Director of Research / Research Fellow

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 and schools and districts across the U.S. TalkingPoints works with key school district partners such as Oakland Unified, Wake County and NYC DOE. We have won awards from NYU, MIT,, Ashoka, Forbes and are backed by, AT&T, Carnegie Corporation, Schmidt Futures, Stanford University and NewSchools Venture Fund, to name a few. Most recently we were named an evidence-based learning platform to support by MIT’s J-Pal, and our research partners include University of Chicago and MIT. Learn more.

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

The Opportunity

As our dedicated research lead, you’ll have the unique opportunity to take a mission critical leadership role in the inflection point of our organization to take our product to the next level. what we call TalkingPoints 2.0! You’ll be working closely with a small but supercharged, tightly knit, mission-driven team, to lead all areas of product to drive impact in a fast-paced, ‘scrappy’ and experimental environment. This role can be structured either as a full-time staff position or a year-long fellowship for an academic looking for a year of deep, impactful, industry experience with opportunity for research collaboration and publication.

The Director of Research / Research Fellow is responsible for identifying, tracking, documenting, and communicating TalkingPoints impact on family engagement and student outcomes based on our theory of change. This person will lead the development and implementation of our research roadmap, as well as collaborate with and manage third-party research partnerships in support of common goals. This position understands the power of effective rapid-cycle development, combined with data collection and analysis, 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 engagement, executive function and digitally-based behavioral science.
  2. Develops and implements internal formative and summative evaluation tools and processes in support of TalkingPoints’ impact roadmap.
  3. Leads design, implementation, and analysis of randomized controlled trials on the TalkingPoints platform
  4. Leads quantitative analysis of TalkingPoints data to identify insights and opportunities.
  5. Aggregates and oversees impact metrics to drive organizational alignment and progress
  6. Leads and manages the research and evaluation functions and practices related to measuring TalkingPoints’ evaluation questions, theory of change and logic models to measure and document our impact on students and teachers.

B. Support of Researchers on TalkingPoints platform

  1. Evaluates and develops research partnership opportunities that can benefit from the TalkingPoints platform
  2. Manages research partnerships to ensure successful project execution, acting as point of contact between partners and TalkingPoints product, engineering and data functions.
  3. Manages research partnerships to ensure alignment and sharing of insights to support TalkingPoints platform and impact goals

C. Organizational Management

  1. Convenes and engages Research Advisory Board for informing the research foundations of our work and the development of research-practice partnerships.
  2. Provides thought partnership on strategy development and alignment, product design, research, and fundraising.
  3. Effectively collaborates with staff and external evaluators and communicates, in writing and orally, evaluation findings and reports to a variety of stakeholders in storytelling formats such as white papers and reports to funders, as well as potentially for academic publishing.
  4. Provides evaluation technical assistance to colleagues to ensure that staff are able to access and utilize key impact tracking tools and reports.


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/statistics/data science; PhD preferred.
  • Substantive experience in quantitative and experimental research and evaluation; strong understanding of causal inference.
  • Hands on experience developing, implementing and analyzing experimental and non-experimental studies.
  • Understanding of research and practices supporting executive function development and evidence-based learning practices.
  • Experience in research on digital tools use, engagement and outcomes; ability to translate education expertise to digital content development clearly and optimally.
  • Experience informing quantitative and qualitative research, with a particular focus on engagement and impact outcomes.
  • Experience working with content, product, design, engineering and data science functions, driving collaboration among multi-disciplinary staff members
  • Strong team-player: we work as a small, tightly-knit team and you should be self-starting and motivated to build things.
  • Scrappy, experimental and excited about a fast-paced startup environment.
  • Strong commitment to our mission and using technology to make a difference.
  • Experience in education and/or empathy with communities we serve (e.g., underserved populations, education, immigration, bilingual and/or multicultural environments).

What we offer

  • An incredible opportunity to build a mission-driven, rapidly growing startup tech nonprofit
  • Competitive salary, full coverage health insurance, benefits, and unlimited vacation
  • Casual and flexible work environment central San Francisco location with easy access to public transportation
  • Fun, smart, dynamic, motivated team focused on working together to transform family engagement to serve the families who need it most


TalkingPoints Research Fellowship

This role can be structured either as a full-time staff position or as a year-long fellowship for an academic looking for a year of deep, impactful, industry experience and/or making the transition to a post-academic career. The research fellow will be encouraged to publish in academic journals, as well as have the opportunity to collaborate with prominent researchers and professors at leading institutions, such as Ariel Kalil and Susan Mayer at University of Chicago’s Behavior in Parenting (BIP) Lab.

How to apply

Send a resume, LinkedIn profile, and a brief paragraph describing your interest to with the subject: Director of Research or Research Fellow.