Senior Manager, Applied Behavior Research

Please make sure to attach your resume to complete your application.

Summary:

As part of the Policy, Response & Engagement (PRE) division, the Behavioral Sciences Team (BST) supports behavior programs across the ASPCA to safeguard the behavioral health of our animals.  

 

The BST’s work focuses on: 

  • Promoting a holistic approach to the care of ASPCA animals that balances physical and mental wellbeing. We ensure organization-wide alignment of behavior best practices, foundational tools and behavioral data management. 
  • Advancing science-based processes and protocols in shelter behavior, including enrichment, socialization and behavior modification, to improve quality of life of sheltered animals, reduce euthanasia of animals with treatable behavior problems and expedite pathway planning decisions for animals unsuitable for rehabilitation. 
  • Establishing psychological harm as legally cognizable animal cruelty so that animals suffering emotional trauma receive the same protections under the law as animals suffering physical harm. 
  • Supporting ASPCA’s cruelty and disaster operations through forensic behavior documentation, consultation, research and subject matter expert testimony. We work closely with Legal Advocacy & Investigations, National Field Response, Forensic Science and Rehabilitation Services by deploying for animal removals, providing low stress handling, conducting forensic behavior evaluations and supporting shelter behavior programs at temporary field shelters. 

The Senior Manager, Applied Behavior Research works under the supervision of the Senior Director, Applied Behavior Research to enact the strategic vision of the ASPCA’s behavior research strategy and the VP, BST’s departmental goals. The position requires a supportive, teamwork oriented individual that welcomes constructive feedback, has excellent time management skills, and a strong attention to detail coupled with an ability to adapt to changing priorities.   

The willingness and ability to travel frequently, on average 10-12 days/month is an absolute requirement.  

Responsibilities:

Behavior Research Program (75%) 

  • Contribute to the organization’s Behavior Strategy Plan to drive the direction of ASPCA research in shelter and forensic animal behavior. 

  • Participate in cross-departmental meetings to contribute to the development and execution of research projects. 

  • Represent the ASCPA while maintaining and developing relationships with external partner shelters vital to meeting the organization’s 2030 behavior goals. 

  • Regularly travel to ASPCA and partner shelter facilities to work directly with behavior teams to facilitate the implementation of applied behavior research, provide troubleshooting assistance and coaching on data collection procedures. 

  • Manage temporary research technicians, providing onboarding, coaching, and oversight of data quality and integrity. 

  • Partner with the BST Senior Manager, Shelter Behavior Science & Research Liaison to oversee the implementation of BST Research at ASPCA facilities across the organization and at external partner shelter facilities. 

  • Provide coaching and feedback to the BST Senior Manager, Shelter Behavior Science & Research Liaison on applied behavior research protocols and procedures, and on best practices for data management, cleaning, and analysis.  

  • Assist with ongoing research projects, adhering to study design for live observation or remote sensing protocols. 

  • Assist with coordination of students participating in the BST Applied Behavior Research Internship and external collaborators, such as graduate students, who contribute to the department’s research activities. 

  • Conduct literature searches and prepare summaries of relevant materials for mission-relevant behavior topics as directed. 

  • Format, clean, and evaluate data according to specific requirements with high accuracy. 

  • Create data visualizations and use descriptive statistics to highlight trends related to project goals. 

  • Under the direction of applied behavior research leadership, apply inferential statistical tests to datasets. 

  • Summarize and translate findings into reports and graphic representations as directed. 

  • Maintain electronic file systems and naming structures for long-term storage of BST research data. 

  • Maintain BST data collection equipment, including updating equipment inventory and managing shipping logistics. 

  • Identify opportunities for improvement in existing systems or processes and propose solutions to leadership as appropriate. 

  • Contribute to development and documentation of standardized behavioral protocols for care, evaluation, enrichment, rehabilitation and disposition of animals in disaster situations and animals seized from cruelty cases. 

Forensic Behavior & Field Support (15%) 

  • Provide on-scene behavioral trauma documentation and humane handling services during animal confiscation/removal, intake and medical exams for ASPCA cruelty cases and disaster response, as needed. 

