Position Description

Wholesome Wave Research Associate

About Wholesome Wave

Wholesome Wave is a rapidly expanding non-profit organizing operating at the intersection of health, nutrition, and agriculture.  Our innovative programs have influenced current policy debate in food policy, and are establishing replicable models for future public policy development.  Our staff, culture, and approach is entrepreneurial, believing in better social outcomes and draws on innovative policy and business ideas to execute our mission.


Wholesome Wave’s Policy and Research program helps to support proof of concept evaluation activities and serves as key link between programs and the academic research community.  The research role provides in-house support of program evaluation activities, including ongoing program monitoring and reporting, and the development of high-quality, publishable evidence of program impact.


For more information, please visit www.wholesomewave.org


The candidate in this position will have an exciting opportunity to learn about and contribute to the dynamic systems change work happening at the cutting edge of this field. They will also have the opportunity to collaborate with a diverse and knowledgeable staff and undertake critical research for the organization in an important new role for Wholesome Wave.


Reporting to, and working closely with, Director of Policy and Research, this full-time position will play a key role in supporting an evidence-based policy communication program.  The Research Associate will:


1) stay on top of academic, government, and organization reports relating to healthy food incentives,

2) summarize evidence (from publications and Wholesome Wave data) for grants, external communications, and policy communications,

3) help identify and support research-related needs across Wholesome Wave programs, and

4) provide support for coordination between Wholesome Wave staff, researchers, and program evaluators, as needed. 


The candidate must have both quantitative and qualitative skills.  Well-qualified candidates will have prior research project management experience from more than one project. This position is located in Bridgeport, CT.



·       Provides support to Wholesome Wave department directors in the development, implementation, and reporting of research and evaluation activities.

·       Supports programs through the development of program metrics that are common across programs and which allow comparison with external datasets (e.g. Census Bureau, USDA, NHANES).

·       Helps identify research gaps, and works with program leaders in program evaluation design

·       Conducts regular scans of academic, government, and NGO literature on healthy food incentives

·        “Translates” academic evidence into information useful for program leaders, policy makers, and general public (e.g. issues briefs).

·       Assists in the cultivation of researcher relationships, including responding to inquiries and pairing researcher interests with program leader needs.

·       Assists with grant proposals on the development of background evidence.

·       Organizes meetings, prepares background material, identifies and follows up on meeting outcomes

·       Prepares written reports, analyses, presentations, briefings, and memoranda summarizing research findings and recommendations.

·       Manages research/evaluation webpage.



1.     Required Minimum experience:

  • Two years prior work experience, post education, in research-based positions.  This includes research project management and work plan development and execution.
  • Relevant topical knowledge in public health, nutrition, or food policy and skills-based knowledge in public policy, communications, or related skillset.  Finalist candidates will be asked to submit two writing samples (one aimed at an academic audience, one aimed at a policymaker or general public audience).
  • Quantitative policy/program analysis skills (e.g. strong proficiency in Excel to analyze federal program data or Wholesome Wave program data).  Be specific (and concise) about the quantitative skills you possess, how you have used them, and in what type of projects.
  • Qualitative policy/program analysis skills (e.g. ability to consistently compare project examples in a comparative, case study format).  Be specific about what skills you have used.

2.     Demonstrated ability to serve as a bridge between program staff and external evaluators/researchers on how program operations and research methods interface in evaluation design and implementation. A well-qualified candidate has a Master’s degree.  Interdisciplinary educational background highly desired.

3.     A self-starter, willing to take initiative when needed, and knows when to wait seek assistance before making decisions that may impact research outcomes.

4.     Skills required:

·       Organized communicator (written and verbal) with ability to relate complex or nuanced issues in simpler explanations, use of tables/matrices, infographics, etc. (e.g. demonstrated ability to organize narrative reports/memos, presentations, etc.).

·       Ability to adjust the level and detail of a presentation to suit the audience’s needs, and comfortable speaking with a range of audiences, in different formats.

·       Excellent time management skills.

·       Demonstrated ability to form effective professional relationships internally and externally, and across individuals with different academic backgrounds.

5.     Willing to travel occasionally, including to academic or policy-related conferences.

Compensation, Time and Classification

·       The Research Associate position is full-time, exempt.

·       Start date no later than late April - early May.

·       This position is based out of the Wholesome Wave Bridgeport office in CT.

·       Some regional and national travel will be required (up to 10%).

·       Full-time hours to be set within the standard 9-5 working week.

·       Candidate must have permission to work in the U.S.


Please send resume and cover letter, indicating “Research Associate 2015” in the subject line by April 3, 2015 to: [log in to unmask]




Holly Ponder
Office & HR Manager
Wholesome Wave
855 Main Street, Suite 910,
Bridgeport, CT 06604

P: (203) 226-1112
F: (203) 873-0949

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