Employment Opportunities

About the Center

The Center for High Impact Philanthropy (CHIP) is the only university-based center with a singular focus on philanthropy for social impact. Founded as a collaboration between the School of Social Policy & Practice and alumni of the Wharton School, it is a trusted source of knowledge and education to help donors around the world do more good.

2018 Post-Doctoral Fellows

The Center seeks a post-doctoral fellow to analyze opportunities for their potential to improve child and student success, with particular focus on disadvantaged and vulnerable populations in the United States. Fellows must possess knowledge of the domestic US education space, ideally from both academic training and professional experience; outstanding research and analytical skills (both quantitative and qualitative); excellent communication skills including the ability to translate findings for a lay, public audience; and experience and interest working in a collaborative, team-based environment. Examples of questions a fellow would answer include:

  • From birth through transition to post-secondary education or successful entrance into the workforce, what are the key in-school and out-of-school factors that matter?
  • To what degree are benchmarks at one phase predictive of success at later stages?
  • What does the current research imply about where and how philanthropic intervention can be most useful?
  • What specific models and approaches are most promising in clearing the path for student success?

To answer such questions in a way that is both informed by the best available evidence and actionable, fellows must be able to make cross-disciplinary connections and be creative and resourceful in sourcing and interpreting information from a wide variety of sources including academics/academic literature, policy makers, funders, practitioners, and nonprofit beneficiaries. This fellowship role requires thinking and analysis beyond the particular focus of any one dissertation thesis. Successful candidates may come from any number of disciplines, including public policy, history, education, economics, etc. Demonstrated strong teaching skills a plus; commitment to the Center for High Impact Philanthropy’s and SP2’s focus on social impact and social change necessary.

Terms: One-year fellowship with potential to renew for second year; $55,000 per year salary

Interested candidates may send their CV, letter of interest, and two writing samples (one academic, one written for more general audience) to impact@sp2.upenn.edu.

We are currently working on a timely project concerning the US Democracy.  In partnership with the Democracy Fund, CHIP will take a multidisciplinary approach to developing an organizing framework for donors to make impactful funding decisions in this area. The post-doctoral fellow will serve as the lead analyst for this project, with the help of up to two research associates.  The fellow will be responsible for

  1. Conducting a review of the academic and grey literature on the topic of a healthy democracy;
  2. Develop a consensus healthy democracy framework among recognized academic experts, practitioners and donors using a modified Delphi approach; and
  3. Converting this knowledge framework into actionable guidance to donors. Examples of questions embedded in the literature review include:
    • How have related fields of inquiry defined a healthy democracy and its defining components?
    • What are the opportunities and strategies for strengthening a democracy?
    • What does the current research imply about where and how philanthropic intervention can be most useful?

To derive a consensus framework and translate this consensus knowledge into actionable guidance to donors, the fellow must be able to make cross-disciplinary connections within the academic literature.  In addition, the fellow must be independent, creative, and resourceful in sourcing and interpreting both quantitative and qualitative information from a wide variety of non-academic sources, including policy makers, funders, and practitioners, and nonprofit beneficiaries.

The post-doctoral fellow will work closely with the Senior Advisor for Applied Research and Analysis and other senior members of the CHIP team throughout the project.  The fellow will also consult with Project Advisory Board for guidance and feedback in each phase of the project.

Successful candidates may come from any number of disciplines, including political science, public policy, economics, law, etc. In addition to excitement about CHIP’s mission and commitment to learning about social impact, ideal candidates possess the following:

  • Knowledge of the domestic US democracy space, ideally from both academic training and professional experience
  • Outstanding research and analytical skills, preferably in both survey methodology and qualitative methodology
  • Knowledge of program evaluation methods
  • Excellent writing skills, including an adept ability to translate research knowledge for a variety of non-academic audiences
  • Comfort with working in collaborative, team-based environment
  • Ability to work in a non-partisan manner

Terms: One-year fellowship to start as soon as possible with potential to renew for another 6 months; $55,000 per year salary

Interested candidates may send their CV, letter of interest, and two writing samples (one academic, preferably a literature review; and one written for a non-academic, general audience) to impact@sp2.upenn.edu.

2018 Student Employment Opportunities

We are seeking 1-2 Research Associates to assist our team on a timely project concerning the US Democracy.  In partnership with the Democracy Fund, CHIP will take a multidisciplinary approach to developing an organizing framework for donors to make impactful funding decisions in this area. The research associate(s) will assist the fellows and senior project team members in the creation of a guidance toolkit for donors interested in strengthening the US Democracy.

