The Director of Research is a full-time (exempt) salaried position that executes all of Dance/USA’s research. This research includes, broadly, conducting all national field research, managing all member surveys, participating in research efforts associated with special initiatives, and conducting evaluation of Dance/USA’s programs and services in collaboration with other staff.
Most research activities require that the Director of Research be solely responsible for gathering data through the most appropriate methodology, cleaning and maintaining long-term data-sets, and disseminating the resulting information. The Director of Research also responds to requests from Dance/USA members, the media, staff, peer organizations, students and educators, and the general public. The Director of Research works collaboratively with many outside organizations when they require the support or input of Dance/USA, such as the Cultural Data Project and the National Endowment for the Arts.
National Field Research also includes maintaining the Directory of Not for-profit Dance Ensembles, a listing of professional tax-exempt dance ensembles and fiscally sponsored dance artists based in the United States or a U.S. territory. Using the data from the Directory of Not-for-profit Dance Ensembles, the Director of Research prepares an annual Snapshot of the Field, and conducts multi-year analyses of these data.
Member surveys and services include annual surveys on the finances and operations of dance companies, maintenance of the Costume and Set Repository, and bi-annual personnel compensation surveys on Dance Companies and their associated dance schools. The Director of Research also works with groups of members to identify areas where research is needed and constructs appropriate projects in response.
Successful execution of Dance/USA’s research requires that the incumbent perform well in three areas: gathering data, managing data, and disseminating information.
- Updating existing survey tools based on changes in the field and member requests
- Creating surveys on discrete topics as necessary
- Conduct web-based research to gather information about the field including visiting websites, examining tax returns, making phone calls, and reading field publications
- Compile, clean, verify, tabulate, archive, cross-reference, analyze, and mine data
- Develop relationships with other agencies and providers to assure access and links with other data systems
- Develop data collection policies and practices and monitors uniform data collection compliance and quality across organization
- Use Microsoft Excel, Sales Force, Survey Gizmo, SPSS, and other software for this purpose
- Returning data results and analysis to survey participants
- Responding to inquiries from members, funders, the media, and the general public
- Writing articles and other publications
- Posting information on the Dance/USA website
- Providing support and expertise in survey design, data collection mechanisms and interpretation of results for Dance/USA staff, board, members, and others
In addition to these duties and responsibilities, the Director of Research performs required administrative functions and participates as a team-player in activities, such as the annual conference, that require full staff participation.