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Temporary Innovation Research Associate



Posted on Friday, May 19, 2023
The following functions may not be comprehensive in scope regarding work performed by an employee assigned to this position classification. Management reserves the right to add, modify, change or rescind the work assignments of this position. Management also reserves the right to make reasonable accommodations so that a qualified employee(s) can perform the essential functions of the position.
Overview of the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL): Strada Collaborative, Inc. d/b/a CAEL (referred to in document as “CAEL”), is a national, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to partnering with educators, employers, and workforce and economic developers to reimagine and create lifelong pathways that integrate learning and work for adults. CAEL helps organizations succeed by providing expertise, resources, and solutions that effectively support adult learners as they navigate on-and- off-ramps between education and employment. We partner with entities across the adult learner ecosystem to help create actionable career pathways along the journey of lifelong learning and meaningful work.
CAEL’s work is rooted in and expresses the organization’s values; we are committed to being an inclusive organization; prioritize equity, diversity, and inclusion in our recruitment, hiring, and retention efforts; look for opportunities to communicate the link between our mission and eliminating systemic inequity; acknowledge and appreciate daily the challenges facing all those in support of justice for these communities; do not accept or condone racism in any form; commit individual and corporate resources to the pursuit of justice; require employee training on topics such as racial equality and unconscious bias toward maintaining an inclusive culture; provide a library of media and organizational resources to our staff to increase understanding of racial inequality; and incorporate business agreement language that reinforces our anti-racism stance.
CAEL is a virtual organization; all employees work remotely out of their homes. Overview of Position: The Innovation Research Associate is temporary, part-time position. The position will be for approximately 6 months and will be approximately 20 hours per week. The Innovation Research Associate will be responsible for conducting primarily academic, market, competitive, and future-focused research and analysis across various methodologies and collaborating with cross-functional teams to help build and expand the innovation and
human-centered design practice at CAEL. The ideal candidate is naturally curious about solving problems in the work-learn-earn ecosystem with a knack for supporting insights with data based on best practices in people-centric market research methods. This role will report to the VP of Innovation and is a key member of the Innovation team.
Primary responsibilities include conducting desk research to support product or service development, identifying potential competitors and/or competing products and services, analyzing market trends, and developing insights from these findings to support the CAEL
Innovation portfolio. Academic and market-based research may be conducted in the areas of workforce innovation, talent development/learning innovation, and higher education innovation.

Essential Job Functions:

  • Conduct research related to current innovation projects which are being developed by CAEL
  • Collect and analyze data from various sources, primarily through secondary research and potentially through focus groups and interviews.
  • Collect and analyze data on the needs, preferences, and behaviors of adult learners and workers and the customers with whom CAEL is engaged (postsecondary education institutions, workforce and economic development organizations, and employers).
  • Profile relevant solutions providers and market trends within the work-learn-earn ecosystem.
  • Complete thorough and detailed research on competitors, including their products, services, pricing, marketing strategies, and market share.
  • Conduct research on trends, issues, and efficacy of existing solutions related to adult learning and workforce development to identify future innovation opportunities for CAEL.
  • Analyze and synthesize research findings to identify key insights and trends.
  • Produce written reports and presentations that communicate research findings and recommendations to stakeholders.
  • Source and collate primary and secondary quantitative and qualitative research sources relevant to innovation in the work-learn-earn ecosystem.
  • Participate in project-focused internal meetings related to innovation research.
  • Collaborate with team members to develop research strategies and methodologies and assist in scoping research tasks.
  • Manage and prioritize multiple research projects simultaneously.
  • Contribute to the development of new research ideas and proposals.

Education and Experience

  • Significant and demonstrable experience in a relevant field (e.g., postsecondary education, business, workforce development, employer-based talent development, social sciences, or user experience research).
  • Strong research skills, including the ability to conduct desk research that includes both academic and market-based research.
  • Experience using various types of quantitative and qualitative research to produce market and customer insights.
  • Strong analytical and critical thinking skills and ability to communicate complex concepts and findings to diverse audiences with varying levels of familiarity with research methods.
  • Excellent written, visual, and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong initiative with the ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Interest in and knowledge of the assigned topics in workforce innovation, learning innovation, and higher education innovation.
  • Strong project management skills, including the ability to manage multiple research topics and projects simultaneously.


  • Evidence of advanced learning to include college experience, industry-accepted credentials, or industry-aligned bootcamp certificates.
  • Experience with data analysis and visualization tools
  • Knowledge of or interest in human-centered design
  • Knowledge in or willingness to learn about using qualitative research to gain insights that will drive the design process
  • Experience with market research tools and techniques, such as survey design, data analysis, and visualization.
  • Proficiency in Google suite of collaboration tools.
Travel Requirements:
This position will require the incumbent to travel between five to fifteen percent (5-15%) of the time for business meetings with some overnight travel required. The amount of travel and expectations for the same are subject to change based on business needs and demands.
Typical Physical & Mental Demands:
Requires prolonged sitting with some bending, stooping and stretching; eye-hand coordination and manual dexterity sufficient to operate a keyboard, telephone, and other office equipment. Requires normal range of hearing and eyesight to record, prepare and communicate appropriate reports. Also requires moderate to intense concentration due to complexity and/or need to meet deadlines, and flexibility to readily adapt to a changing environment.
Security is Everyone’s Responsibility:
In order to protect Strada’s personnel, affiliates, customers, assets, and mission, security is the responsibility of every employee. To maintain security, employees are required to read, understand, and follow company security policies including but not limited to the WISP and Employee Handbook. In addition, security training supporting those policies is required at least
CAEL is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate and support diversity in our workforce and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We thrive on diversity and inclusion for the benefit of our employees, our products and services, and our stakeholders. CAEL advocates for equitable treatment and support of both adult learners and other underserved populations. CAEL is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace.