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Senior Manager, Research

Think of Us

Think of Us

Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Saturday, May 4, 2024

Who We Are

Think of Us (TOU) is a Research + Design lab on a mission to fundamentally re-architect the foster care system as we know it, powered by the data, leadership and insights of people with lived experience. The most challenging social problems we face – homelessness, mental illness, incarceration, and human trafficking – share a common intersection point: foster care. That’s why we are sparking, driving, and co-creating a nimble, responsive foster care system that will ensure every person has the conditions from which to heal, develop, and thrive. We partner with leading organizations driving change across the national ecosystem – from the White House to local providers and agencies – to identify leverage points and build solutions.

Think of Us is driving nationwide, catalytic change via multiple coordinated channels, including:

  • Mobilizing and leveraging the collective voice of 38,000 former foster youth into over $400M in Federal pandemic relief funds
  • Collaborating with three consecutive presidential administrations to improve Federal policy, participating in 26 engagements with the White House in the last year alone
  • Inspiring 22 states to commit to eliminating group homes within 72 hours of releasing our groundbreaking Away from Home report, and partnering with six jurisdictions to make this commitment a reality
  • Creating a new model for frontline support, TOU’s Virtual Support Services (VSS) connects individuals impacted by foster care with vital resources. Successfully operating in California, Georgia, and Boston, VSS boasts an <8 hour response time and 95+% of help seekers needs being met.

Our team members share a commitment to driving systems change through creative problem-solving, obsessive curiosity, and a love of quickly driving innovative, measurable, and impactful results.

At this time, Think of Us does not sponsor visas for candidates, and unfortunately cannot accept candidates in the US on Curricular Practical Training (CPT) or Optional Practical Training (OPT).

The Role

The research team at Think of Us aims to design and lead lived experience-driven research that informs critical movements in child welfare–from kinship care to prevention to transition age foster youth and other crucial areas.

Reporting to the Senior Director of Research, the Senior Manager, Research will serve as principal investigator on projects that demonstrate how research can be used to elevate the voices of those with lived experience, inform policy and programmatic efforts, and shift the needle in child welfare.

Reports to: Senior Director, Research
Direct Reports: None
Location: Remote
Category: Full time, Exempt


Research Execution and Project Management (60%)

  • Produce research deliverables (e.g., reports, articles, presentations) of findings that are tailored to different stakeholders and audiences
  • Oversee data collection, including in-person and remote interviews, focus groups, listening sessions, surveys, workshop facilitation, and cultural probes
  • Analyze data, including the development of codebooks
  • Ensure the proper storage and de-identification of data, privacy protocols, and other data security measures are followed
  • Collaborate with project team members to move projects forward
  • Manage project progress and timelines

Research Design (20%)

  • Work with Senior Director, Research to plan and implement appropriate research designs that address key child welfare questions, with a particular focus on qualitative methods
  • Develop research instruments (e.g., interview protocols, surveys, workshop agendas, consent forms)

Communication and Writing (20%)

  • Write articles, blog posts, or other publications and participate in speaking engagements or other opportunities to disseminate our work to partners and critical audiences
  • Synthesize complex literature and share findings from existing research
  • Facilitate meetings and trainings with research project partners and TOU staff

About You

  • Information Seeker: You ask probing questions to get pertinent facts, seek out a variety of perspectives, take nothing for granted when gathering information, and obtain critical facts before making decisions.
  • Articulate: You express complex ideas easily and effectively using a communication style suited to the subject and audience. You describe difficult tasks clearly and concisely.
  • Collaborative: You seek input from others to make informed decisions and cooperate to realize better results.
  • Ethical: You show integrity and fairness in dealing with others, maintain high standards of conduct in the face of pressure, and represent information accurately and honestly.
  • Continuous Learner: You translate mistakes into lessons learned, seek new knowledge both in and out of the child welfare space, solicit feedback and deal constructively with criticism, and stay current in best practices.
  • Self-motivated: You undertake new tasks without direction, set your goals and timetables to achieve results, and work independently.


  • At least 5 years of experience serving as a principal investigator on mixed method research projects in the social sector
  • History of conducting qualitative research to understand populations and social issues
  • Expertise in analyzing quantitative survey data, including descriptive and inferential statistics
  • Prior experience working with vulnerable populations and deploying trauma-informed approaches to conducting research
  • Prior work on projects that center the voices and insights of people with lived experience in oppressive systems
  • Demonstrated success in managing relationships with partners, funders, and advocates
  • Prior experience supervising and mentoring junior staff
  • Lived experience in the child welfare system strongly preferred
  • Experience working collaboratively on a diverse team
  • Exposure to research justice frameworks–e.g., anti-oppressive research, feminist research, Indigenous research–that offer critiques of the structural inequities typically reproduced in research
  • Commitment to equity and justice
  • Fluency in Google Workspace
  • Familiarity with qualitative (e.g., Dedoose, ATLAS.ti) and quantitative data (e.g., SPSS, R, Excel) analysis tools and software
  • Fluency in Spanish preferred

Compensation & Benefits


Our compensation philosophy is based on transparency and attentiveness to people's holistic needs. We believe that fair and competitive compensation is essential for attracting and retaining exceptional talent, which is crucial for achieving our audacious goals. Our compensation packages include both cash compensation and benefits and all decisions are made in accordance with our financial standing as a not-for-profit organization.

The annualized compensation for this role is $100,000-$125,000


  • “Build your office” stipend
  • Medical / Dental / Vision Coverage - We cover 100% of your premium and 50% of your family's premium for our "base" plan
  • Health Care & Dependent Care FSA
  • Employer-sponsored Short Tem Disability
  • Employer-sponsored Life and AD&D
  • Voluntary Supplemental Life
  • Voluntary Long Term Disability
  • 8 major holidays + 3 Org wide Breaks over Summer, Thanksgiving, & Winter
  • Flexible PTO
  • Sick Leave
  • Paid Leave of Absence
  • 401k for pre-tax retirement contributions
  • Individual ($1500 per person) & Organizational-wide Learning & Development
  • We hold monthly learning sessions organization-wide to deepen our understanding of foster youth's Lived Experience. We also discuss topics outside of Child Welfare to foster curiosity and growth in our culture.
  • We put you at the cutting edge of change in the child welfare system.
  • We offer you the chance to engage with inspiring leaders in government, foundations, the nonprofit sector, and entertainment who are passionately committed to transforming the child welfare system.