Mission: We provide data, information, and insights on the well-being of children and youth to policymakers, practitioners, and the general public to improve the lives and prospects of children and youth everywhere.
I have been working at Child Trends full-time
There are a number of huge pros about working at Child Trends. 1) the environment is incredibly supportive and interesting, 2) there is room to really follow your interests because folks recognize that children's well-being is multifaceted and complex, 3) there are incredible colleagues who are smart, thoughtful, and willing to step in - whether that's to review something or help yo solve a problem, 4) folks really rally behind the mission of studying the well-being of children, 5) unlike a lot of research institutes, child trends' puts institutional resources towards proposal writing and the decision to go after certain proposals is transparent, 6) there is a lot of room to have a flexible schedule, and 7) the retirement benefits are fabulous. I'm sure there are others I've forgotten about...
I think one of the cons is that really creating the time to learn new skills is hard. Budgets are project driven and it's hard to get bid on a project in an area where you want to get BETTER. It's hard to find ways to gain the skills needed to be able to get bid of certain proposals if you don't already have them. Additionally, in the world of "feedforward" (instead of feedback) it feels hard to get structured constructive criticism that is not just task-specific. This isn't often a problem but sometimes things build and you feel like "this could have been addressed earlier!" And, of course, in any mission-driven not for profit, people work really hard. This is a pro and a con - people care about the work they do and when there's too much of it, it can be hard to figure out what to cut back. But it's a con because sometimes it does get to be a lot.
Advice to Management
I think one thing that would be helpful from management is to think about how to support some of the more junior scientists or RAs/analysts overall to think about goal setting. This happens, to some extent, in supervision meetings but it can get lost in the organization when only one (very busy!) person knows what those goals were. I can imagine this happening with Natalia or with other "mentors" in a sense.
I also am in so much admiration of the work we are doing around race and equity but sometimes wonder if the message is really trickling down fully from some supervisors.
I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Child Trends.
The interview process included a phone interview approximately 2 months after I applied. This was followed by an in person interview day which required giving a job talk to approximately 40 people. The in person interview day included meetings with several Ph.D. level scientists. It was a very positive experience!