Director of Research – Childhood Obesity Prevention



The Company

Mission Measurement (MM) is an impact measurement firm that provides research, data, and tools that enable government and philanthropy to predict, measure, and improve return on social program investment. In 2014, MM began developing the Impact Genome Project® (IGP), the world’s most comprehensive evidence base of ‘what works’ in social change. For each area of social policy, the IGP systematically codes and meta-analyzes all relevant policy research and program evaluations that have been completed. The goal: identify what program activities or mechanisms work, so decision-makers can understand why certain programs are more effective than others, for whom, and ultimately how to increase the impact of any program.


Recently, MM and the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) launched a project to apply the principles of the IGP to research of childhood obesity prevention interventions and policies. Specifically, this project will create a standardized taxonomy of outcomes and activities that are universally applicable to childhood obesity prevention interventions and policy; an evidence base of published and unpublished evaluations coded by these taxonomies; a meta-analysis to surface what intervention strategies produce positive effects; and two papers for publication (one on the methods and one on the findings). The project is focused on obesity prevention among children ages 2-5 year-olds.


The Position

Mission Measurement is looking for an exceptional researcher to join the project team as Research Director, starting immediately. The position is funded through September 2019, though there is a possibility for extension. The ideal candidate will be available to work full-time from our Chicago, IL office, but flexibility on hours and/or location is possible. At this time, this is an independent contractor position.

The Research Director will:

  • Lead all aspects of research for this project, learning and applying IGP protocols:
    • Development of a relevant bibliography
    • Development and stakeholder review of the standardized taxonomy of outcomes and genes
    • Coding of the bibliography with the taxonomy
    • Completion of project deliverables
    • Co-author two papers for publication
  • Engage, collect feedback, and generate buy-in with a panel of childhood obesity prevention experts from NIH, CDC, USDA, and leading academic experts (see Scientific Panel/Project Advisors list below)
  • Provide childhood obesity prevention content insight to Dr. Larry Hedges (Northwestern University) as he completes the meta-analysis
  • Ensure the project is delivered on time, on budget, and with the highest quality



  • PhD. in childhood obesity prevention or related field
  • Expertise conducting literature reviews, program evaluations, and/or meta-analyses
  • Knowledge of trends, challenges, and innovations within childhood obesity policy/programming
  • Ability to solicit feedback and drive to consensus with external stakeholders and experts
  • Strong organization and project management skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication
  • Ability to move quickly and thrive in a fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment
  • Comfort flexing up and down as needed to get the work done
  • Available to work full-time from our Chicago, IL office preferred, but flexibility on hours and/or location is possible.



Monthly stipend commensurate with experience and availability (full-time vs. part-time)


To Apply

To apply, please send a CV to with the subject line “CO RD Applicant: [YOUR NAME]”


Learn more about Mission Measurement at
Learn more about the Impact Genome® at


Scientific Panel / Project Advisors

  • Leann Birch, PhD, University of Georgia
  • John Cawley, PhD, Cornell University
  • Jamie Chriqui, PdH, MHS, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
  • Angie Cradock, Sc.D, MEd, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Chris Economos, PhD, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and Medical School at Tufts University
  • Debra Haire-Joshu, PhD, RN, Brown School at Washington University
  • Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University
  • Bruce Lee, MD, MBA, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 
  • Lorrene Ritchie, PhD, RD, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
  • Tom Robinson, MD, MPH, Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Marlene Schwartz, PhD, University of Connecticut