Research Director

Job description

About OpenMind

OpenMind is a rapidly growing non-profit EdTech startup that works at the intersection of behavioral science and technology to address polarization and social conflict. We translate the best social science research into tools that are engaging, evidence-based, and scalable in order to foster openness to diverse perspectives and equip people with skills to communicate constructively across differences. Since launching in 2017, our online program has reached more than 35,000 people in more than 500 classrooms, as well as 50 organizations and companies, across more than 15 countries.

About the Role

We are looking for a Research Director who will work at the intersection of research and technology to design and validate educational interventions for use in workplaces, universities, and classrooms. The Research Director will be part of the leadership team and will be responsible for developing and executing OpenMind’s research agenda.

As Research Director, you will be expected to thrive in a fast-paced startup environment where you will need to manage numerous complex projects effectively and reliably. Your primary responsibilities will be designing methods to evaluate the effectiveness of our interventions in organizational contexts and contributing to the design of new interventions. We are looking for a talented researcher with business savvy who is comfortable working directly with clients to ensure that we're evaluating the metrics they care most about.

We are looking for an accomplished Ph.D. who has experience in all phases of research, from experimental design through publication in peer-reviewed journals. The ideal candidate will have experience designing large-scale research studies in organizational settings, supervising junior research staff, and writing grant proposals. If you love to be challenged and enjoy applying lean start-up principles to research, this is the role for you!

Key Responsibilities

Leadership & Project Management:

  • Develop and oversee the organization’s research agenda and activities, including being responsible for budgets, schedules, scientific leadership, and delegation to team members.
  • Build, lead, and manage a team of enthusiastic, high-performing researchers, including providing mentorship.
  • Work with external research collaborators to conduct experiments.

Research Design & Execution:

  • Manage the research team through all stages of the research process (developing research designs, methodologies, analytical plans, and data collection instruments, running analyses, and writing up research results).
  • Contribute to the design of OpenMind’s behavioral interventions by running mini-studies, recommending literature reviews, and reviewing the scientific accuracy of content.
  • Maintain current awareness of trends and research in social psychology and behavioral intervention design through conference attendance and self-directed learning.

External Research Communication:

  • Contribute to grant proposals and reports for various stakeholders.
  • Communicate OpenMind’s research externally through conference presentations, public lectures/interviews, and blog posts on the OpenMind website.
  • Lead publication of reviewed journal articles in top research journals.

Job requirements

The Ideal Candidate


  • You have a Ph.D. in social, cognitive, developmental, or clinical psychology, or organizational behavior. Experience in behavior change science, moral, political, or positive psychology, diversity, equity, and inclusion, organizational psychology, or intellectual virtue development is strongly preferred.
  • You have experience working in industry.
  • You have 5+ years of experience managing intervention design and assessments, running randomized controlled experiments, and conducting complex analyses using multilevel and mixed-effects modeling.
  • You have a demonstrated track record of success in project management and managing a team.
  • You have excellent written and verbal communication skills with experience writing for and presenting to a diverse range of audiences.
  • You have a track record of peer-reviewed publications.
  • Strong programming experience in R (preferred) and/or Python. Additional experience with SQL, R Markdown, the tidyverse, and Shiny apps is preferred but not required.
  • Experience with version control systems (e.g. GitHub, Gitlab, Bitbucket) is preferred but not required.
  • Experience with machine learning and natural language processing would be a plus.


  • You have an entrepreneurial spirit. You thrive in a fast-paced work environment, you are comfortable with ambiguity, and you are able to adapt to new circumstances.
  • You are action-oriented and intentional. You are deliberate with your communication and decisions, always focused on how your actions will drive our work forward through tangible next steps.
  • You are intellectually humble and resilient. You are comfortable having your ideas challenged, you respond well to feedback, and you view setbacks as an opportunity to learn and try something new. You are ready and willing to change directions when necessary.
  • You are meticulous and hold yourself to high standards of excellence. You are detail-oriented and have excellent organizational and time-management skills.
  • You have integrity and empathy. You treat others with respect, you build trust, and you use your strong interpersonal skills to lead your team effectively and ensure alignment with internal and external stakeholders.

Job Details

  • Compensation: Competitive salary is commensurate with experience and skills.
  • Time Commitment: We're considering candidates for full-time positions and for part-time positions alongside an academic role.
  • Location: Remote
  • Start Date: September 2020
  • Deadline: We are reviewing applications on a rolling basis.