  • Conduct forensic behavior evaluations for populations associated with NYPD and national cruelty and neglect cases, including, but not limited to, fighting dogs, puppy mill dogs and animals from hoarding situations and disaster relief. This may, on occasion, also include requests from outside agencies. 

  • Deploy to emergency shelters to provide behavior services, including enrichment, training, socialization and rehabilitation, as per ASPCA protocols. When needed, serve as program lead. 

  • Accept leadership, managerial and ICS roles as appropriate during deployments. 

Training and Development (5%) 

  • Deliver lectures, seminars, workshops, webinars, and other educational training and materials on shelter behavior at various venues. 

General Organizational Support (5%) 

  • Provide behavior content for media as requested. Participate in media interviews on companion animal behavior and shelter behavior topics. 

  • Assist with responses to internal ASPCA requests for data or literature. 

  • Direct or participate in other projects on an as-needed basis. 

 

Education, Training and Certifications: 

  • Specialized training in animal behavior (animal behavior/cognition, experimental psychology, zoology, animal science). 

  • M.Sc., M.A. required. PhD preferred. 

  • Animal Behavior Society CAAB or ACAAB preferred, or eligibility to earn such certification within 2 years. IAABC certification considered. 

  • Participate in professional development to ensure continued improvement of knowledge and skills. 

  • Disaster Sheltering and FEMA Incident Command System courses (100, 200, 700, 800).  

  • Low Stress Handling certification preferred; Fear Free certification accepted. Or obtained within 60 days of hire. 

 

Work Experience: 

  •  Minimum two years of experience in  data collection and analyis, preferably related to animal sheltering or animal behavior, especially assessing affective state in non-human animals 

 

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

  • Content knowledge of key subject areas: companion animal behavior & animal welfare science. Foundational knowledge of shelter behavior research. 

  • Comprehension & interpretation of primary literature. Ability to synthesize & summarize target subject areas as directed.  

  • Strong literature-based research skills, including use of common databases such as PubMed; Web of Science; Science Direct; etc. 

  • Can convey scientific findings to all audiences. Strong PowerPoint skills. 

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills; able to communicate clearly, effectively, sensitively and professionally, with staff at all levels. 

  • Able to effectively contribute to multiple high-priority projects. Willing to take ownership of tasks or projects. 

  • Meticulous with data collection and record keeping. Strong organizational skills and a high level of attention to detail.  

  • Experience with video multiplexers and cameras preferred. 

  • Experience with triaxial accelerometers preferred. 

  • Ability to quickly learn and master new datasets and software (familiarity with R, and Tableau or Domo preferred). 

  • Advanced Excel and strong data summary, visualization and analysis skills. 

  • Familiarity with Shelter Manager or other shelter software systems and Filemaker a plus. 

  • Excellent time management skills with the ability to prioritize multiple tasks.  

  • Able to quickly, calmly, and efficiently adjust to changes in direction and re-prioritize work 

  • Demonstrates high professional standards, including being guided by science rather than personal experience and opinion. Adept critical thinker. 

  • Willing to take ownership of, and learn from, mistakes; enjoys problem solving and identifying ways to improve.  

  • Must be a self-guided, creative and flexible individual who performs well with minimal supervision. Thrives in a fast-paced, demanding environment; willingly accepts changes to plans, protocols and priorities. 

  • Displays care and concern for the safety and well-being of self, animals and others, especially during stressful situations. 

  • Able to work closely with behaviorally compromised animals and be prepared to make decisions about euthanasia, including behavior euthanasia. 

  • Willing to accept responsibility for sustaining a healthy work-life balance. 

  • Capable of standing for 8 or more hours and bending, crouching, kneeling and moving freely to perform responsibilities that include handling potentially dangerous animals in stressful conditions. 

  • Willing to occasionally work in challenging conditions, including harsh temperatures or unsanitary environments. Able to wear appropriate protective gear, including personal protective equipment and protective masks. Potential situations include:  

  • excessive noise 

  • uneven walking surfaces 

  • inclement weather 

  • chemical and biological hazards, such as feces and blood 

  • constructed spaces with narrow passageways  

  • strong odors and excessive dirt or dust 

  • Able and willing to work flexible hours, long days, and weekends, as required; available to be on-call for last minute deployments. 

