Jobs | 03.30.18

Now Hiring: Research Initiative Manager

For questions, email [email protected]

The Research Initiative Manager is an integral part of the media manipulation team, providing oversight of research objectives by coordinating the daily activities of a multi-year, multi-track research initiative in a fast-paced environment. The Research Initiative Manager will support the Research Lead in daily management of a team of up to 10 individuals. They will also act as a liaison between the media manipulation team and other D&S teams and departments, including operations, communications, and programs.

The Research Initiative Manager enjoys thinking strategically about what is needed for research to be useful, relevant, and accessible, and is adept at deploying resources effectively to achieve these ends. They are a mid-career specialist with a talent for motivating knowledge creators and specialists to produce groundbreaking research in a managed environment. They are a power user of project management tools such as Asana and have held one or more professional roles that have involved managing and coordinating a complex set of activities within a research context. They know how to manage a team of researchers, both in-house and external collaborators, working on multiple trajectories and implement project management practices that lead to successful outcomes. They are excited about the possibility of helping bring knowledge to bear in high-stakes conversations and coordinating and managing D&S’s research on these topics. This role reports to the Media Manipulation Research Lead.

The Media Manipulation Initiative (MMI) examines how different groups use the participatory culture of the internet to turn the strengths of a free society into vulnerabilities, ultimately threatening expressive freedoms and civil rights. Efforts to exploit technical, social, economic, and institutional configurations of media can catalyze social change, sow dissent, and challenge the stability of social institutions. Broadly, this initiative takes a sociotechnical approach to understanding the social, political, and economic incentives to game information systems, websites, platforms, and search engines—especially in cases where the attackers intend to destabilize democratic, social, and economic institutions.


  • Provide strategic, administrative, financial, and operational support to the Research Lead and Media Manipulation team.
  • Daily management of a team of up to 10 individuals, including oversight of work plans, project schedule, deliverables, and project budget.
  • Manages team resources proactively, identifying new staffing needs as necessary.
  • Manages recruitment and on-boarding of new staff, collaborators, and fellows.
  • Liaises between the MMI team and other D&S departments to ensure seamless operational coordination of activities.
  • Owns the process for regular reports on team activities, including reports to our Board and to funders.
  • Balances advancing a longer-term strategy and responding to unforeseen but highly relevant events.


  • A bachelor’s degree is required. Advanced degree in public policy, public administration, or business administration preferred.
  • Excellent project management skills; demonstrated problem-solving, attention to detail, organizational abilities.
  • People management experience: ideally with experience building a team or department.
  • Exceptional communication skills, written and oral; ability to adapt communication styles to different stakeholders.
  • Strong analytical capability and ability to communicate strategic recommendations to the research lead to advance informed decision-making.
  • Strong leadership abilities & willingness to take initiative.
  • Knowledge of or interest in the social and cultural implications of data-centric technologies strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of research techniques or methods preferred. 

Qualities of job candidate:

  • We expect that the right candidate for this position is mid-career and has managed research teams in the past.
  • A passion for supporting research and researchers to work towards advancing knowledge collectively.
  • The successful candidate will be motivated yet flexible, diplomatic, creative, trustworthy, and able to thrive in a fast-paced environment.
  • You are committed to supporting a research team seeking to understand how different groups use the tools and technologies of networked communication to manipulate sociotechnical systems.
  • Because this research project deals with extremist groups, the materials you will encounter during your research are very disturbing and will include violent text, images, and video. Content can be explicit, sexist, racist, or pornographic. You must be able to communicate with your manager when you need to take breaks or be reassigned to other research. You will participate in self-care trainings provided by Equality Labs.

Practical considerations:

  • This is not a remote position; you must work full time from the Data & Society office in the Flatiron section of New York City.
  • You will be offered a generous benefits package, paid time off, and a budget for travel and projects. Additionally, we are able to provide relocation assistance if necessary.
  • You must be eligible to work in the United States; we are unable to sponsor visas.

To apply, please submit the following to [email protected]:

  • Two-page cover letter explaining your interest in this role, who referred you or how you learned about this opportunity, and why you would be the ideal candidate for this position.
  • Your Curriculum Vitae or resume.
  • Names, affiliations, and contact information for three professional references.
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning April 15, 2018, and the position should be considered open until filled.
  • Please contact [email protected] with any questions about the position; inquiries will not be held against your eligibility as a candidate.

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