National Institute on Aging

Wake Forest University — Director of Research and Assessment, Program for Leadership and Character

Application Instructions:
Must apply using direct link:–Program-for-Leadership-and-Character_R0005777

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Job Description Summary
The Program for Leadership and Character at Wake Forest University seeks a creative and committed scholar with a research program focused on character education, moral personality, leadership development, and/or program evaluation to serve as Director of Research and Assessment. We are particularly interested in scholars with knowledge of character, leadership, and/or moral education who have strong methodological experience designing, implementing, and assessing interventions. Evidence of mixed-methods (i.e., quantitative, and qualitative) empirical research skills is required, and familiarity with research on character, leadership, or related concepts is preferred.

The Director of Research and Assessment will lead the assessment of leadership and character in the undergraduate college. They will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of this work, including developing a strategic vision for research and assessment, designing, and directing empirical studies related to character and leadership, conducting mixed-methods research, preparing manuscripts for publication, overseeing data management and research components of grants, and supervising a Research Scholar, Research Program Manager, and/or undergraduate and graduate student research assistants. The Director of Research and Assessment will also conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis of courses and programming, write research grants and reports, facilitate individual consultations and group training related to leadership and character assessment, and support the dissemination of research through publications and presentations to national and international audiences. The position offers an exciting opportunity for a scholar to publish multiple academic articles on leadership and character development, develop new skills in research and assessment, and extend the impact of a major new initiative that aims to promote character education within colleges and universities.

About the Program for Leadership and Character:
The Program for Leadership and Character inspires, educates, and empowers leaders of character to serve humanity. Through innovative teaching, creative programming, and cutting-edge research, the Program aims to transform the lives of students, foster an inclusive culture of leadership and character at Wake Forest, and catalyze a broader public conversation that places character at the center of leadership. Over the last decade, Wake Forest faculty have become leading experts in the study of character, and the Program for Leadership and Character has been profiled as a national leader in character education. The Program has received major grants from the John Templeton Foundation, Lilly Endowment, and the Kern Family Foundation, as well as other foundations and supporters. Most recently, the Program received a $30 million grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. to extend its work at Wake Forest and become the hub of a national higher education network devoted to educating character, which includes a significant focus on research and assessment. For more information about the Program, see For more information about the grant that funds the Educating Character Initiative, see

About Wake Forest University:
Wake Forest University is a private, coeducational institution dedicated to academic excellence in liberal arts, graduate, and professional education. Located in Winston-Salem, NC (“The City of Arts and Innovation”), the University has a deep institutional commitment to public service and engagement with the world, as indicated by the motto Pro Humanitate (for humanity), which encourages students to develop the qualities of human character needed to serve humanity. With the aim to educate the whole person, the University has established an innovative Program for Leadership and Character that offers creative programming and courses to help students develop the character needed to lead ethically in an increasingly complex world.

Please submit a cover letter explaining why you are interested in the position and what experiences prepare you for it and a CV. The position is open and available to be filled immediately. Please apply by May 24, 2023 for priority consideration.

Job Description
Essential Functions:

  • Works with faculty and staff from the Program for Leadership and Character to refine and implement a strategic approach to research and assessment, including the development of annual assessment objectives, goals, and plans.
  • Formulates key research and assessment outcomes, identifies and/or develops quantitative and qualitative measures of those outcomes, and implements systematic processes for collecting relevant data.
  • Design’s interventions based on the science of leadership and character development and best practices in empirical measurement and program evaluation.
  • Directs and conducts evaluation and assessment of relevant courses and programming in the undergraduate college.
  • Uses knowledge of multiple data platforms to manage, collect, and analyze quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate the effectiveness of courses and programming.
  • Develops, analyzes, and generates reports containing descriptive analytical and evaluative content and interprets results for faculty and staff.
  • Oversees the creation and maintenance of data visualizations to identify relationships between data through exploratory data analysis and present meaningful interactive reports to both internal and external audiences.
  • Prepares manuscripts for publication in relevant academic journals and books and leads scholarly publication writing on character and leadership related to pedagogy, research, and assessment.
  • Supervises a Research Scholar, Research Program Manager, and undergraduate and graduate research assistants; leads the Leadership & Character Lab, including training, managing, and mentoring college research staff and research assistants; and creates development plans and goals for team members.
  • Meets with faculty and postdoctoral fellows in the Program for Leadership and Character to review findings from courses to inform pedagogical practices, presentations, and publications.
  • Offers presentations, workshops, reading groups, trainings, and/or consultations related to leadership and character assessment to facilitate outreach, disseminate research, and support other faculty and staff in learning how to develop and assess leadership and character.
  • Writes, coordinates, and manages major research grants.
  • Assists with research-related communications and planning, grant administration, and program development as needed.
  • Performs other duties as needed.

Required Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Ph.D. and record of publication in a relevant academic discipline (e.g., education, psychology, or social sciences) and 3-5 years of experience with research, assessment, and/or program evaluation, or the equivalent level of education and experience.
  • Expertise in mixed-method research design, assessment planning, and data analysis.
  • Ability to use qualitative analysis software (e.g., NVivo) and statistical software (e.g., SAS, SPSS, STATA, or R) to analyze and report data.
  • Exceptional written, oral, and visual communication skills.
  • Excellent organizational, administrative, and interpersonal skills, with accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Familiarity with institutional review board (IRB) policies and procedures.
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering diverse, equitable, and inclusive working and learning environments.
  • Experience working collaboratively with a wide range of constituencies, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills, including the ability to juggle competing demands, work efficiently, and deliver high quality work while adhering to deadlines.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage projects and lead teams with diverse memberships to successful outcomes.
  • Commitment to supporting the moral and intellectual development of students.
  • Good character, sound judgment, and a strong work ethic.
  • Demonstrated ability to:
    • Design, manage, and coordinate multiple research studies simultaneously.
    • Develop and advance an ambitious research agenda.
    • Publish rigorous academic research in respected journals and publications.
    • Initiate projects and work independently with minimal supervision.
    • Collaborate with program staff, postdoctoral fellows, and research assistants to successfully conduct, analyze, and disseminate co-authored research.
    • Collect, analyze, and manage complex datasets.
    • Develop short- and long-term research and assessment goals.
    • Set priorities and effectively manage time and resources.
    • Exercise discretion and keep sensitive information confidential.
    • Positively influence colleagues and develop collaborative relationships with a wide range of people.
  • Willingness to learn more about leadership and character development and apply that knowledge to inform program design, implementation, and assessment.
  • Knowledge and understanding of academic cultures, rules, and regulations.
  • Openness to feedback and a commitment to personal and professional growth.
  • Ability to represent the Program and University in a professional manner.
  • Ability to work occasional weekend or evening hours as needed.

Preferred Education, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities:

  • Extensive knowledge of leadership and character education, interventions, and/or assessment.
  • Experience working on projects that support efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Experience with survey and database software used to collect and manage data (e.g., Qualtrics and Airtable).
  • Experience securing external funding through grants.


  • Reports to Executive Director of the Program for Leadership and Character.
  • Responsible for own work.
  • Supervisory responsibilities.

Apply Now:–Program-for-Leadership-and-Character_R0005777