What is the Advancing Evaluation in Philanthropy Fellowhip at CORE?

SMU CORE is kicking off the Advancing Evaluation in Philanthropy Fellowship program. SMU is seeking a Post Graduate Fellow who will work closely with the senior leadership team of the Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) to work on evaluation projects of mutual interest.  The Fellowship aims to span the boundaries of research, evaluation and philanthropy. The Fellow’s arc of learning is designed to give Fellows hands on exposure to social science research fundamentals, project management, evaluation and philanthropy content and trends. Fellows will receive mentorship from the Walton Family Foundation (WFF) as well as SMU CORE as well as other researchers, evaluators, and philanthropy professionals. Fellows will also be given the opportunity to develop professionally in a variety of ways, such as a curated reading list, attending workshops/trainings, and attending or presenting at local and national conferences. Additionally, the creation of a Capstone project promises to be a signature experience for Fellows.

The Advancing Evaluation in Philanthropy Fellowship is a two-year position with salary and benefits, as well as a travel budget to work in person with Walton Foundation and to attend and present at national conferences.

About CORE

Housed within Southern Methodist University (SMU)’s Simmons School of Education and Human Development, The Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) provides a variety of research, evaluation, and consultation services. CORE staff have a wide range of skills, including evaluation planning, grant writing, community-based and multi-site interventions, quantitative and qualitative analysis, data collection and management of large and multi-year datasets. CORE values highly collaborative evaluation work with innovative programs and leverages multiple strategic partnerships. CORE brings rigorous evaluation science to study design that allows us to go beyond describing trends to testing the relationship between program participation and eventual outcomes.

CORE provides a range of research and evaluation services related education and human development. The center focuses on evaluation and applied research aimed at understanding and improving programs, policies, and practices to improve the health and well-being of individuals, schools, organizations and communities.

About SMU

SMU’s more than 12,000 diverse, high-achieving students come from all 50 states and 90 countries to take advantage of the University’s small classes, hands-on research opportunities, leadership development, community service, international study and innovative programs. The University offers a strong foundation in the humanities and sciences and undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs through eight schools.

Now in its second century of achievement, SMU is increasingly recognized for the ways it supports students, faculty and alumni as they become ethical leaders in their professions and communities. On the most beautiful college campus in the country, SMU Mustangs are energized by unbridled opportunities – from teaching, learning and research to creativity, performance and athletic endeavor.

An Ideal Candidate Will Have

Education and Experience

Master’s degree in Social Science or related field is required. Candidates with a Doctoral Degree are welcome to apply. Two years of work experience is preferred. Experience in nonprofit, education or philanthropic organization is preferred.

Fellows would be required to possess knowledge and skills related to social science research fundamentals. These include understanding the basics of formulating appropriate research questions, designing a study that seeks to answer those research questions, sampling, instrument development, reliability and validation, data collection, data organization, and data analysis

Prefer experience with the following:

  • Quantitative data analysis programs – such as SPSS, STATA, R, or SAS
  • Qualitative data analysis programs – such as NVivo, Atlas, or MaxQDR
  • Data visualization programs – such as Tableau or Power BI
  • Survey design programs – such as Qualtrics
  • Relational database programs – such as Microsoft Access or SQL
  • Cognos, Salesforce, Quickbooks

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Candidate must have excellent verbal and written communication skills. Must have strong customer service orientation. Must be able to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies and diverse communities. Candidate must have well developed organizational skills that include effective planning and time management. Must be willing and able to travel occasionally. Requires approximately three trips per year to Walton Family Foundation offices. Conference travel is also likely, approximately twice annually.

This position will work in person at the CORE offices, Simmons School of Education & Human Development at Southern Methodist University (SMU), Dallas, Texas. Some remote/online work will take place but the position is for an in-person hire and relocation to the Dallas area would be required.


Post Graduate Fellow (Evaluation-Philanthropy)