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Bilingual Institution Relations Specialist (Chicago, IL)

compensation: DOE
employment type: contract

Are you a self-starter with excellent attention to detail? Can you build and cultivate business relationships by telephone and email? Would you enjoy helping staff from postsecondary institutions gather and report data for an important research study? If so, there is an opening for an Institution Relations Specialist that may be a great fit for you.

RTI International is seeking Institution Relations Specialists to support institution data collection for a large, congressionally-mandated study of how students and their families pay for college. Institution Relations Specialists will work primarily by telephone and email to recruit postsecondary institutions to participate in the study. They will also prompt institution staff to complete study tasks and will provide technical assistance to institution staff. Institution Relations Specialists must be responsive, professional, and responsible; they must also be excellent verbal and written communicators. Institution Relations Specialists will use these skills, as well as their knowledge of the study and why it is important, to motivate institution staff.

Candidates must be able to work from mid-October 2019 to early December 2020, depending on geographic location and study needs. 


  • Provide an excellent data collection experience for institution staff, ensuring that they receive the highest level of customer service
  • Secure cooperation from postsecondary education institutions to participate in complex research study
  • Be primary contact for institution staff, make and respond to telephone and email contacts, and provide technical assistance during data collection
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with institution staff, advocate for their needs, deliver on goals while keeping their needs in mind
  • Become an expert on your assigned institutions and the data collection process
  • Attend conferences, as needed, to meet institution staff and build relationships
  • Maintain detailed documentation of all interactions with institution staff, and record related information in the project control system to track progress and outcomes
  • Collaborate with project team and utilize tools, reports, and control systems to develop, conduct, and evaluate recruitment strategies and data collection activities
  • Prepare and submit written reports on recruitment and data collection status and attend project meetings to report progress and learn of new directives
  • Participate in project trainings to learn role, directives, and information about project
  • Keep project information confidential
  • Assume full legal responsibility for use and care of project laptop computer, taking reasonable and appropriate steps to safeguard against damage, loss, or theft, and returning all equipment at the conclusion of the assignment or at the request of your supervisor
  • Adhere strictly to project deadlines including when to return materials and equipment to RTI
  • Submit timely and accurate time and expense reports
  • Maintain a professional, cooperative relationship with supervisor and other project staff, objectively sharing your thoughts while displaying an understanding of project management’s concerns


  • Review materials and complete home study assignments prior to 10/29/19 for October training and prior to 2/25/20 for February training
  • Be available for training sessions 10/29/19 – 10/31/19 and 2/25/20 – 2/26/20
  • Travel may be required for training
  • Pay for this position will vary based on location and experience


  • Bachelor’s degree; preferred fields are higher education, communications, psychology, sociology, or other social science 
  • Available to work a schedule averaging 25 hours per week during the data collection period; minimum of 20 hours and up to 40 hours per week during peak times
  • Available for entire project training and data collection period
  • Able to successfully complete training (may require travel)
  • Applicants must be at least 21 years of age by the first date of employment
  • Knowledge of the U.S. higher education system and prior experience working with postsecondary institutions is highly desirable
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including ability to produce effective emails with correct spelling and grammar; prefer experience with business communications (e.g., emails, letters)
  • Energetic self-starter with excellent attention to detail, able to work independently and with teams
  • Ability to build and cultivate relationships by telephone, electronic, and in-person communications, and to increase others’ awareness and excitement for study
  • Ability to tailor messages to specific circumstances of institution staff 
  • Highly organized with excellent time management, problem-solving, and creative thinking skills
  • Proficiency with computers, including experience with MS Word, Outlook, and Excel 
  • Have high-speed internet access and a quiet working environment
  • To qualify, applicants must be U.S. citizens. 
  • Ability to travel up to 10 percent time
  • Willing to complete moderate security clearance (eQIP) process for the U.S. Department of Education, Position of Trust
  • Customer service experience (preferred, not required)

Please Apply Here:

RTI International is an independent, nonprofit research institute dedicated to improving the human condition. Clients rely on us to answer questions that demand an objective and multidisciplinary approach—one that integrates expertise across the social and laboratory sciences, engineering, and international development. We believe in the promise of science, and we are inspired every day to deliver on that promise for the good of people, communities, and businesses around the world. For more information, visit

Physical and mental demands of this role include those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job, as outlined above.  Examples include:  operating a computer, a phone, and other office machinery, driving to households; walking from car to household; thinking, learning, and concentrating effectively and frequently communicating with other people, both within RTI and outside of RTI; frequently moving about inside and travel between households; ability to handle the stress associated in meeting frequent, multiple and tight deadlines;, ability to work a varied schedule, including evening and weekend hours based on project needs; consistent demonstration of mental stability and ability to have regular, reliable and predictable attendance.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job, per RTI procedure 4.2.1. 

For USA Job Postings Only: RTI participates in the US Government E-Verify program. Further information regarding the E-Verify program and laws that are designed to protect you against discrimination relating to your legal right to work in the US can be found at
For San Francisco, CA USA Job Postings Only: Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records. Further information is available here.


  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
  • do NOT contact us with unsolicited services or offers

post id: 6961339323



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