Director of Research

TalkingPoints - Remote - Full time

About TalkingPoints

TalkingPoints is an award-winning education technology nonprofit organization with the mission to unlock the potential of underserved families to support their children’s learning by partnering with their children’s schools. Our multilingual family engagement platform connects families and teachers and other important school staff through real-time, two-way translated messages and personalized supports that eliminate language, time limitations, and know-how as barriers to school/family connection.

The impact of the pandemic on student learning amplified the need for our solution. Our user base has grown exponentially as more districts and schools adopt TalkingPoints to connect their staff with all families. In places where school or district-wide adoption of TalkingPoints hasn’t happened yet, teachers are using our free product to engage their students’ families. We are working to scale the support our solution offers educators and families during this critical time when education equity gaps are more concerning than ever. By joining our growing team you will be helping us achieve our mission, and helping millions of students get the support they need to succeed. 

Diversity: we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it!

The Opportunity

As our research team leader, you’ll have the unique opportunity to take an important leadership role in supporting deep, measurable impact for our users. You’ll be working closely with a supercharged, mission-driven organization, leading our talented research team and collaborating with all organizational functions in driving impact through research in a fast-paced, innovative environment.

The Director of Research will report to our COO and is responsible for identifying, measuring, documenting, and communicating TalkingPoints impact on family engagement and student outcomes based on our theory of change. The role also includes utilizing research (internal and external) to improve our product platform through the development, implementation, and evaluation of new features. This person will lead the development and execution of our research roadmap, through both internal formative and summative research as well as potential third-party research partnerships. This role will also be responsible for collaborating with marketing and communications to communicate our research findings and insights into the broader education field and build the organization’s position as a thought leader in the space. This position understands the power of effective rapid-cycle development, combined with data collection and analysis of hundreds of millions of records, and applies that knowledge. This position requires an individual with deep practical experience and the capacity to infuse and sustain a data-and-evidence-based culture of learning and continuous improvement.


A. TalkingPoints Research & Impact Goals

  1. Leads research and development supporting our impact-based product roadmap, incorporating the latest research on family-school partnerships, digitally-based behavioral science and technology based interventions for student outcomes.
  2. Develops and implements internal formative and summative evaluation tools and processes in support of TalkingPoints’ impact roadmap.
  3. Leads quantitative analysis of TalkingPoints data to identify insights and opportunities.
  4. Leads generation of research insights that will inform and drive TalkingPoints product development as well as broader education field.
  5. Aggregates and oversees impact metrics to drive organizational alignment and progress.
  6. Leads and manages progress of TalkingPoints’ evaluation questions, theory of change and logic models to measure and document our impact on students and teachers.

B. Organizational and Team Management

  1. Provides thought partnership on strategy development and alignment, product design, research, and fundraising.
  2. Manages and develops TalkingPoints research team. This currently includes a team of two research professionals with support of data science / data engineering team.
  3. Provides evaluation technical assistance to colleagues to ensure that staff are able to access and utilize key impact tracking tools and reports.
  4. Acts as the key spokesperson for all things related to research internally and externally.

C. Thought leadership and Field Building

  1. Effectively collaborates with research partners and communicates, in writing and orally, research findings to a variety of stakeholders in storytelling formats such as white papers, reports, and academic publications to K-12 stakeholders and philanthropic funders, as well as the broader education research community.
  2. Share insights from the field throughout the organization to improve the TalkingPoints platform and in support of our impact goals.
  3. Evaluates and develops research partnerships that benefit from the TalkingPoints platform; ensures successful project execution, acts as point of contact between partners and TalkingPoints.

Who you are: The ideal candidate will have most or all of the following:

  • Graduate-level degree in any of education, behavioral psychology, or economics/sociology/statistics/data science; PhD preferred.
  • 5+ years of experience in education research, preferably K-12 focused.
  • 3+ years proven track record in managing and growing a research team; defining and progressing research roadmap.
  • Experience informing quantitative and qualitative research, with a particular focus on engagement and impact outcomes.
  • Experience in quantitative research and evaluation working with large, time-stamped data sets 1+ TB
  • Hands on experience developing, implementing and analyzing experimental and quasi-experimental studies; strong understanding of causal inference preferred.
  • Understanding of research and practices supporting evidence-based learning practices.
  • Experience in research on digital tools use, engagement and outcomes; ability to translate education expertise to digital development clearly and optimally.
  • Experience working with content, product, design, engineering and data science functions, driving collaboration among multi-disciplinary staff members.
  • Have worked at a school district/department of education in a research capacity.

Overall fit with our org culture - we look for team members who are:

  • User and mission-oriented: we are devoted to our mission with empathy towards the communities we serve.
  • All-in together: we go above and beyond the job description, working together as a team.
  • Agile & action-oriented: we get things done, knowing that our progress is urgent to our communities.
  • Always Learning: we are always learning, with a growth mindset, to reach our full potential.
  • Boldly Courageous: we take risks in order to achieve big things.
  • Resourceful: We are creative, solution-oriented, and scrappy.

What we offer:

  • An incredible opportunity to build a mission-driven, rapidly-growing tech nonprofit
  • Competitive salary, full coverage health insurance, benefits, and unlimited time off
  • 401K match
  • Annual professional development benefit
  • Flexibility to work remotely
  • Fun, smart, dynamic, motivated team focused on working together to transform family engagement to serve the families who need it most

How to apply:

Please submit your resume, a brief paragraph describing your interest, and a link to your LinkedIn profile

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Experience Level

Senior Level


TalkingPoints is an award-winning education technology nonprofit organization with the mission to unlock the potential of underserved families to support their children’s learning by partnering with their children’s schools.
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