May 24, 2021

Manager, Strategic Outreach & Partnerships

  • Student Experience Research Network
  • Remote
Full-Time Education/Training Facilitation Knowledge Management/Learning

Job Description

Reporting to the Student Experience Research Network’s Director of Strategic Outreach & Partnerships (DSOP), the Manager, Strategic Outreach & Partnerships will be a key contributor to our team’s collective efforts to connect people and ideas across research, practice, and policy to advance relevant scientific knowledge and improve decision-making by education system leaders. The Manager, Strategic Outreach & Partnerships will contribute substantive expertise in program management and knowledge of our target audiences in education to the strategy, design, implementation, and execution of the Student Experience Research Network’s outreach initiatives. This role will facilitate the engagement of SERN’s key external stakeholders, with a focus on intermediary and influencer organizations that shape decision-making by leaders in education systems and institutions, such as policy organizations, system-level providers, funders, developers of education resources, and teacher preparation organizations.  

We are seeking someone with prior experience working closely with these education audiences, who is interested in the practical implications of social science research, and who is looking for opportunities to stretch their leadership and strategy skills in navigating and coordinating a rapidly evolving, complex ecosystem of leaders across research, practice, policy, and philanthropy.  

This is a new role in our organization created in response to a growing portfolio of new strategic outreach work in the education sector, and the candidate who is hired to fill the role will work with the DSOP and other members of the SERN leadership team to shape this role over time. 

As a team, we seek a colleague who: 

  • Is committed to work that benefits students and educators and advances educational equity; 
  • Is excited to learn about research to advance our team’s collective vision and impact; 
  • Is passionate about continuously improving their own work and that of our team; 
  • Is energized by the prospect of being an integral part of a small, remotely staffed and highly collaborative team; and, 
  • Can simultaneously think about the ‘big picture’ and execute on day-to-day management and planning skills. 

Responsibilities and Tasks  


Program Management 

  • Independently manage initiatives that support our target audiences in education as they use research on student experience to inform policy and practice decisions. This includes designing project plans that meet strategic objectivesscoping and managing work by other staff/vendors, managing project deadlines and budgets, planning and facilitating project meetings, gathering and responding to internal and external stakeholder input, anticipating and managing project-related risks, documenting lessons learned for internal audiences and funder engagementetc.  
  • Collaborate with outreach team in designing, planning, and executing creative learning experiences that build the awareness and capacity of leading influencers and intermediaries in the education sector to integrate a focus on student experience and the factors that shape it into their strategies, messaging, programming, advising, and resource development 
  • Collaborate with outreach team in creating accessible resources (e.g., research syntheses and evidence summaries, infographics, videos) that translate key research into clear insights for our target audiences 
  • Facilitate the ongoing cultivation of relationships, champions, and strategic partnerships that affect SERN’s ability to inform and learn from the education sector 
  • Develop and maintain organizational systems and procedures that enhance team effectiveness and smooth workflow for outreach priorities (e.g., project management documentation, partner tracking) 

Portfolio Development  

  • Advise DSOP in designing a portfolio of outreach activities and partnerships that will position SERN to achieve its impact goals 
  • Stay up to date on current matters of practice and policy, relevant academic research, and the perspectives of SERN’s target audiences to support the DSOP in identifying needs for new resources on students’ experience of school for the K-16 education sector 
  • Support the building of new organizational relationships with individuals and entities in the education sector that could provide opportunities for future SERN strategic outreach activities 
  • Work with DSOP to conceptualize and scope new initiatives that respond to evolving needs among our target audience and expand the community of policy influencers and practice intermediaries applying the lens of research on student experience to their work 

Other duties: Perform other duties as assigned, including contributing to team meetings and retreats, and supporting the Executive Director on an as needed basis with grant writing and reporting. All employees of NVF are required to complete timesheets. 

Hiring Organization

Student Experience Research Network


Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills and Ability    

  • At least seven years’ professional experience with growing levels of responsibility, discretion, and independence 
  • At least five years’ experience working in the education sector, including experience with leaders in practice, policy, and/or philanthropic organizations 
  • Experience managing a portfolio of multiple projects, programs, and/or initiatives, including scoping and managing work by other staff and/or vendors 
  • Experience designing and facilitating effective adult learning experiences, including creating resources and events that build awareness, buy-in, and capacity 
  • Exceptional communication skills, including written, verbal, and graphical; ability to design products that convey ideas clearly and persuasively
  • Comfortable speaking and collaborating with senior leadership of all levels at partner organizations
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office applications, especially Word, PowerPoint, and Excel; comfort using Google Docs; experience using collaborative project and relationship management tools
  • Ability to work in a small, highly motivated and fast-moving remote office / telecommuting environment with frequent change and innovation
  • Ability to thrive and respond adaptively to ambiguity, creatively solve problems to ensure deliverables are met, and pitch in when necessary at all task levels 
  • Time management skills to handle the competing priorities of several projects and ongoing organizational responsibilities 
  • Culturally open-minded, flexible, open to suggestions and opinions, eager to learn and grow, direct but polite, and organized in all aspects of work (including communication) 
  • Ability to collaborate productively and harmoniously in a team, while also being able to self-manage completion of work tasks, incorporate feedback from multiple perspectives and exercise good judgment and sound decision-making 

Valued and Non-Essential Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills and Ability  

  • Experience synthesizing ideas from education research and translating that research for practice and policy audiences 
  • Experience working remotely  
  • Experience working with policy influencer organizations (e.g., think tanks, policy advocates, associations or networks, policy consulting firms) and/or federal or state policymakers
  • Familiarity with the postsecondary ecosystem, including intermediary and policy organizations in the postsecondary sector 

Industry/Service Area

Education, Research


Mid-Senior level


Comprehensive benefits package that includes 100% employer-paid health, dental, and vision insurance, 3% employer match on 401k contributions, pre-tax transportation benefits, and paid holidays, vacation, sick, and volunteer time off. 

Application Instructions

We welcome and encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds who can bring unique perspectives to the table to apply. We are looking for people committed to cultivating an inclusive work environment that prioritizes continuous professional ‘stretching’ and growth, and helping each other make a positive contribution to the world. No location preference; people in all United States locations are encouraged to apply but must be willing to work within Pacific, Mountain, Central, or Eastern time zone. Once it is safe to do so, this position will require up to 5% domestic travel and is considered exempt for overtime purposes.  

If you would like to apply for this position, please click here; a resume and responses to two written questions will be required. Submissions will not be accepted via email. 

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