RA Position in the Center for Strong School’s Tacoma Whole Child Initiative

Notification deadline:   March 31, 2015

Start date:   ASAP

Bamford Foundation Urban School Transformation Research Assistantship

The Tacoma Whole Child Initiative is seeking an outstanding doctoral research assistant to help collect data and analyze data with the Center for Strong School’s Tacoma Whole Child Initiative at the University of Washington Tacoma campus.

The Tacoma Whole Child Initiative is path breaking partnership with Tacoma Public Schools intended to harness the momentum of school transformation at an unprecedented scale. With focus and determination over the next decade, the initiative brings together a whole child focus with best practices in behavioral intervention, data-based decision making, academic improvement and sustainability. Tacoma Public Schools and the community are working with UW Tacoma to turn around an entire school district with a discipline and systems-focused intensity seldom attempted anywhere else in the U.S.

Education/Characteristics/Duties & Responsibilities

Your position description and duties assigned will be provided by your supervisor on the first day of your appointment.

  • Doctoral candidate focused on psychology, education, social work, or related field.
  • Demonstrated passion for school transformation–creating a system of social emotional and academic supports district and school-wide.
  • Desire to conduct research on students with emotional and behavioral challenges, implementation of evidence-based practices, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and/or interconnected services frameworks.
  • Experience with urban youth, families, educators, and community service providers.
  • Interest in sustainable and comprehensive school and community change work.
  • Desire to learn to conduct high-quality research and disseminate research results. Must have a willingness to grow and learn to become an influential scholar of sustainable urban school change.

General Qualifications

Must be a UW graduate student enrolled in 10 credits per quarter of employment.
In general preference will be given to applicants in each category who exhibit the following qualifications, as evidenced in their letter of application, transcripts of past coursework and prior work experiences. This offer of financial support is in accordance to the UW/UAW Contract for Research Assistantships position at 50% FTE for the academic and summer semesters with the opportunity for re-appointment for an additional year.

Work Experience

The position requires:

  • Experience working in an educational organization (school, university, non-profit)
  • Excellent written and verbal communications skills
  • Knowledge of or experience with professional learning programs for teachers
  • Experience with audio visual equipment
  • Well organized
  • Comfortable taking initiative


  • Salary and benefits are competitive. Salary is commensurate with academic standing, qualifications, and experience.

Prepare a brief one-page cover letter describing:

  • Why you are interested in this project
  • How the project relates to your research/career goals
  • Your applicable background skills and knowledge (including coursework that may support this kind of research)
  • Your other time commitments during the academic-year and summer quarter

In addition, attach 1) related transcripts, 2) your resume or CV, and 3) list a faculty advisor or member who will serve as your reference. Send application inquiries to Greg Benner: gbenner@uw.edu by March 31st, 2015.

For more information about the Tacoma Whole Child Initiative (TWCI), see: http://www.tacoma.uw.edu/news/article/gov-inslee-discusses-strong-schools-uw-tacoma