Research Scientist, Ahlan Simsim

New York University

United States

October 15, 2021


Research Scientist, Ahlan Simsim New York University: NYU - NY: Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and

Human Development: Office of Research: Institute of Human Development and Social Change: Global TIES


New York University, Washington Square

Open Date

Sep 14, 2021


Global TIES for Children

Global TIES for Children is a university-based center with researchers across NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU New York. At New York University's Global TIES for Children we design, evaluate and advise on programs and policies to improve the lives of children and youth in the most vulnerable regions across the globe. Led by University Professors J. Lawrence Aber and Hirokazu Yoshikawa, we work with some of the world's leading non-governmental organizations and with governments in low-income (LI) and conflict-affected (CA) countries on developing and evaluating innovative approaches to promoting the health, education, and social development of children and their communities. Together with our key strategic partner organizations, our work leverages cutting-edge scientific methods and interdisciplinary collaboration to:

  • Generate actionable evidence to promote child and youth development by conducting and evaluating powerful strategies to transform relevant “social settings” (i.e., classrooms, schools, families, communities, etc.) that are key drivers of children's learning and well- being;
  • Communicate actionable evidence by engaging diverse stakeholders across sectors and regions and disseminating a rigorous evidence base to inform program and policy decisions for children and youth in LI and CA countries; and
  • Build human, administrative, and institutional capacity for a robust global science and practice through the provision of professional development and training activities.
  • Global TIES for Children organizes it's work under two different initiatives based on age range and areas of expertise: the Early Childhood Development in Emergencies and Conflict (ECDEC) initiative and the Primary Education and Learning in Emergencies (PELE) initiative . For both age ranges, Global TIES for Children has contributed to the development, validation, and adaptation of various measurements to assess development of children aged 0-12 across multiple domains. We now have the opportunity to expand this measurement work and focus on developing locally-reliable and globally- adaptable measures to assess learning through play for children in multiple contexts across multiple age groups.

    About ECD in Emergency & Conflict

    The global refugee crisis is the defining humanitarian issue of our time, with millions displaced due to conflict and war across the world. In addition, we know from decades of research that all children need nurturing care, a comforting routine, and opportunities to learn through play in the critical first years of life. Yet only about 2 percent of humanitarian assistance goes to education, and only a tiny sliver of that 2 percent to early childhood development services. Together with a number of partners, NYU Global TIES for Children has set out to support the development, and evaluate high-quality early childhood development services for young children. The Early Childhood Development in Emergency and Conflict (ECDEC) side of Global TIES for Children has been developing measures to assess learning through play as part of three projects: Ahlan Simsim, Play to Learn, and Learning through PLAY.

    The Play to Learn initiative is a partnership between Sesame Workshop, BRAC, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), and NYU Global TIES for Children to develop, provide, and evaluate high-quality early childhood development services and mass media for young children in Rohingya refugee families in Cox's Bazar. Ahlan Simsim is a partnership between Sesame Workshop, the IRC, and NYU Global TIES for Children to develop, provide, and evaluate high- quality early childhood development services and mass media for young children in Syrian refugee families in the Middle East. Learning through Play is ECDEC's newest project, in partnership with RTI International, to provide new ways to measure learning through play and help researchers understand how play contributes to holistic skills development in children.

    Ahlan Simsim is implemented in three countries in the Middle East- Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq- and Play to Learn is implemented in Cox's Bazar district, Bangladesh, and Learning through Play has a multi-regional scope across the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. Play to Learn and Learning through Play are both funded by the LEGO Foundation and Ahlan Simsim is funded by the inaugural 100&Change award from the MacArthur Foundation.

    Position Summary

    The successful candidate will act as a member of the projects' leadership team, taking lead responsibility for the overall direction and implementation of at least one of the discrete studies and providing relevant technical and scientific input across the breadth of studies under the Play to Learn and Ahlan Simsim initiatives. The project is specifically looking for candidates with expertise in Global Early Childhood Development, specifically direct assessments of early child development (ECD) and/or observational assessments of service / program quality. Areas of child measurement include play-based learning; social-emotional development; and early cognitive, language, numeracy, and executive function skills (across ages 0-6). Areas of quality measurement include observational measures of adult-guided play and playfulness in settings that include groups of children with a facilitator or teacher; facilitated groups of parents / caregivers with their children; formal preschool classrooms; and home-based visits to support responsive caregiving, nurturing care and parent well-being.

