Impact Assessment Research Scientist 1; University of Washington Tacoma

Job Title: 
Impact Assessment Research Scientist 1
Job Location: 
Tacoma, Washington

The University of Washington Tacoma  is a growing metropolitan university that is deeply invested in its local communities.  As one of three campuses of a world-class university, UW Tacoma is dedicated to interdisciplinary and innovative teaching and scholarship and to engaging the community in mutually beneficial partnerships. UW Tacoma's commitment to diversity is central to an environment where students, staff, faculty, and South Sound residents find abundant opportunities for intellectual, personal, and professional growth.

University of Washington Tacoma currently has an outstanding opportunity for a Full Time Temporary Impact Assessment Research Scientist 1.

The aim of the Ocean Modeling Forum (OMF) ( is to develop actionable knowledge via coproduction to support ocean management decisions. Since our inception in 2013, we have completed three working groups focused on three distinct ocean management issues, and have initiated a fourth. We now seek a full-time, temporary research scientist to evaluate the impact of our work. The position will report to Ocean Modeling Forum Managing Director Tessa Francis. The appointment begins as soon as possible, with a term of about 6 months, and can be stationed in either the Seattle or Tacoma campuses of UW. Salary ranges from between $4,065-$5,363, depending on education and experience.

The purpose of this project is to develop a framework for measuring and tracking the impact of Ocean Modeling Forum working groups and their activities on the decisions they aim to influence. We seek support in developing an approach to track our success in achieving our theory of change. Importantly, we seek help in amending our aims and objectives to better center equity and diversity in our working groups. A third step is to implement the framework for one or more OMF working groups.

Tasks associated with this position include developing a protocol for decision landscape analysis, to be conducted prior to forming a new working group. This would identify the potential for OMF working groups to impact the decision space, including identifying appropriate metrics and timelines. The OMF is also interested in measuring the impact its working groups have had thus far. We also seek to hard-wire approaches for centering equity and diversity in recruiting working group members as well as representatives from communities at the heart of our investigations.
Potential approaches include:

• Evaluate the OMF’s impact across several measures of success, including conceptual impacts, such as changes in thinking or consciousness; attitude shifts, especially about knowledge exchange; capacity building; or network connectivity.
• Conduct institutional analysis to identify features that lead to organizational support for partnerships/policy windows; identify policy windows and pathways for information to enter the decision landscape.
• Develop protocol(s) for measuring impact using observation & discourse analysis, to identify where research evidence from completed working groups is being used.
• Conduct discourse, network, institutional or other relevant analyses to evaluate decision documents and identify opportunities for OMF findings to affect decisions.
• Develop protocol(s) for engaging diverse working group members and identifying community members to contribute to knowledge coproduction.

Questions informing the project include:

• What is/was the decision the working group aims to affect? What decisions have been made, and what decisions could be made?
• Who are the decision-makers involved in that decision?
• What is the geographic and governance scale of the decision, and does the information produced match that scale?
• What is the timing of the discussion or decision-making deadline?
• Which communities are impacted by the potential decisions, and how best to engage them?
• In what forums (meetings, discussions, hearings, etc.) might discussion related to the Ocean Modeling Forum’s work arise?
• What documents might contain source information related to OMF working group activities?
• How and when do the decision-makers seek out scientific information or advice to influence their decision(s)?
• What is the evidence that OMF products and activities are impacting the decision?
• Are there challenges to bringing in new information into the decision-making landscape?

Required education:

BS or higher in environmental science, biology, ecology, anthropology, sociology, political science or other related field plus 1-2 years of experience in research-practice partnerships, actionable science, research-policy-practice interactions, research impact assessment, or related activities. Alternatively, a higher degree in any of the above fields with a focus on the above activities could substitute.

Desired skills:

institutional analysis, discourse analysis, network analysis, impact assessment, knowledge exchange evaluation, or similar evaluative approaches.

Preferred experience and expertise include:

participative action research, community engagement, cross-cultural qualitative research, collaborative ethnography or related activities.

Application Process:

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter, and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.
Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or dso [at]


Per Governor Inslee's Proclamation 21-14.1, employees of higher education and healthcare institutions must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no later than October 18, 2021 unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. View the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage for information about the medical or religious exemption process for final candidates.

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