Feb 28, 2019

Director of Research

  • Insight Executive Search
  • Philadelphia, PA, USA
Full time Applied Psychology Behavioral Child/Adolescent Positive Psychology Research

Job Description

Position Summary

The Director of Research will work primarily on the Character Lab Research Network (CLRN) where they will liaise between top-tier scientists and a fast growing network of school partners to facilitate a variety of research projects. Reporting to our Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Sean Talamas, as well as collaborating with other Directors, this individual will come into a role where they can combine their passion for research and education with their skills in project management and communication.

We are looking for an individual who has hands-on experience with research and understands its demands. Juggling multiple projects at once, the right candidate embraces time management, can spot areas to improve process inefficiencies, and will thrive within our small and dynamic team.

About Character Lab

Character Lab is a nonprofit devoted to advancing the science and practice of character development. We were founded in 2012 by two educators (Dave Levin and Dominic Randolph) and one scientist (Angela Duckworth) who see character development as essential to helping all children thrive.

Our research has shown that success and well-being depend on a multitude of strengths that are organized into three dimensions: interpersonal, intrapersonal, and intellectual. Interpersonal strengths like gratitude and empathy enable caring relationships with other people; intrapersonal strengths like grit and growth mindset enable achievement; and intellectual strengths like curiosity and humor enable a fertile life of the mind.

To advance the science of character development, Character Lab connects leading psychologists with middle and high schools across the country. To advance the practice of character development, Character Lab translates research findings into Playbooks, instructional materials co-created with scientists, educators, and designers. To learn more, see our most recent Annual Letter.

Our culture is both challenging (we’re never done improving) and supportive (one of our core values is excessive generosity). We are sixteen full-time designers, educators, and scientists (and one dog) under one roof. To learn more, read our Culture Book.

Key Responsibilities

● Facilitating the work of top-tier scientists

● Liaise with the Education Manager, who manages our school partnerships and data teams, as needed

● Creating operational procedures for:

○ Data management

○ Power analysis

○ Evaluation of study proposals

○ Pre-registration on the Open Science Framework

● Manage and promote CLRN’s visibility in academic and research spaces

● Develop strategic partnerships in the service of forming a scientific advisory council to inform our research practices

● Proactively identify capabilities and opportunities for alternative types of data collection (e.g. big data, longitudinal studies)

● Conduct internal studies, including but not limited to A/B testing different platforms, beta testing new features, or studying the impact of CLRN on the future of character research

● Manage and delegate tasks to our research associate

● Occasional travel (once every other month)


● 5-7 years of relevant experience in research execution and evaluation

● Master’s degree required; PhD in psychology or related field preferred

● Fluent understanding of scientific best practices and advances in open science efforts

● Excellent communication, leadership, and project management skills

● Comfortable working with multiple collaborators and thinking strategically about system improvements across many projects and partnerships simultaneously

● Experience with educational or school-based research preferred

Physical Demands/Environmental Factors

● Prolonged and irregular hours of duty, as necessary

● Some light to medium level of manual labor (e.g., preparing mailings, moving boxes of materials, etc.)


Competitive salary is commensurate with individual’s experience and skills. All full-time employees receive a comprehensive benefits package.

How to apply

Character Lab is an equal opportunity employer and encourages a diverse pool of candidates to apply. Character Lab has retained the services of Insight Executive Search. For more information or to apply for the position, please contact:

Aaron Schmidt, President

Insight Executive Search

(949) 281-7525



Character Lab

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