TRAILS (Transforming Research into Action to Improve the Lives of Students) is a growing team of innovative thinkers committed to youth mental health. We partner with schools throughout Michigan and in a number of other settings nationwide, providing school staff with the training, materials, and implementation support they need to deliver effective mental health programming to their students. Our program was designed and developed by expert child mental health clinicians in collaboration with health and education researchers, educators, and school leaders. Our model was built specifically for the school setting, and is grounded in evidence-based cognitive behavioral and mindfulness practices. As we work to make effective mental health services available to all students, priority is given to schools that are under-resourced or that serve historically excluded populations. Our staff are dedicated to a vision of health and health care equity for all, and as TRAILS expands, we are seeking individuals who practice cultural humility, and who thrive in and contribute to an inclusive working environment.


TRAILS is seeking an evaluation specialist to support the impact evaluation of TRAILS’  multi-tiered mental health interventions, conducted as a collaboration between TRAILS,  University of Michigan’s Youth Policy Lab, University of Michigan faculty, and Detroit  Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). The evaluation specialist will support the  TRAILS Evaluation Scientist by managing a randomized controlled trial  (RCT) of TRAILS’ tier 2 programming, funded by the Institute of Education Sciences  (IES). The evaluation specialist will also contribute to TRAILS implementation evaluation  work across initiatives. The evaluation specialist will coordinate survey data collection,  maintain datasets, conduct statistical analyses, and contribute to reporting for diverse  stakeholders via written products and oral presentations. The evaluation specialist will  assist in data collection efforts, including conducting surveys, interviews, and focus  groups, and training research teams. 


Research project management (45%)  

  • Manage all phases of TRAILS contributions to assigned research projects,  including timeline, data collection and analysis, resource management,  project deliverables, and product dissemination. 
  • Ensure progress towards tracking key research outcomes.  
  • Coordinate between TRAILS, DPSCD, Youth Policy Lab, and Principal  Investigators.  
  • Serve as primary research liaison for DPSCD Program Manager to  establish working relationships, build trust, and gather data.  
  • Collaborate with Evaluation Scientist and TRAILS staff to interpret and  visualize data for non-technical audiences.  
  • In collaboration with TRAILS Program Managers, develop processes to  track implementation support.  
  • Consult with clinical and implementation teams on survey revisions and  reporting. 
  • Maintain data agreements and data security.  
  • Help draft written memos, presentations, briefs, and reports. 

Program evaluation data collection & analysis (25%) 

  • Design and develop high-quality surveys and interview protocols with  approval from the Evaluation Scientist. 
  • Clean and analyze quantitative data for TRAILS reporting using a variety of  statistical methods. 
  • Prepare written (e.g., reports, manuscripts) and oral (presentations to  internal and external stakeholder) reports in collaboration with the  Evaluation Scientist. 
  • Develop lines of analysis that inform TRAILS programming. 
  • Present findings at conferences and community events. 
  • Collaborate with external implementation and evaluation partners on data  collection protocols, survey design, data management, data analysis, and  reporting evaluation findings. 

Systems management (20%)

  • Create and maintain datasets, including merging files, restructuring,  recoding variables, and checking for errors. 
  • Develop and maintain data organization and documentation.
  • Download and archive survey data. 
  • Train TRAILS staff on data documentation and management and survey  methods based on collaboratively decided priorities. 

Team responsibilities (10%)

  • Attend all staff meetings and retreats, workgroups, and other relevant  TRAILS meetings as necessary. 
  • Support TRAILS team with all hands-on deck events as needed and other team initiatives. 


Our experience suggests that the following types of professional experiences lend themselves to this work:

  • At least 5 years of full-time professional work experience including: 
    • 4+ years in-depth experience managing all phases of a major (e.g., federal  funding) research project. 
    • 4+ years experience creating datasets and data management systems.  
    • 4+ years experience conducting rigorous statistical analyses. 
    • 4+ years working collaboratively with a broad range of stakeholders. 
  • Experience facilitating delivery of in-person and online surveys. 
  • Experiencing facilitating interviews and focus groups is preferred. 
  • Experience working at a human services program or agency, school district, child  welfare agency, state or federal government, or foundations is desirable. 
  • Experience producing high-quality presentations for diverse audiences. 
  • Exhibits a solid foundation in statistical theory and application, and has an enthusiasm to learn and apply new methods.  

Our experience suggests that the following types of skills lend themselves well to this work:

Proficiency with AirTable, Google Suite, Microsoft Office, and Qualtrics. 

  • Proficiency with independently conducting statistical analyses using coding  (R is preferred). 
  • Proven ability to manage stakeholder relationships and expectations. 
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate complex research findings to diverse  stakeholders. 
  • Experience managing databases (including merging data files, identifying and  correcting problems, and producing files for final analysis). 
  • Proficient technical writing skills for documenting database structure as well as  survey and data analysis procedures. 
  • Excellent verbal, oral, interpersonal, and written communication skills, including  experience with developing and delivering presentations.
  • Strong team player with the ability to take initiative and work well independently.
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively. 


Our experience suggests the following certifications and degree(s) lend themselves well to this work:

  • Advanced degree (e.g., masters) in social work, public policy, public health, or a  social science field (e.g., education, psychology). 
  • Advanced statistics, survey methods, and database management training. 
  • Expertise in academic, social, and emotional disparities observed in school-aged youth.
  • Applicable experience and competencies may be considered in lieu of formal  education.


The salary range for this role is $75,000-$85,000. 

TRAILS offers a generous benefits package including medical, dental, and vision as well as a 403B with a safe harbor match and short and long term disability. We offer a generous holiday and paid time off package. 


Addressing inequities in access to evidence-based mental health care is intrinsic to the TRAILS mission. The intentionality behind this approach is woven into everything we do at TRAILS, resulting in a staff-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion for all facets of our program. If this commitment is something to which you could positively contribute, we encourage you to apply, particularly if your voice represents a historically excluded perspective. 

TRAILS, a project of Tides Center, is an “at-will” and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance.


  • Our job descriptions reflect TRAILS’ assignment of essential functions and qualifications of the role. Nothing herein restricts management's right to assign, reassign or eliminate duties and responsibilities to this role at any time. 
  • We are only considering applicants who are legally authorized to work in the United States.
  • Please note that all TRAILS employees are required to undergo a background check as performed by our fiscal sponsor, Tides Center. Findings do not automatically exclude candidates from the hiring process, but will be taken into consideration.
  • Successful applicants for this position must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment. 

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