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Program Officer, Digital Learning & Evidence Based Teaching

Job Description

Program Officer, Digital Learning & Evidence Based Teaching

The Foundation

We are the largest nonprofit fighting poverty, disease, and inequity around the world. Founded on a simple premise: that people everywhere, regardless of identity or circumstances, should have the chance to live healthy, productive lives. By building a global and cultural workplace that supports greater diversity, equity, and inclusion — of voices, ideas, and approaches — together with our employees and partners, we can help all people improve their lives from poverty and health to education. As an organization we offer full healthcare premiums coverage, generous paid time off, contribution to your retirement fund, several employee communities, and a commitment to embedding diversity, equity, and inclusion into everything we do.

The Team

The foundation’s U.S. Program (USP) works to ensure that everyone in the US has access to life-changing opportunities. That’s why our primary focus in education is ensuring that all students – especially Black, Latino, and low-income students – have an opportunity to earn a degree or certificate that prepares them for a successful career and life. But often, education isn’t enough. Factors outside of schools and the classroom have an enormous impact on a student’s success. We’re also supporting efforts by public officials and community groups to better understand and advance economic mobility, leading to permanent ladders out of poverty for families and communities, such that race, ethnicity, and income are no longer predictors of outcomes.

Over its history, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has invested heavily in research and development to provide educators with tools, strategies, and platforms that empower them to better serve Black and Latino students and students from low-income backgrounds. This work has included, but has not been limited to:

1. Developing and evaluating innovative curricular and instructional approaches to student learning needs and advising technologies in K12 and PS
2. Exploring the interplay between social emotional learning and executive functions on student learning
3. Working with early-stage developers to test products in anticipation of scaling efforts, and
4. Exploring and developing research practice partnerships to support field-identified research priorities and better understand how students master academic content and thrive.

Your Role:

We are currently seeking an exceptional candidate for Program Officer, Digital Learning & Evidence Based Teaching. This role will have responsibility for supporting the development of new digital learning tools (high quality, affordable digital courseware) that encourage faculty to adopt evidence-based teaching instructional practices so as to spectacularly improve academic success, engagement, and belonging for low-income and Black, Latinx, Indigenous students, while also helping colleges and universities spread and scale effective digital instruction at the undergraduate level as part of a broader institutional change process. The Program Officer (PO) will be a key collaborator within a growing sub-team in our Solutions portfolio and report to the Senior Program Officer for Digital Learning.

What You’ll Do:

  • Work as part of a growing sub-team to plan, lead and implement a wide range of activities and investments in support of understanding innovations, barriers to scale, developments, product market fit and opportunities in the digital learning and learning technologies market.
  • Plan, lead, and implement a wide range of activities and investments in support of our emerging evidence-based teaching portfolio – this individual will lead investment strategies to codify evidence-based teaching practices enabled by digital courseware and fund the creation of a sustainable incentive and technical assistance ecosystem that promotes and sustains this role shift for faculty to prioritize closing opportunity gaps in general education undergraduate instruction.
  • Ensure that the digital learning solution accelerates and integrates with a college or university’s broader change journey (reducing opportunity gaps, improving student learning, helping colleges improve access to learners who require such flexibility, and improving institutional economics and return for these investments in effective and scaled digital instruction).
  • Prospect and develop high impact and strategic investment opportunities (often complex, multi-stakeholder investments including RFPs and potential PRI investments), grants management and cross foundation and external relationship management to further the Digital Learning portfolio’s impact.
  • With the Senior Program Officer’s leadership, support the management and development of a portfolio of grants and contracts related to the Digital Learning Solution that demonstrate the Foundation’s prior investments in this space, strategic vision, and future needs with respect to the success of this approach and the broader goal of institutional change and continuous improvement.
  • Undertake and support research and market analysis to develop and provide recommendations and insights required for effective, multi-year strategic grant making and investment approaches.
  • Carrying out research and literature reviews, landscape analyses and other analytical reviews on a regular basis to track and understand market opportunities and challenges. Prepare and write briefs and synthesize existing literature. Provide written analysis and presentations and summaries of key topics for Foundation Management and external partner audiences.
  • Provide guidance, consultation, and support to grantees and external stakeholders to achieve desired impact of grants; organize and conduct site visits when appropriate, provide technical guidance, lead, and convene meetings (internal and external) and apply and evaluate milestone-based performance objectives to achieve successful outcomes. Nurture and optimize lasting and high impact relationships with key partners and grantees.
  • Handle internal processes and portfolio progress while ensuring appropriate documentation, grant budgeting and reporting. Improve operational efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Contribute to both development and coordination of key investments related to this portfolio as well as working with relevant place-based and policy and advocacy program officers.

Your Experience:

  • Experience with and/or deep understanding of higher education teaching and learning delivery, faculty development, learning sciences, high impact pedagogy, and/or implementation of high impact digital learning at the undergraduate level.
  • Experience with research methodologies related to evaluating high impact undergraduate education and the deployment of technology enabled teaching and learning strategies (blended learning, online learning, adaptive learning, online program management, scaled adoption and implementation of learning management systems, etc.) in service of student success through improved success in undergraduate gateway level general education courses.
  • Knowledge and ability in assembling and interpreting research data and evaluation reports as well as additional qualitative and quantitative research analysis related to both digital learning and market trends as well as research based and evidence based instructional practices (like research on active learning and improving student engagement)
  • Excellent quantitative, analytical, writing, and verbal skills essential for communicating progress and stewardship with a diverse audience including internal foundation leadership as well as external market leaders such as investors, digital learning entrepreneurs, learning science and evaluation researchers, philanthropic partners, and senior higher education leaders.
  • You are a passionate and effective collaborator. You relish the opportunity of working as an effective member of an impactful team and giving to the foundation’s broader collective success and improving both the PS strategy and the Solution team’s performance. Growth mindset and ability to adapt in a dynamic and feedback rich environment.
  • Strategic thinker – able to wrestle with complex and multi-dimensional problems. Excellent ability to lead complex projects and to bring complex ideas to fruitful execution and implementation.
  • Derives and creates energy and positivity. Dependable and reliable partner across the PS strategy and in the field.
  • Bachelor’s degree with advanced degree (Master’s or MBA) preferred
  • Strategic philanthropy or social impact investing experience preferred
  • Knowledge and/or experience in evaluating and implementing digital learning technologies (such as digital courseware) at U.S. higher education institutions; understanding of evidence based instructional strategies that have impact in learner success and mastery.

  • Must be able to legally work in the country where this position is located without visa sponsorship.

Hiring Requirements

As part of our standard hiring process for new employees, employment will be contingent upon successful completion of a background check.

Depending upon your work location, we may require proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 and any recommended booster doses. All employees based in the United States are to provide proof of full vaccination upon hire and any recommended boosters, subject to applicable laws.

Candidate Accommodations

If you require assistance due to a disability in the application or recruitment process, please submit a request here.

Inclusion Statement

We are dedicated to the belief that all lives have equal value. We’re committed to creating a workplace where employees thrive both personally and professionally. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, gender, age, cultures and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.

All applicants and employees who are drawn to serve our mission will enjoy equality of opportunity and fair treatment without regard to race, color, age, religion, pregnancy, sex, sexual orientation, disability, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, genetic information, veteran status, marital status, and prior protected activity.

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