Senior Director of Research

TalkingPoints - Remote - Full time

About TalkingPoints

TalkingPoints is an award-winning education technology non-profit organization with the mission to unlock the potential of low-income, underserved families to support their children’s learning by partnering with their children’s schools. COVID-19 remote learning environment has made our mission ever more urgent and important. We’re building a one-of-a-kind product in the market, a multilingual family engagement platform that connects families and teachers using human and artificial intelligence powered, two-way translated messages and personalized supports — eliminating language, time limitations, and know-how as barriers to school/family connection.

Millions of teachers and families are using TalkingPoints in their classrooms, schools and districts across the U.S. TalkingPoints works with key school district partners such as Oakland Unified, Seattle Public Schools, Boston Public Schools, Buffalo Public School, Wake County and NYC DOE. We have won awards from NYU, MIT, Google, Forbes and are backed by Google, Eric Schmidt, AT&T, Cisco, and Stanford University to name a few.

We're at a critical inflection point in the organization's growth, our user base has grown exponentially in the past year while our team doubled and will double again over the next year. It's an important time to join our team and build on our momentum and ability to support students and families during this critical time in which education equity gaps are more concerning than ever. 

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 Senior Director of Research will report to the Head of Data, Analytics & Research and be 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 mixed methods research to prototype and evaluate new product features and identify usage patterns to support implementation fidelity for new district partners. This person will lead a team of research team members in the development and execution of our research roadmap, build external research partnerships, and establish a technical advisory committee for oversight and consultation on industry best practices. This role will also be responsible for collaborating with marketing teams to communicate our research findings to the broader education field and build the organization’s position as a thought leader in the space. This position understands the power of short-cycle research studies for evaluating product efficacy and recommending feature enhancements. This position requires an individual with applied research experience and the capacity to infuse and sustain a culture of data-informed learning, continuous improvement, and evidence-based practices.

ResponsibilitiesA. 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 improving student outcomes.
  2. Develops research questions and designs tools and processes for evaluating the efficacy of product features 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 the broader education field.
  5. Aggregates and oversees impact metrics to drive organizational alignment and progress.
  6. Leads and manages 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 situated in a data, machine learning, and research department.
  3. Provides 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. Shares 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 and acts as a point of contact between partners and TalkingPoints.

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

  • Ph.D. degree required in a quantitatively-focused social science discipline such as education, psychology, sociology, or economics.
  • 5+ years of experience in applied education research, preferably K-12 focused.
  • 3+ years proven track record in managing and growing a research team; defining and progressing a research roadmap.
  • Experience designing and executing quantitative and qualitative research, with a focus on engagement and/or efficacy.
  • Experience in quantitative analysis on 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.
  • Familiarity with learning science and evidence-based learning practices.
  • Experience in research on digital tools use, engagement and learning outcomes; ability to translate education expertise to product development.
  • Experience working with content, product, design, engineering and data science functions, and driving collaboration among multi-disciplinary staff members.
  • Experience working at or collaborating with 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

Mid 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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