering conference presentations

  • Sharing regular project updates across departments and with external partners

Grant-writing and development of lines of research

  • Tracking on relevant external research to inform project work and proposal development
  • Identifying promising directions for future research projects, with support from supervisors

  • Contributing to theoretical frameworks, literature reviews, and research plans for grant proposals


The Research Associate may supervise 1-2 research assistants as the scope of this body of work grows. Supervisory responsibilities will include providing structure and guidance for research activities, providing regular performance feedback, and conducting annual performance reviews. Prior supervisory experience is not required.     


This position requires disciplinary and methodological expertise; ability to communicate effectively in Spanish and experience working with Latinx families; experience working with families and community organizations outside of school settings; genuine interest in issues of educational practice; and a commitment to collaborative, creative approaches to designing and implementing research.

Education: A PhD (completed or near completion) in community or environmental psychology, museum studies, sociology, educational policy, or another field relevant to the study of family learning across community contexts; or alternative, equivalent experience (as described below).


A minimum of five years’ experience contributing to the development, design and conduct of research on museum visitation, informal learning, and/or community engagement is required. This may include research or field experience during graduate school. Other relevant skills include:

  • Commitment to the philosophy and mission of the New York Hall of Science;

  • Experience developing ideas in partnership with diverse teams of researchers, practitioners, community members and advocates;

  • Ability to guide a groups or individuals to accomplish complex, multistage tasks;

  • Commitment to building strong STEM learning ecosystems for children, youth, and/or adults;

  • Ability to address issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in research frameworks, methods, and analyses;

  • Strong communications skills with the ability to express ideas;

  • Experience contributing to proposals to public or private funders to support research initiatives;

  • Ability to communicate in Spanish (spoken and written);

  • Evenings/Weekends: Ability and willingness to participate in events outside the workday schedule, including evenings and weekends, based on project needs.


Experience working directly with families and/or staff at cultural or community-based organizations is preferred but not required.     


Commensurate with education, skills and experience; salary range is $70,000-$75,000      


NYSCI strives to be an inclusive and equitable place to work. We work to foster diverse voices and perspectives, empower staff as problem solvers, and support professional growth for all.

The New York Hall of Science also offers generous benefits and perks for all regular full-time employees.
These currently includes:

  • Health, dental and vision insurance options

  • Flexible spending accounts for healthcare, dependent care and commuter benefits

  • Pension plan and 401k plan

  • Free life insurance coverage

  • Paid vacation and sick leave

  • 13 paid holidays off

  • Flexible work schedules

  • Employee Assistance Program

  • Free onsite parking

Organizational Background

NYSCI is New York City's science center, a place where everyone is invited to explore how science and engineering shape our world, and how we can use scientific tools and ideas to answer questions and solve problems. Visitors pose questions, design solutions, explore phenomena, and work together to make amazing things happen.

Located in Queens, one of the most diverse counties in the U.S., NYSCI welcomes 400,000 visitors annually, including families, students on field trips, and camp and after school groups. NYSCI also works with thousands of teachers each year to make classroom science more relevant, exciting and meaningful to students, and conducts innovative research about how science learning happens through everyday experience.

Our exhibitions, programs, and products are informed by strategies of engagement called Design, Make, Play. The defining characteristics of Design, Make, Play — open-ended exploration, imaginative learning, personal relevance, deep engagement and delight — are the ingredients that inspire passionate STEM learners.

How to Apply

Please send cover letter and resume to Please include job title in subject line.

No phone calls.

The New York Hall of Science is an equal opportunity employer committed to fostering an inclusive and innovative environment with the best employees. We provide employment opportunities without regard to age, race, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, disability, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, military service, marital status or any other protected status in accordance with applicable law. We support a drug-free workplace.

If there are preparations we can make to help ensure you have a comfortable and positive interview experience, please let us know.