    The successful candidate will report directly to the senior leadership of Play to Learn and Ahlan Simsim at NYU Global TIES, and will work in close collaboration with Sesame Workshop, IRC, and other partner organizations on the ground.

    This position requires travel to Bangladesh and/or the Middle East.

    an internal applicant is being considered for this position

    Position Responsibilities

    The Research Scientist will report directly to the Senior Research Scientist/Evaluation Lead and work closely with the Managing Director of ECDEC. They will work in close collaboration with ECDEC and PELE colleagues at TIES, project partners, and the research teams on the ground. The successful candidate will supervise one or two research associates supporting this work. The incumbent will perform the following activities:

    Study Coordination and Overseeing

  • Conduct, coordinate, and oversee analysis of the quantitative and / or qualitative data;
  • Support internal and external coordination and communications between staff and project partners;
  • Prepare Human Subjects Review / IRB applications;
  • Work closely with internal and external partners to ensure study protocols are followed and to ensure proper collection, filing and archiving of all project data in all project field sites;
  • Manage transcription, translation and formatting of assessment instruments and protocols;
  • Research Design

  • in close collaboration with the PI and other relevant parties, develop the design and protocols for the study;
  • Lead the execution of all research activities;
  • Liaise with the country research teams in support of seamless data collection, data quality control and management, data cleaning, and analyses; to ensure compliance with ethical requirements; and to plan regular check-ins on data collection protocols to ensure client safety;
  • Conduct literature reviews on topics relevant to the project;
  • Reports & Publications

  • Track project progress and prepare/update reports;
  • Prepare project reports, briefs and correspondence for internal and external dissemination; and
  • Prepare manuscripts for academic journal publication, independently and in collaboration.
  • Qualifications

    Q ualifications and Required Skills

    We encourage applications from candidates who hold a graduate degree in a relevant social science field (e.g., human development, psychology, international education, international development, public policy, public/global health) and have 2-4 years of professional experience in implementing research projects in low-and middle-income countries and/or humanitarian contexts.

    Demonstrated expertise needed for this position include but are not limited to:

  • Management of large-scale multi-site research projects (ability to track and integrate a myriad of interdependent moving pieces in a large, dynamic, fast-paced, multi-country, multi-partner initiative);
  • Measurement theory and methods to conduct measure development, adaptation, and validation, especially in the measurement of play and/or teacher-child interactions in preschool and/or primary school;
  • Understanding and interested in mixed-methods approaches;
  • Electronic survey or data collection systems (e.g., Qualtrics, Kobo, Survey CTO, Ona, Tangerine);
  • Data management and statistical analysis using STATA, SAS, SPSS, or R;
  • Qualitative research experience (data collection and analysis);
  • Supervision and training surveyors, data collection teams;

  • Ability to work independently, and in a multidisciplinary, multi-country team;

  • Excellent organization skills and attention to detail;

  • Strong command of Microsoft Office Suite, particularly Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel; EndNote; Google suite (including mail, calendar, etc.).
  • Excellent written and oral language skills in English; and
  • Additional language skills strongly preferred, especially Arabic (Levantine), Bangla, Chittagonian, Rohingya.
  • The position will be based in New York City at the Institute of Human Development and Social Change, New York University

    Application Instructions

    Application Process

    The position offers a competitive salary, paid time off, and a comprehensive benefits package as well as support for travel costs and conference travel related to study activities.

    The position could begin as soon as November 1, 2021, though the start date is flexible. We are looking for someone who is available for a minimum one-year commitment, with the potential for a one-year renewal contingent on satisfactory performance and budgetary approval.

    To Apply:

  • The following documents must be submitted via Interfolio:
  • Current CV/Resume
  • Statement of Interest
  • 3 professional references (full name, contact number and email address)
  • 1 writing sample (preferably a thesis, chapter or published article).
  • https://

    Application Process

    This institution is using Interfolio's Faculty Search to conduct this search. Applicants to this position receive a free Dossier account and can send all application materials, including confidential letters of recommendation, free of charge.

    Apply Now

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