Position Overview:

The Director of Research Projects has two primary roles. First, the Director of Research Projects coordinates research projects with external research partners, including learning communities, learning scientist partners, hired consultants/collaborators, and one-off requests. Second, the Director of Research Projects coordinates specific research projects within Summit’s research agenda, ensuring a team of researchers moves toward actionable research outcomes for specific users on a timely basis. The Director of Research Projects collaborates closely with the Senior Director of Research to ensure all external and internal research work aligns with Summit’s research agenda and systematically answers Summit’s highest-priority research questions.

Who we are:

Summit Public Schools is a leading charter management organization serving diverse communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington State with currently 11 schools serving over 3000 students. Summit’s mission is to ensure that every student has the opportunity to not only attend, but succeed in, a four-year college or university. Driven by our unwavering commitment to our core values, Summit works every day to ensure our students are receiving a world-class education. We seek phenomenal individuals with the talents needed to transform children's lives, as well as those who are interested in working on the cutting edge of education. If you're excited by the prospect of transformative growth for yourself, as well as the students, schools, and communities we serve, Summit may be the place for you!

  • 99 percent of Summit students have been accepted to one or more four-year colleges, and our graduates are completing college at double the national average.
  • Fast Company named Summit Public Schools a top 10 most innovative organization in education
  • Our two flagship schools, Summit Prep and Everest, are named among US News & World Report's Best High Schools of 2015, and also ranked among America's Most Challenging High Schools by the Washington Post.
  • Summit has a fully Common Core aligned curriculum, and has worked with university, technology, and non-profit partners to continually improve.  This curriculum is made available for free to our many Basecamp partners across the nation and, soon, around the world.  You can explore the curriculum here, using the demo code jnqgwbct.

Summary of Responsibilities:

  • Effectively manage external partnerships, as designated by the Senior Director of Research and the Chief Academic Officer.
  • Represent Summit and our research agenda compellingly internally and externally.
  • Inform and communicate clear priorities for Summit’s research, effectively saying no when necessary and ensuring external researchers’ work aligns with Summit’s research priorities.
  • Ensure external researchers’ work moves forward according to agreed-upon timelines and deliverables, coordinating adjustments as necessary and ensuring all linkages between external researchers and internal Summit people are successfully made.
  • Strategic planning:  ensure that quantitative and qualitative research projects within the role’s purview are defined, bound to metrics, and making progress.
  • Collaboration: Serve as a collaborative team member, working closely with all members of Summit’s Research vertical, the Data and Analytics vertical, and many others across the organization.
  • Ensure research insights are being elicited and communicated regularly over the course of the research.
  • Communicate strategically and responsively with key ‘users’ of research projects within the role’s purview, especially including leaders with the Research & Development, Schools, and Summit Learning verticals.
  • Share best practices effectively and scalably.
  • Report regularly to the Senior Director of Research so that resources can be most effectively deployed to departments and individuals.

Key Qualities and Skills:

At Summit, we use the research-based Educator Skills Rubric to define and make transparent areas of professional strength and areas for focus.  Each role at Summit is mapped to this rubric, which becomes a key data point in hiring, and central to professional development and retention.

Essential skills include:

  • Vision
  • Data analysis
  • Strategic planning
  • Progress monitoring
  • Time allocation
  • Operational effectiveness
  • Strategic communication
  • Responsive communication
  • Collaboration

Additionally, we greatly value Habits of Success, including emotional intelligence and an orientation towards learning, holding high expectations, and supporting others.

Key habits of success include high levels of:

  • Emotional awareness
  • Learning orientation
  • Initiative
  • Empathy
  • Influence
  • Organizational awareness
  • Values-based leadership


  • Meet health clearance, and pass the reference, background/criminal checks, per education code.
  • Successful management of complex projects involving diverse stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly with internal and external stakeholders, including researchers, educators, and senior leaders
  • Previous experience interacting with researchers is a plus
  • Demonstrated ability to navigate a complex organization and understand the perspectives of a variety of stakeholders
  • Demonstrated ability to aggressively prioritize, saying no when necessary and maintaining focus among pressures to add complexity
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