Research Project Associate

Filene Research Institute

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Organization Description

Filene Research Institute exists to help credit unions empower people to achieve financial wellness. We are an independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to changing people’s lives through ideas, truth and cooperation. We aim to create change through insightful research, playful ideas, and rigorous experimentation to make real and lasting impact in people’s lives.

We live by the famous words of our namesake, credit union and retail pioneer Edward A. Filene: "Progress is the constant replacing of the best there is with something still better." Together, Filene and our thousands of supporters seek progress for credit unions by turning questions into research, research into ideas, and ideas into action. Filene is a 501(c)(3) not-for- profit organization. Nearly 1,000 members make our research, innovation, and impact programs possible.


Research Project Associate

Job Location

Filene Research Institute, Madison, WI

Contact Information

Dan Hoover,


Role Overview

70%—Project Management

  • Review and oversee Filene’s research pipeline from proposal to publication. Manage the progress and help ensure the timely and thorough completion of Filene publications and other research outputs.
  • Create and manage project completion timeline and schedule of deliverables. Track deliverables, update project plans, monitor and report on project progress using appropriate software.
  • Help to define and track project performance measures in relation to individual project goals, annual research output objectives, and the Institute’s long-term research strategy. Institute process improvement, as necessary.
  • Manage risks, initiate follow-ups, actively problem-solve, and revise timeline when necessary to meet project goals and ensure overall research output success.
  • Work autonomously and make independent decisions using own discretion and judgment.
  • Maintain effective project management systems. Maintain up-to-date knowledge on software applications used in project management process
  • Coordinate schedules and manage relationships and communications with research partners and other stakeholders, including Filene fellows (faculty members of prestigious universities and institutes), credit union system contacts, contract researchers and writers, internal design and communications teams, and external publishing partners.
  • Contract qualified consultants to work on the project as appropriate. Develop and maintain project-related contracts, resource vendors and manage vendor and contract researcher relationships, and review and process payments/expenses requests. Meet budgetary objectives and mitigate expenses when feasible.
  • Effectively and regularly report project outcomes. Implement and maintain quality assurance systems. Maintain physical and/or electronic project folders to document publication project history, including using in-house digital asset management system.


  • Help to define project scope, goals, and deliverables in collaboration with Research team and external stakeholders. Use basic database management and data analytics skills to surface lessons from research projects, contributing to in-house analysis of issues of interest in consumer and cooperative finance using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • Help to edit, summarize, distill, and communicate the findings of Filene’s pipeline of academic and market research.
  • Write clearly and think visually and creatively about how to convey research findings in compelling and useful ways. Able to conduct basic data visualizations.
  • Collaborate with team members to create and disseminate information to various audiences in various formats/mediums announcing new publications and project/product rollouts and press releases to trade publications.
  • In coordination with the Communications team, manage publication and other research portions of the Filene website as applicable.

10%—General Office

  • Effectively maintain physical and electronic storage for applicable materials (research outputs, files, product samples, project folders, etc.).
  • Conduct small office functions: answering phones, filing, data entry, mailing, ordering supplies, etc.
  • Collaborate with Filene team members to enhance the Institute’s overall success.

The statements above are not intended to be all-inclusive and other duties will be assigned as needed.

Role Responsibilities

  • Model Filene values and play a key role in maintaining the culture of the organization through personal and cross-functional accountabilities.
  • Actively support the achievement of Filene's strategic objectives, plan, and metrics in a manner consistent with Filene’s mission, values, and brand.
  • Provide extraordinary service to Filene’s staff, members, and stakeholders.
  • Prioritize and manage workload to aggressive deadlines.
  • Accountable for smooth flow of research projects and outputs. Identifies obstacles to the timely completion of projects. Able to gather information, define issues, and recommend solutions in a succinct, independent manner. Drives project accountability throughout the organization.
  • Responsible for overseeing effective project management methodologies and support projects from initiation and planning through to implementation, monitoring, and closing.
  • Serves as a nexus for internal and external stakeholders. Manages contracting and scheduling with all projects’ key stakeholders: consultants, researchers, credit union system contacts, print vendors, designers, writers, and copyeditors.
  • Edits, summarizes, distills and communicates the findings of Filene’s broad pipeline of academic and market research.
  • Demonstrates skills in time management, attention to detail, planning, prioritizing, organizing, resource planning, and risk management.
  • Responsible for staying up-to-date regarding new technology and/or process changes to enhance efficiency of project management and overall organizational operations.

Role Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree required and Master’s degree preferred.
  • 5+ years of project management experience. Experience working with diverse business executives, university professionals, contractors, and vendors preferred.
  • Intellectually curious about credit unions and consumer and cooperative finance. Committed to research and imagination as foundations for action and transformation. Enjoy working in a dynamic think-tank environment, where change is comfortable and conceptual creativity and reinvention are a part of the culture.
  • Demonstrates effective planning and organizational skills through previous work assignments.
  • Demonstrates ability to manage multiple complex projects with limited supervision.
  • Demonstrates ability to clearly and effectively communicate project information to internal and external customers via phone, email, and other media, in person and in writing.
  • Strong editing skills (technical and creative), as well as the ability to articulate ideas verbally.
  • Demonstrates analytical skills, sound judgment, problem identification, problem resolution, and decision-making skills. Ability to work independently with limited supervision.
  • Demonstrates ability and comfort using various project management software programs (e.g., Smartsheet, Basecamp), Internet and social media, databases, and cloud computing solutions. Must be able to self-teach, problem-solve, and troubleshoot independently using available resources. Must have experience using Mac and Apple products.
  • Previous experience in a small office environment preferred.
  • Basic data analytics and data visualization skills a plus.
  • Position is based in Madison, WI
  • Required travel of less than 10%

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