The Research Associate will assist the post-doctoral fellow in 1) literature review, 2) conducting a survey and interviews with key stakeholders to derive a consensus framework, and 3) translate the knowledge framework into donor guidance.  Specific tasks include

    • Assist Post-doctoral Fellow as necessary in literature review
    • Analyze survey and / or interview data
    • Compile background information about effective programs, non-profits, and their evidence base
    • Reporting findings in written form, with analytical rigor and proper citations
    • Contribute to Project’s dissemination, and donor engagement efforts

Ideal candidates should have a strong knowledge and interest in topic of Strengthening Democracy. Candidates must have ability to work in a non-partisan manner and understand the need to do so. Candidates should also have:

  • Outstanding literature review skills
  • Strong writing skills
  • Experience and comfort with survey methods OR qualitative methods. Experience with both is a plus
    • If survey methodology, then experience with basic statistical analysis and software such as SPSS or STATA
    • If qualitative methodology then experience with conducting, transcribing, and coding personal interviews, and with software such as NVIVO
  • Experience with Microsoft Office products.

Terms: To start as soon as possible, 10-20 hours per week.

Interested applicants should submit a resume/CV, a cover letter, and two references (at least one from a work/research supervisor) to impact@sp2.upenn.edu.

 2018 Summer Associates

Our summer associate program provides an opportunity for talented undergraduate and graduate student to learn about and contribute to CHIP’s work. Summer associates participate in all aspects of our work, working directly with core team members.

Our research associates assist our analysts and senior team members in creation of donor guidance and educational programs, including but not limited to:

  • Research, fact-finding, and literature reviews related to Center projects; examples of projects past summer associates have supported include early childhood education in the US, impact investing, community-based health delivery, how philanthropy can support health democracies. Tasks may include
    • Identifying high impact opportunities related to philanthropic investments in a specific issue area
    • Compiling background information about effective programs and their evidence base
    • Assisting as necessary in other related research activities (e.g. literature reviews, background research in an issue area)
    • Identifying how donors/funders can effectively support effective programs
    • Corresponding with staff of nonprofits to request data and vet guidance
    • Reporting findings in written form, with analytical rigor and proper citations
  • Provide support for Center events and educational programs (e.g. draft and prepare materials, logistical support)
  • Contribute to Center’s ongoing PR, marketing, and donor engagement efforts (e.g. condense longer pieces of donor guidance into summations for inclusion in Center communications channels such as blog and social media, draft/edit correspondence and outreach)

Ideal candidates should have outstanding research and writing ability; strong quantitative analytical skills; and experience with Microsoft Office products.

Our communications and design associates participate in all aspects of translating and disseminating our work, including but not limited to:

  • Formatting and design of publications (e.g. translate draft text content into final products via InDesign, working with leadership team to brand publications)
  • Graphic design (e.g. create images for use on twitter, take verbalized ideas from senior staff and translate into graphics)
  • Provide support for Center events and educational programs (e.g., draft and prepare marketing materials, logistical support)
  • Contribute to Center’s ongoing PR, marketing, and donor engagement efforts (e.g., draft/edit correspondence, create slide decks and presentations)
  • Social media engagement (e.g. post articles and other media on behalf of Center at direction of staff)
  • Assist in the Center’s own impact assessment (e.g. aggregate and analyze social media, surveys, and existing data)

Candidates should possess in-depth knowledge of InDesign, Photoshop, Microsoft Office, and various social media outlets. Prior experience working in the nonprofit sector, with an interest in communications, new media, and information systems would be helpful. Please submit a portfolio or examples of design work with your application.

Our PR/marketing associates participate in all aspects of translating and disseminating our work, including but not limited to:

  • Assist marketing and communications fellow and project teams with creating and executing marketing plans for Center work
  • Draft emails and other correspondence according to Center brand brief and style guide
  • Support team members’ engagement with the media (e.g. provide background research on topic related to a specific media inquiry, create and maintain lists of relevant journalists and media outlets, etc.)

Prior experience working in a marketing or PR capacity and an interest in information systems would be helpful, as would experience with customer relationship management programs.

In addition to excitement about CHIP’s mission and commitment to learning about social impact, ideal candidates possess the following:

  • experience working in a professional, office environment
  • excellent organizational, communication (written and oral), and interpersonal skills
  • demonstrated ability to be self-directed
  • capable of following detailed procedures
  • curiosity and an interest in tackling new projects.

Interested applicants should submit a resume/CV, a cover letter, and two references (at least one from a work/research supervisor) to impact@sp2.upenn.edu by March 5, 2018. A limited number of associate stipends are available for candidates who can commit to a minimum of 21 hours a week (scheduling flexible) for at least 6 weeks. Associate applicants currently enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania may also be eligible for CURF funding or other fellowships; please indicate if you have applied for such funding when submitting your application.