Full-Time Research Officer – Oceans
The Research Officer is a newly created hybrid role on the Ocean Conservation Team. You will perform directed research, synthesize information, and work on special projects for the team. You will also work with program staff on evaluation and learning work. This is an opportunity to both contribute to and learn about an array of areas across the team.
About the Foundation
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (Foundation) is a family foundation that is guided by the enduring business philosophy and personal values of Lucile and David Packard, who helped found one of the world’s leading technology companies. Their approach to business and community participation has guided our philanthropy for more than 50 years. Today, their children and grandchildren continue to help guide the work of the Foundation. The Foundation makes grants at the local, state, national, and international level.
The Foundation works on the issues their founders cared about most, which are improving the lives of children; enabling the creative pursuit of science; advancing reproductive health; conserving and restoring the earth’s natural systems; and supporting and strengthening an array of local nonprofit organizations.
For 2016, the Foundation expects to make grantmaking awards of approximately $300M. A staff of 120 conducts the day-to-day operations of the Foundation and a Board of Trustees oversees the work of the Foundation. David and Lucile Packard passed onto the Foundation the following core set of values: integrity, respect for all people, belief in individual leadership, commitment to effectiveness, and the capacity to think big. More information about the Foundation can be found at www.packard.org.
We seek a research officer who enjoys a variety of work, has great organization and project management skills, and has the desire to contribute to the work of the Packard Foundation and its grantees. This position reports to the Deputy Director, Oceans within Conservation and Science and will be an integral member of the team. The team is working toward a future where the biodiversity, resilience, and abundance of marine life in coastal and marine ecosystems is rebounding, and where these ecosystems provide increasing benefits for human well-being in the face of growing threats.
The research officer will conduct extensive and in-depth research and analysis for an assigned critical or exploratory initiative, discipline, strategy, or multiple strategies within the Foundation’s ocean conservation program area. You will support the ocean conservation and science program staff by managing learning sessions and special projects that have impact across ocean conservation strategies. You will respond to requests for and proactively scope and recommend program-related research and analysis and summarize results.
• Work with Deputy Director, grantmaking teams, and program services to support monitoring, evaluation, and learning; including development, and/or refinement of program theories of change, monitoring frameworks, collecting baselines, tracking progress, and clarifying evaluation and learning priorities and how best to address those priorities
• Develop and monitor elements of program evaluation, working with program staff and consultants to establish evaluation and learning goals, identify appropriate baselines, track, and evaluate results
• Conduct assigned independent research assignments, as assigned, including strategy research to assess feasibility/viability of potential grant programs and related strategies; collect, analyze, synthesize, and summarize data and knowledge; prepare user friendly reports
• Lead and manage special projects, including developing project work plans, identifying required resources, and establishing timelines and deliverables
• Perform critical syntheses and reviews of research literature and policy analyses
• Assist with grant proposal reviews, particularly with attention to evaluation and learning
• Respond to research requests, determining most efficient method of obtaining information, utilizing various resources and verifying accuracy of data; synthesize and summarize results in reports and presentations
• May work with existing or potential grantees providing research knowledge to improve proposals and assist in goal setting and defining outcomes
• Manage and lead meetings that include external stakeholders related to the Foundation’s ocean strategic framework as well as for specific ocean strategies
• May select and oversee work activities of contractors on a project basis
• Proactively identify external experts relevant to the ocean conservation and science strategies
• Manage multiple projects to successful completion
• Travel and participate in relevant conferences and contribute to field visits and meetings
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
• A high degree of interdisciplinarity, critical thinking, and a firm understanding of natural and social sciences, policy analysis, as well as both fisheries and marine conservation
• Ability to learn to think critically about new subject areas is essential
• Excellent written, verbal, and presentation communication skills
• Knowledge of and demonstrated experience in research and statistical analysis methodologies; experience designing and conducting qualitative and quantitative evaluation techniques is a plus. Skills in data modeling and visualization is a plus
• Excellent project management and organizational skills, flexibility, good judgment, and strong interpersonal skills (characterized by a facilitative style), with a high degree of attention to detail and accuracy
• Proven ability to organize and present complex information in a useful and visually appealing way
• Demonstrated attention to detail and accuracy
• Intermediate skills with Outlook, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and SharePoint and the ability to learn other databases
• Administratively self-sufficient
• Self-starter with the ability to sustain and move work forward with minimal direction and achieve goals under tight deadlines that satisfy multiple constituent priorities
• A diplomatic approach to work and communication and an ability to easily establish credibility among a wide variety of stakeholders
• Anticipate, prioritize, and adjust as work and situations develop
• Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to establish effective working relationships with sensitivity and respect for others
• Commitment to continuous improvement and strong desire to contribute to the broader Foundation, cross-program, and Foundation-wide learning
• Ability to be flexible and travel as needed (up to 15 percent), sometimes over weekends
Education and Experience
Advanced degree in a related area and a minimum of five years of work experience in ocean conservation. Knowledge and/or work experience in the following areas is desirable: marine aquaculture (shrimp, salmon, and other marine finfish); economics (developing approaches and interventions that motivate government and industry decision makers to embrace and help implement policy reforms); working in or with colleagues in Asia on ocean conservation; capital and finance markets.
Compensation and Benefits
The Foundation offers an excellent benefits package and a salary that is commensurate with work experience and education. This is a full-time and exempt position that is located in downtown Los Altos, CA.
Candidate must have the ability to communicate via voice telephone, read and understand written communication, and generate written communication manually and using a computer. Candidate must also have the ability to sit at a desk for 2-3 hours at a time, lift and move documents and supplies not to exceed 25 lbs., and bend to file and retrieve documents.