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Director of Research and Development Projects

Do you drive towards results, excel at critical thinking, and have exceptional interpersonal and project management skills? Summit Public Schools is looking for a Director of Research & Development Projects, to lead on 2-4 projects within Summit’s R&D Agenda. As Director of R&D Projects, you will focus on projects related to social-emotional learning, professional development for teachers and school leaders, and developmental evaluation of Summit Learning. You will own the relevant R&D projects from beginning to end, including the scoping of a project, collaboration with researchers and practitioners, and achieving the project outcomes.

Summit has a team of four Directors of R&D Projects, who own projects within our annual Research & Development Agenda. Current and past projects have focused on topics around improving the reliability of cognitive skills assessment, accelerating learning for students who are behind grade level in literacy and numeracy, integrating social-emotional learning into Summit’s tools and resources at scale, building out Platform-prompted SMSs for family engagement, and more. This role reports directly to Summit’s Senior Director of Research and works closely with leaders across the Summit organization.

The position is based in the Bay Area region of California.

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 to learn more about how our program has changed education across the country!

Summary of Responsibilities:

  • Ensure that projects are clearly defined, bound to specific measures of success, and progressing towards the project’s end goal.
  • Scope the research components of the outlined projects, drawing on appropriate research methodologies to drive learning forward.
  • Quickly build expertise in relevant content areas for each project, becoming one of Summit’s ‘go-to’ people in those content areas.
  • Communicate insights strategically and responsively with key ‘users’ of research projects, including Summit departmental leaders.
  • 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.
  • Serve as a collaborative team member, working closely with all members of Summit’s R&D team, Analytics team, and many others across the organization.

Key Qualities and Skills:

  • Demonstrated belief that all students can find success in school, college, and life
  • Excellent communication skills
  • 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
  • Ability to self-direct and prioritize among competing goals where necessary, and adapt flexibly in an ambiguous and fast-moving entrepreneurial environment
  • Working understanding of and adeptness with various research methodologies - from quick build/measure/learn cycles to more expansive randomized control trials - with the ability to interpret and extrapolate from qualitative and quantitative analyses
  • Initiative, drive, and bias towards action
  • A strong record of success in leading complex projects


  • Bachelor’s Degree required.
  • Master’s Degree in Education, Business Administration, Research, or similar field preferred.
  • Meet health clearance, and pass the reference, background/criminal checks, per education code.
  • Previous experience interacting with researchers is a plus.
  • Previous experience working on social-emotional learning 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.