Overview:

Crisis Text Line is free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text 741741 from anywhere in the US to text with a trained Crisis Counselor. Crisis Text Line trains volunteers to support people in crisis. With over 150 million messages processed to date, we’re growing quickly, but so is the need.

We share real time data to support smarter research, policy, and community organizing. Research Collaborators are granted access to a scrubbed and anonymized version of this dataset.

In addition to the message content, Crisis Text Line has four main sources of data: (1) metadata and content automatically collected from conversations, (2) Crisis Counselor surveys, (3) texter surveys, and (4) algorithm-derived data.

Meta-data from conversations include over 200 variables. The implications of open collaboration built on top of this Crisis Text Line data set are massive.

What are the goals of our research collaborations?

  • Access. To open the door for world-class machine learning / artificial intelligence researchers to work with one of the country’s most important data sets.
  • Dissemination. To create a consistent flow of innovative and insightful media stories to share with community groups and policy makers.
  • Implementation. To create data science products that are implemented by Crisis Text Line and community groups, and improve the crisis space as a whole. 

What outputs are expected from Collaborators? 

  • Research papers and long-form journalism. We expect these will come after the research is complete. Because Crisis Text Line’s data is so sensitive, developing the paper will be a collaborative effort between the Collaborator and Crisis Text Line staff. 
  • Augmentation products. Examples of products include text classifiers that can automatically identify certain issues, like suicidality, or a recommendation engine, which would automatically recommend the best resource for a high school student in need of a methadone clinic in Sacramento. These will improve Crisis Text Line’s service. We’ll also share products with other non-profits for free, to raise the crisis space as a whole. (Crisis Text Line has already proven this model twice, having incorporated products built by visiting researchers from Palantir and Pivotal Labs.)
  • Blog posts. One Crisis Text Line Communications Team staff member will dedicate time to working with Collaborators to identify story ideas and set up conversations with journalists. These posts won’t require full accuracy; they’ll be written from the perspective of imperfect results in motion. The goal is to create a more consistent flow of meaningful stories around crisis in the media.

To be a Collaborator, you must meet the following key requirements:

  • Be affiliated with an academic or research institution. This includes obtaining the approval of an IRB, having a Principal Investigator that’s a full-time employee of the institution, and the written approval of your institution’s Office of Research or equivalent office.
  • Work from our NYC offices. (Note: We offer remote, VPN access on a case by case basis due to COVID-19)
  • Expect to spend 3-6 months working on their project. Expect to spend half or more of that time on-site in NYC. Time spent on-site does not need to be continuous, but it will be frequent.
  • Have the technical expertise to work with massive data sets. 
  • Be willing to complete our 12 hour Crisis Counselor training to better understand our data.
  • Be a U.S. or Canadian citizen. We need this for background checks.


Benefits:

  • 20 paid holidays, including 3 floating holidays
  • Generous paid time off: 15 vacation days, 3 personal days, 5 sick days
  • Medical, dental, and vision benefits for the staff member and family
  • 403B retirement plan (the nonprofit equivalent of a 401K): 3% contribution by Crisis Text Line.
  • 12 weeks paid parental leave (available after 6 months of employment)
  • 4 weeks of volunteer sabbatical (after 2 years of continuous full time service)
  • Mental health stipend
  • Wellness stipend
  • Internet service stipend
  • Home office setup stipend

(benefits do not apply to interns, contractors, research collaborators, and part-time positions.)

Crisis Text Line is an equal opportunity employer.  We provide reasonable accommodation to individuals who have a disability and meet the skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of the role to allow the individual to perform the essential functions of the job.

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