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Design Research Operations

Design Research Operations

Come create impact with us:

IDEO is in search of a Design Research Operations Specialist who will work with project teams to manage research operations across projects, help create research plans, and recruit research participants. 

Why is this role important for IDEO’s work?

Design research is the cornerstone of our human-centered approach to design and innovation. The Design Research Operations Specialist plays a critical role in helping shape research, empower teams, and find participants and experts to give our designers and clients unique perspectives on the problem we are designing for. This person’s ability to operationalize research systems for projects and resourcefully identify and onboard the right participants is crucial for fueling design inspiration. Furthermore, they hold a broad view of our global research efforts and are able to help the community build better processes that enable us to push the edges of human-centered design research.

Once here you will

Help build the future of Design Research Operations at IDEO, support the design and creation of resources—tools, assets and relationships—and connect with the people and communities that inform and inspire design.

  • Design and carry out a recruiting plan for each project with different ways of reaching participants and screening them, including targeted outreach via social channels, relevant organizations, or working with external recruiting agencies
  • Learn and use creative methodologies to identify and recruit a wide range of participants 
  • Screen respondents to ensure they are appropriate for a particular project
  • Manage the project recruitment infrastructure, guidelines, and templates on each of your projects
  • Co-design research phases and coordinate the logistics behind participant interviews, group discussions and events supporting each project team’s design research needs locally and internationally e.g. hiring cultural guides and translators
  • Help IDEO respect the privacy and rights of the participants we speak to, keeping us compliant with relevant privacy laws and helping to maintain our contact database
  • Build, manage, and maintain vendor relationships and collaboratively plan research tool and method selection
  • Contribute to the internal systems, processes, and capabilities to support the changing needs of our work

Relevant experiences and/or mindsets

  • Relevant experience in a people-focused role such as participant recruiter, research coordinator, project/program manager, community manager, talent sourcer, teacher, research assistant, or executive assistant
  • Curiosity about people and the ability to empathize with a diverse range of perspectives 
  • Ability to push teams to think outside-of-the-box, while providing structure
  • Confident communicator with strong writing skills and with great interpersonal skills - you will engage with people across the organization and with the general public e.g. via social media and navigate online communities and channels
  • Ability to balance the big picture and day-to-day tasks, with strong prioritization skills and the ability to juggle multiple projects
  • Ability to learn new software and digital services relevant to the task at hand


  • Experience working with or in creative industries
  • Background in research
  • Experience using participant databases
  • Experience with diversity, equity, and inclusion practices

What does IDEO offer you?

IDEO is a place unlike any other. It’s a place where you can solve diverse, complex challenges for our clients or the organization, alongside thoughtful, intelligent individuals who lead with curiosity, empathy, and optimism. Sure we work hard, but we also intentionally craft moments that allow our community to pause, create, and connect. We encourage our community to bring their whole selves to work, respect the need for work-life balance, and allow for autonomy in the design process.

Here is some of our favorite work

Take some time to explore our work Here are a few case studies that stand out to us. The Design Research Recruiting team works closely with all of our project teams, these examples showcase the wide range of design challenges and communities that we interact with:

As a human-centered organization, we are committed to working with and designing for people of every race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socio-economic status, physical ability or attribute, religion, national origin, or political belief. We recognize that this commitment requires ongoing work and sustained attention, as well as adaptation to new insights and best practices. We keep our diversity data public for the sake of accountability and transparency. These commitments will also be part of your journey at IDEO, so please feel free to read more about them here.

How to Apply

Please apply with a resume and cover letter. In your cover letter, please make sure to answer the following prompt in a few sentences:

After reviewing one of IDEO’s project stories from the case studies above, can you tell us who you would have recruited to provide insights for the design team and how you might have found them? Be creative!

Equal Opportunity Employer

IDEO is an equal opportunity employer; applicants are considered for all roles without regard to race, color, religious creed, sex, national origin, citizenship status, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, marital, parental, veteran or military status, unfavorable military discharge, or any other status protected by applicable federal, state or local law.

Apply now
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