Research Project Manager

Position Overview

KU Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD) is seeking a research project manager to support research on self-determination for people with disabilities across the life course. This position will work across projects to coordinate research activities, supervise research staff, monitor and communicate study progress, and assist with grant management and reporting tasks. These research projects include focus in the following areas:
  • State-wide systems change research to enhance transition from high school and employment outcomes for students with disabilities
  • Community-based research with adults with disabilities to support decision-making and self-determination
  • Large-scale training and coaching for self-determination intervention to support youth and young adults to engage in goal setting, action planning, and self-evaluation activities
The person in this role may directly supervise the work of professional staff (research assistants or aides, project coordinators), researchers with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and students and postdoctoral researchers supporting research project goals. The ideal candidate will have experience working with and supporting people with disabilities, be highly reliable in a fast-paced office, pay close attention to detail, be adept at problem-solving, have project management experience, and have a degree in education (including special education), psychology (including clinical psychology), health and social sciences, disability studies, or related area.

The University of Kansas, Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD) is recognized as a leading research center in the field of disability. KUCDD implements and conducts grant-funded projects focusing on multiple areas across the life course. This position will support research on (a) applied research on effective assessment and intervention practices with a particular focus on self-determination and transition to employment and (b) interdisciplinary training in the disability field. KUCDD is part of the Life Span Institute (LSI), a leading research unit at the University of Kansas. As a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) funded by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities, the core functions of the KUCDD are interdisciplinary training; community services (including technical assistance, community education, and direct services); research; and information dissemination.

KUCDD research staff are expected to actively engage in research projects and disseminate research results through print, online resources, and direct, in-person presentation of information.

KUCDD is committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive research and educational environment for faculty, staff and students. In a continuing effort to enrich its academic environment and provide equal educational and employment opportunities, KUCDD actively encourages applications from members of underrepresented groups in higher education, including people with disabilities.

Job Description

The research project manager will work directly with Associate Director Evan Dean as well as collaborate with others at KUCDD, including Director Dr. Karrie Shogren and colleagues with disabilities, undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and staff. The research project manager will also liaison with study participants including teachers, youth with disabilities, and family members of youth with disabilities. The person in this role will be tasked with the following responsibilities:

40% - Coordinate development of study protocols to meet project goals and deadlines. Organize study activities such as: recruiting/managing participants, tracking study activities and timelines, assisting with training data collectors, and monitoring data collection activities. Communicate regular project updates and monitor grant resource allocation. Coordinate development of project reports through writing, proofreading and document lay-out. Communicate with funders and coordinate with national and state experts to organize presentations and knowledge-sharing.

30% - Supervise researchers, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in project planning, data collection tasks, information dissemination such as professional writing and presentations, and performing clerical tasks as assigned.

10% - Manage entry of project data into federal data collection systems, including developing and maintaining databases to facilitate effective program evaluation processes and support annual tracking and reporting requirements funding sources. Maintain knowledge of IRB requirements and collaborate with KU IRB office to adhere to project protocols.

10% - Liaise with project partners to collaborate on issues that align with the mission of KUCDD. Create monthly reports for KUCDD leadership based on information gained during these collaborations. Project partners could include state and national agencies (e.g. Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Kansas Department of Education), state-wide organizations (e.g. Self Advocate Coalition of Kansas, Kansas Council on Developmental Disabilities), and schools or community organizations.

5% - Coordinate dissemination activities including informational videos, plain language infographics, detailed project reports, state and national presentations, and peer reviewed manuscripts.

5% - Manage additional project activities as needed, such as administrative tasks (scheduling meetings using Outlook or Doodle polls, organizing and sharing meeting notes); supporting travel arrangements for project staff; and participating in KUCDD service activities like committees, etc.

Required Qualifications

  1. Bachelor’s degree in education (including special education), psychology (including clinical psychology), health and social sciences, disability studies, or related area with minimum of four (4) years of related professional experience, OR Master’s degree in education (including special education), psychology (including clinical psychology), health and social sciences, disability studies, or related area with minimum of one (1) year of related professional experience.
  2. Excellent written and oral communication skills as evidenced in application materials and interview.
  3. Strong attention to detail as evidenced by application materials.
  4. Strong interpersonal, organizational and administrative skills as evidenced by application materials and interview.
  5. Three (3) years of experience using multiple types of computer software and websites (e.g., Microsoft Office suite, Google Drive, Adobe Acrobat, Mail Chimp, Survey Monkey) as demonstrated by application materials, interview, and work experience.

Preferred Qualifications

  1. Experience working with people with disabilities (including autism spectrum disorder) or their families.
  2. Experience working with state agencies in Kansas (e.g. Kansas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Kansas Department of Education).
  3. Experience with data management, analysis or storage systems (e.g., Excel, SPSS, Qualtrics, RedCap).
  4. Excellent student and staff management skills as evidenced by application materials.
  5. Communications experience, including development of materials to support study activities such as recruitment, protocols, and dissemination products.
  6. Experience working with more than one project at a time.
  7. Strong interest in research on self-determination or related areas.

Additional Candidate Instructions

Please submit an online application, cover letter, resume and contact information for three professional references. In the cover letter, please indicate how your skills and experience meet requirements for this position. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application deadline is June 14th, 2023. To be considered, please apply by this date.

Contact Information to Applicants

Evan Dean, Ph.D.
Associate Director, KU Center on Developmental Disabilities (KUCDD)

Advertised Salary Range


Work Schedule

40 hours/week

Application Review Begins

Thursday June 15, 2023

Anticipated Start Date

Monday August 7, 2023

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Posting Information

  • Posting ID:  25281BR
  • Department:  Bureau of Child Research
  • Primary Campus:  University of Kansas Lawrence Campus
  • Assignment:  Hybrid
  • Reg/Temp:  Regular
  • Employee Class:  U-Unclassified Professional Staff
  • Review Begins:  15-Jun-2023

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