  • Must provide a valid driver’s license upon hire and pass a motor vehicle history check demonstrating safe driving history. 

 

Exemplifies the ASPCA’s Core Values

  • Has Commitment and dedication to improving the lives of animals 

  • Demonstrates Ownership and feels responsible for outcomes 

  • Believes in Team – that we are stronger together 

  • Seeks to Elevate others and reimagine what is possible 

  • Focuses on Impact, specifically making change for animals  

 

Compensation & Benefits: 

The applicable target hiring range for this remote role is based on where the employee works, which for remote roles is the employee’s primary location of residence, and its respective cost of labor. We have organized the U.S. varying costs of labor index into three geographic zones. As a point of reference, below, we have included our ASPCA locations by geographic zone to illustrate what the hiring range would be in each of the following areas.   

 Starting pay for the successful applicant will depend on a variety of factors, including but not limited to education, training, experience, location, business needs, internal equity, market demands or budgeted amount for the role. The target hiring range is for new hire offers only, and staff compensation may increase beyond the maximum hiring range based on performance over time. The maximum of the hiring range is reserved for candidates with the highest qualifications and relevant experience.  

The expected hiring salary ranges for this role are set forth below and may be modified in the future.     

  • Zone 1 (Asheville, NC; Champaign, IL; Columbus, OH; Gainesville, FL; Miami, FL; Oklahoma City, OK; Overland, KS; Union, MO; Weaverville, NC): $77,000-$82,000 annually 

  • Zone 2 (Washington D.C.; Los Angeles, CA): $86,000-$91,000 annually 

  • Zone 3 (New York, NY): $94,000-$100,000 annually 

  • You can view which zone applies to where you plan to work here. For questions regarding other locations not found on the list, please send an email to Careers@aspca.org for more information.    

 

Information on our benefits offerings can be found here 

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Qualifications:

See above for qualifications details.

  

Language:

English

Education and Work Experience:

  

COVID Statement:
The ASPCA strives to maintain a COVID-free workplace. To that end, being fully vaccinated is a condition of employment for all ASPCA employees, including new hires, except where prohibited by applicable state or local law. The ASPCA makes reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs that prohibit a person from being vaccinated.

Our EEO Policy:

The ASPCA is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital or domestic partner status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.

Applicants with disabilities may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act and certain state or local laws.  A reasonable accommodation is a change in the ASPCA’s standard application process, which will ensure an equal employment opportunity without imposing undue hardship on the ASPCA.  Please inform the ASPCA’s People Team if you need an accommodation in order to complete any forms or to otherwise participate in the application process.

Individuals seeking employment are considered without regards to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital or domestic partner status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status,  or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.

ASPCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer (M/F/D/V).

Please don’t forget to attach your resume to complete your application.

About Us:
The ASPCA was founded in 1866 on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment by humans and must be protected under the law. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with more than two million supporters nationwide, the ASPCA is committed to preventing cruelty to dogs, cats, equines, and farm animals throughout the United States.

The ASPCA is headquartered in New York City, where we maintain a full-service animal hospital, spay/neuter clinic, mobile spay/neuter and primary pet care clinics, a rehabilitation center for canine victims of cruelty, kitten nursery, adoption center, and two community veterinary centers.

The ASPCA also operates programs and services that extend nationwide. We assist animals in need through on-the-ground disaster and cruelty interventions, behavioral rehabilitation, animal placement, legal and legislative advocacy, and the advancement of the sheltering and veterinary community through research, training, and resources.

At the ASPCA, we are committed to fostering a collaborative and compassionate culture and we welcome all voices to contribute to our lifesaving mission. Our staff represent a vast array of backgrounds and diversity dimensions, bringing with them valuable experiences and perspectives. They join the ASPCA to learn, grow, and continually do their best work on behalf of animals. We are inspired by our staff, partners, and the communities we support across the country who work to improve animal lives. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the ASPCA because it elevates our organizational culture, aligns with our Core Values, and enables us to move further and faster toward the ASPCA’s vision – that all animals live good lives; valued by society, protected by its laws, and free from cruelty, pain and suffering.