Slover Linett Strategies is a Chicago-based audience research firm specializing in the cultural and higher education sectors. We help museums of all types, performing arts organizations, and colleges and universities understand their relationships with the individuals and communities they serveand hope to servein order to deepen engagement and broaden participation. Unlike many researchers working with museums and arts organizations, we illuminate both the programmatic and business components of engagement; our studies are commissioned by departments ranging from marketing, membership, and development to curatorial, artistic, exhibition, education, and community outreach. Increasingly, we work on institution-wide research and planning initiatives involving leaders, senior staff teams, and trustees. We draw from a range of social science and management disciplines in our work, using quantitative, qualitative, and ethnographic research methods, often in combination, to construct a nuanced picture and inform big-picture recommendations. Our projects range from exploratory, front-end studies to outcomes and impact assessment. In recent years, we have developed a variety of participatory and ideation-based processes to make research a two-way street. We believe that good research opens a creative dialogue between organization and audience about possibilities and growth.
Founded in 1997, we are a growing, intellectually lively, and team-oriented consultancy that has become a trusted thought-partner to leading nonprofit institutions across the country. Our arts & culture clients include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (since 1999), Smithsonian Institution, Seattle Opera, American Museum of Natural History, Goodman Theater, Field Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art. Our higher ed practice serves the University of Chicago (since 1997), Stanford, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, UCLA, and other institutions. For more information, please visit our website, sloverlinett.com....
The Senior Associate/Associate for Arts & Culture is responsible for leading research and evaluation engagements in our arts & culture sector, which includes the performing arts and museums of art, science, history, as well as other informal learning and cultural organizations. We are open to hiring at either the Associate or Senior Associate level, depending on the candidate’s experience and abilities. The Senior Associate/Associate will report to either the Vice President of Research Services or Vice President for Arts & Culture.
The Senior Associate/Associate must have significant expertise on three dimensions: s/he will be an outstanding research and evaluation professional, with both quantitative and qualitative skills (see below for more detail), s/he will have excellent client management and communication skills, and s/he will have deep knowledge of museums and/or performing arts. We recognize that some candidates will have extensive experience within a particular sub-sector of those domains, such as science centers or symphonies, and therefore may be less familiar with issues in, for example, contemporary art museums or nonprofit theater. The Senior Associate/Associate must have the ability to work meaningfully across sub-sectors, even though some degree of specialization may become desirable as our structure continues to evolve.
The Senior Associate/Associate will play the senior role on a consistent project team of two (possibly three in the future). S/he will be responsible for identifying the client’s organizational and research objectives for the project, as well as for directing and managing the junior member of the team (who may be a Research Assistant, Research Manager, or Research Analyst) in the design and implementation of research activities to meet those objectives. The Senior Associate/Associate will guide the interpretation of the research findings and be the lead author of parts of the resulting report(s), particularly the conclusions and recommendations section. In most cases s/he will be the primary point of contact between Slover Linett and the client, and will be responsible for managing and developing that relationship. S/he will collaborate closely with the Vice President, who will be involved to different degrees depending on the client and type of project and work very closely with his/her junior researcher on the team.
The Senior Associate/Associate’s specific responsibilities will include:
- developing or augmenting our reputation in the arts & culture sector, in part by participating in the national dialogue about trends and issues;
- designing and leading research projects (defining objectives; prioritizing research questions; guiding development of the quantitative, qualitative, or ethnographic instruments and protocols; overseeing sampling design and data collection plans);
- managing the junior member of the project team as s/he oversees or conducts the fieldwork, analyzes data and writes draft reports (note that the junior project team member reports to the same Vice President, so that the Senior Associate/Associate does not have direct reports);
- writing and editing research reports in both presentation and narrative text formats, possibly conducting additional analyses as needed;
- interpreting research findings and developing implications and recommendations, with reference to both the client’s objectives and broader issues in the sector;
- leading client meetings and conference calls and presenting the research findings and recommendations;
- managing research project budgets and timelines;
- maintaining and cultivating strongly positive relationships with the client that result in a perception of Slover Linett as a valuable, strategic thought-partner.
The Senior Associate/Associate will work closely with the firm’s Vice Presidents and partners in areas such as:
- developing new engagements with current clients;
- presenting at conferences, publishing, and blogging.
There will be some travel involved to client meetings and conferences.
As noted above, this needle-in-a-haystack candidate will have proven expertise in two broad areas:
The ideal candidate will be a smart, energetic, and positive-spirited person with excellent research, team management and presentation skills. A graduate degree in a relevant social science and at least six years of work experience is strongly preferred. S/he will also:
- take an entrepreneurial approach and relish new challenges;
- have a strong client-service commitment and the skills and attitude to support it;
- be able to maintain a big-picture view of each project and draw fresh insights and strategic implications/recommendations from the research findings;
- be experienced at presenting research findings to clients and at professional gatherings, particularly in translating complex research analysis into language that non-researchers can understand easily;
- have excellent communication skills, both oral and written;
- have a strong interest in helping build our practice nationally;
- be highly proficient with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint and have familiarity with a statistical package such as SPSS or Stata;
- enjoy working closely with others in a collegial, team-oriented environment;
- be able to adapt to changing conditions both within our firm and within our clients and sectors;
- enjoy a feedback-rich professional environment in which improvement is an ongoing goal for individuals and the firm;
- enjoy the informal, creative, but professional atmosphere of this small business.
Salary will be commensurate with experience. We offer a solid range of benefits. This is a full-time position.
Please e-mail a resume and brief cover note (ideally as email text, not as a separate document) to Cheryl Slover-Linett at jobssloverlinett.com. We are not looking for writing or report samples at this time. Please, no phone calls. We look forward to hearing from you.