[Air-L] Data & Society is seeking a Director of Research

danah boyd aoir.z3z at danah.org
Wed Feb 14 19:14:53 PST 2018

In 2013, I started Data & Society as an experiment. I imagined a research institute and a think/do tank all in one, bringing together researchers and practitioners and misfit toys. This crazy endeavor has worked better than I ever imagined. We’re now in the process of building the structures needed to make it a more sustainable organization. We’ve brought in a phenomenal executive director (Janet Haven) who understands the civil society and tech worlds deeply. And now we need a director of research who can work with me to create/build out our research strategy, mentor/manage researchers, and otherwise help support the development of important, rigorous, and impactful research.

This is a super important hire for the future of D&S. I expect that the right person will be mid or late career and have extensive experience doing qualitative research and playing a leadership role in research environments (either academic or not). 

The call is online at  https://datasociety.net/blog/2018/02/09/now-hiring-director-of-research/ <https://datasociety.net/blog/2018/02/09/now-hiring-director-of-research/> and below. Please help me find this special, special person. Feel free to forward as appropriate.


Director of Research

Job Description pdf: https://datasociety.net/pubs/ds/DoR_JD_DataSociety.pdf
For questions, email jobs at datasociety.net

Data & Society advances public understanding of the social and cultural implications of data-centric technologies and automation. We conduct interdisciplinary research and build a field of actors to ensure that knowledge guides development and governance of technology.  We are working towards a future in which the values that shape technology should be visible and intentionally chosen with respect for human dignity.

Data & Society is looking for an exceptional candidate to lead our growing, interdisciplinary Research Team as the Director of Research (DoR). The DoR is a new, senior, and central role at Data & Society. The ideal candidate will be passionate about the power of evidence and research to drive impact. They will be an accomplished scholar and a dedicated academic mentor, with deep team management experience. Data & Society’s DoR will bring their own disciplinary and topical expertise to the team, but will be capable and comfortable developing and supporting research across a range of themes, disciplines, and topics.

This crucial role at Data & Society will work closely with danah boyd, Founder and President, to envision, articulate, and manage toward a broader research vision.  The DoR will be responsible for ensuring the rigor, quality, and value of our research outputs, and for strengthening the research culture at the organization. They will also be encouraged to maintain and build their own research agenda and publishing practice, and to build or expand a profile as a public intellectual in their own right.


- Develop and implement overall research strategy for the organization, working closely with Founder/President, Executive Director, and research-oriented advisors, with an eye to impact on evolving field debates.
- Ensure quality of Data & Society research outputs, including implementing a rigorous and transparent review process that includes a range of scholars.
- Maintain an active profile as a researcher and scholar.

- Serve as the senior leader of our in-house research team of approximately 25 people, including initiative leads, researchers, research analysts, and post-doctoral scholars.
- Directly supervise research initiative leads to develop and implement research strategy within thematic verticals.
- Collaborate with Managing Director of Research and other directors and managers at Data & Society on finance/budget oversight, administration, human resources, communications, programs, and publishing.
- Serve on the Managers’ Team at Data & Society, representing research culture and concerns within organizational leadership.
- Share in fundraising and funder relations responsibilities for the Research Team with Executive Director, Founder/President, and individual researchers.

- Build the research culture at Data & Society. With support from the Managing Director of Research, the DoR will lead the development of policies, norms, best practices, and research infrastructure geared to produce rigorous, frame-breaking, and timely research products.
- Mentor D&S scholars, both directly and by developing mentorship norms and structures that leverage the broader Data & Society network.
- Incorporate faculty fellows into the research team for discrete periods of time.
- With an eye to fieldbuilding, enhance and sustain the network of researchers whom we work with in academia and beyond.

Public outreach:
- Represent Data & Society’s work externally to media, funders, civil society, industry, and government as needed.
- With support from other D&S teams and resources, ensure that researchers are able to represent their work in multiple venues and to multiple audiences.

- PhD in the social sciences or related field and experience with qualitative sociotechnical research;
- 10+ years academic or research work experience post-PhD;
- Extensive academic and non-academic publication history;
- Extensive professional experience in university or institute research environments;
- Experience in research team building and management;
- Public profile and ability to connect with non-academic audiences via writing and speaking;
- Expertise in the social and cultural implications of data-centric and automated technologies;
- Deep understanding of the public and closed-door debates occurring in media, government, the technology industry, and civil society around the issues raised by data-centric and automated technologies, and a clear set of ideas of the ways in which research can influence and shape those decision-making venues;
- Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated experience managing down, laterally, and up for successful outcomes;
- Comfort with a fast-paced work environment at a young and rapidly evolving organization.

Practical considerations
1. This is not a remote position; you must work full time from the Data & Society office in the Flatiron section of New York City, however this role does allow for some flexible scheduling and telecommuting;
2. Annual salary is commensurate on experience, and you will be offered a generous benefits package, paid time off, and a budget for business travel and projects. Additionally, we are able to provide relocation assistance if necessary;
3. You must be eligible to work in the United States; we are unable to sponsor visas.

To apply, please submit the following to jobs at datasociety.net:
- 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;
- Names, affiliations, and contact information for three professional references.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis beginning March 5, 2018, and the position should be considered open until filled. Please contact job at datasociety.net with any questions about the position; inquiries will not be held against your eligibility as a candidate.

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