Associate Director of Housing & Neighborhoods (Kinder Institute for Urban)

Rice University

Job title: Associate Director of Housing & Neighborhoods (Kinder Institute for Urban)
Hiring institution: The Kinder Institute for Urban Research
Location: Houston, Texas | United States
Application deadline: 09/18/2023

Position Summary

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research aims to improve lives through data, research, engagement, and action. The institute is currently expanding to build out five research centers focused on key aspects shaping the social and cultural landscape of the Houston area. The five research centers will conduct research on housingeducationpublic healtheconomic mobility and inequality, and population dynamics. Each of these centers will conduct research focused on its particular topic, as well as do groundbreaking and necessary work across centers. To achieve this, each center is building interdisciplinary teams that specialize in solutions-oriented research and will use a research-practice partnership (RPP) model to jointly design, develop, and do research that values diversity in expertise and centers the community in identifying and addressing the most pressing questions and challenges facing Houston.

The Kinder Institute for Urban Research is seeking a full-time Associate Director of Housing & Neighborhoods to oversee research produced in partnership with a set of partner organizations in and around the Houston region on topics, such as housing affordability, homelessness, housing instability, community development, health and safety, housing quality, evictions, gentrification, and segregation. The Associate Director will be responsible for establishing, building, and maintaining partnerships with organizations and entities in the Houston area utilizing the principles of research-practice partnerships. KIUR’s RPP model – sometimes referred to as community-engaged or community-informed research – involves working with external stakeholders to collaboratively develop, design, and do research that will address the most pressing and urgent needs of the community partners in order to inform decision-making and bring about change in the Houston region. In addition to externally-facing work, the Associate Director of Housing & Neighborhoods will assist internally in building capacity at KIUR by mentoring and leading teams of researchers, developing research with appropriate methodological rigor, and implementing data quality standards and practices. In addition, the Associate Director will be responsible for improving and sustaining the quality of research at KIUR by providing review and input on research products, communicating findings from research done by KIUR to wide and varying audiences, and helping lead and strategically plan in the development and building of the Housing & Neighborhood research center. In these responsibilities, and others, the Associate Director of Housing & Neighborhoods will work collaboratively with the Housing & Neighborhood research center director, other research directors at KIUR, as well as the Senior Director of Research, Executive Director, and other leadership throughout the institute.

Ideal candidate works well in a team environment, actively leading, collaborating, and motivating others. They will have superior scientific, communication, and numerical skills with meticulous attention to detail and accuracy.


  • Ph.D. or other Doctoral Degree in housing-related fields, such as sociology, economics, public health, civil engineering, human development, or other social science areas
  • 5 years of experience leading and mentoring research staff and conducting quantitative, qualitative, and/or GIS research projects
  • High proficiency and comprehensive knowledge of information management, knowledge management, and publication management
  • Excellent interpersonal skills such as patience, determination, flexibility, and decisiveness
  • Excellent listening, verbal and written communication, analytical, and research skills
  • Excellent scientific and numerical skills with meticulous attention to detail and accuracy
  • Ability to work in a team environment, participate actively, collaborate, and motivate others

Essential Functions

  • Establishes, builds, and maintains relationships and partnerships with community organizations and other external stakeholders in the Houston area
  • Leads the research design and supervises the analysis of multiple projects
  • Performs research by conducting independent studies, facilitating other ongoing research, and developing and validating new protocols, methodologies, and/or theories
  • Assists and oversees by producing research products (e.g., research briefs, presentations, interactive data tools) for partner organizations, foundations, and wider audiences, including the general public and conference presentations
  •  Actively works to improve the institute’s reputation and research capabilities
  • Seeks new research grant opportunities
  • Mentors, supervises, and trains research scientists, research analysts, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students by including them in ongoing research in a meaningful manner
  • Performs all other duties as assigned

Additional Functions

  • Locates new data, and acquires any necessary permissions needed to use, extract, and merge data with data from other sources (including real estate listings and tax assessment data)
  • Collects, organizes, manages, and maintains original data as needed; as well as works with KIUR’s data team to secure original and existing data products
  • Analyzes data according to the research agenda
  • Consults and plans with the Senior Director of Research, Housing & Neighborhood research center director, and other staff to develop, strategize, and facilitate the research process
  • Professional development through travel to conferences and seminars for networking, training, and presentation of grant-related research
  • Directs and distributes the workload of staff research analysts
  • Co-presents grant-related research findings at appropriate professional conferences
  • Establishes a communication strategy, including setting regular meetings, with community partners
  • Attends weekly staff and research team meetings


  • Experience developing and managing research projects, managing data, and conducting quantitative and qualitative analyses, such as multilevel modeling, causal modeling, quasi-experimental methods, survey design, interviews
  • Experience as a Research Scientist
  • Experience leading a team and supervising others
  • Can lead quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods research
  • Able to oversee various research projects while managing and mentoring other research staff
  • Ability to interact effectively with internal and external stakeholders
  • Adaptable to change and able to think creatively to address issues

Kinder Institute for Urban Research

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