Position Overview

Summit is looking for a Manager of User Experience Research to drive improvements to Summit Learning by elevating and learning from the perspectives and experiences of students, educators, families, and other 'users' of the education system, in order to help Summit achieve its vision that all students graduate from high school equipped to lead a fulfilled life.

Why user experience at Summit

Needs-based research and insights are critical to better understand how we can impact teaching and learning experiences. This position conducts user research on projects in alignment with Summit’s research agenda. This involves many elements of UX research, including planning and conducting research and studies with teachers, students, parents and stakeholders through interviews, on site visits, observations, surveys and other qualitative and quantitative research methods.

What you’ll do here

The Manager of User Experience Research leads the definition, design, execution, synthesis (key insights!), communication, and follow-up of user experience research within supported projects, ensuring all aspects of the project are completed in accordance with the needs of the users of the research. The Manager of User Experience Research collaborates closely with the Director of User Experience Research and the Senior Director of Research, project managers on specific research projects, and other key stakeholders and users of the research, including platform-focused sub-teams at CZI (Chan Zuckerberg Initiative).

Who we are

The Research and Development team supports Summit Learning for hundreds of partner schools across the country, as well as eleven Summit Public Schools in California and Washington.

Summit is proud to help teachers and students around the country benefit from personalized learning through the Summit Learning Program. Summit Learning is a free program that provides teachers and schools across the U.S. with the resources they need to bring Summit Learning into the classroom. Through the Summit Learning Program, we have partnered with approximately 330 schools, and 2,450 teachers across 40 states, and are providing 54,230 students a truly personalized learning experience. If you’re interested in learning more, visit summitlearning.org to learn more about how our program has changed education across the country!

Summary of Responsibilities

  • Conduct user experience research on specific research projects, using a suite of UX research tools including interviews, on site visits, observations, surveys and other best practice qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • Employ user experience best practices to elicit possible needs for the research agenda from students, educators, and others in the Summit Learning community.
  • Execute a research process for specific projects from definition of research questions through research methodology design, execution, communication, and follow-up, at times with the support of the project manager for the research project and others on the research team.
  • Create and share insights and opportunities via compelling storytelling and communication techniques to communicate research insights.
  • Travel to Summit Learning sites across the country to assess components of Summit Learning through qualitative research
  • Conduct user research to clarify needs and opportunities for platform development activities at CZI, and to inform development of initial designs and prototypes to address those needs and opportunities.
  • Ensure that research projects within the role’s purview are defined, bound to metrics, and making progress.
  • Serve as a collaborative team member, working closely with all members of Summit’s Research team, the Data and Analytics team, and many others across the organization.
  • 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 teams.
  • Educate and inspire teams in the value of user-centric rationale via dynamic storytelling and translating insights into impact.
  • Share best practices effectively and scalably.
  • Report regularly to the Director of User Research so that resources can be most effectively deployed to departments and individuals.

Key Qualities and Skills

  • Expertise in user research methods–interviews, observations, diary studies, participatory design, surveys,  to inform quick win opportunities and more strategic implications and solutions
  • Openness to learning from and understanding different perspectives and challenging your assumptions
  • Ready to look beyond initial insights and identify deep rooted problems, matched with truly exceptional opportunities
  • Comfortability with new tools and technologies that can deliver content, reach people in new ways and can  scale with ease
  • Excellent communication skills across a variety of teams
  • Ability to navigate a complex organization and interface well with the perspectives of a variety of internal and external stakeholders, including researchers, educators, and organizational leaders
  • Demonstrated belief that all students can find success in school, college, and life
  • Initiative, drive, and bias towards action
  • Comfort in working in a self-directed culture with acceptance and curiosity, prioritizing among competing goals where necessary, and adapting flexibly in an ambiguous and fast-moving entrepreneurial environment
  • A strong record of success in leading complex projects


  • 5+ years with expertise and experience in qualitative research: focus groups, ethnographic research, contextual inquiry, case studies, interviews, survey creation and research design
  • Meet health clearance, and pass the reference, background/criminal checks, per education code.
  • Bachelor’s Degree required.
  • Master’s Degree in Education or in a qualitative research based field (e.g., Psychology, Social Science, Anthropology, Information Science, etc.) preferred
  • Experience doing research associated with technology products is a plus
  • Previous experience interacting with researchers is a plus.

We strive to recruit a diverse team. Summit Public Schools is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity and/or expression, sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, military status, pregnancy, parenthood, citizenship status, creed, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local law. Summit will provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities.

People from all diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

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