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Design Research Lead

at The College Board | National Office (New York, NY) | View all jobs

The College Board, a national educational organization, is conducting a search for a Design Research Lead. This position is based in our New York City office. 

Named by Fast Company as one of the most innovative education companies, the College Board is a mission-focused organization, and powerful force in the lives of American students. To fulfill our purpose of clearing a path for students to own their future, we offer access, opportunity, and excellence to millions of students each year. Over the past five years, the College Board has been undergoing a transformation. We’ve redesigned the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, and many AP courses and exams, and we’ve introduced the PSAT 10, PSAT 8/9, and Official SAT Practice on Khan Academy, all with great success.

The College Board is looking to bring on a Design Research Lead to work within our College and Career Access team. The Researcher is charged with fully understanding the business and operational details of our organization and the educational communities we serve as a basis for uncovering user needs and testing solutions. You will work closely with Program Owners and engage with students and educators to help guide the creative team in finding solutions that achieve business goals while serving user needs. You will also work closely with UX, print, web designers, content strategists, and developers. 

The Design Research Lead is not simply a researcher, but also plays a strategic role. You will represent user needs by participating in product planning and grooming, brainstorm sessions, identify user engagement opportunities and draft research frameworks. You will also be responsible for the development of presentation materials and findings documents (Keynote, PowerPoint, Google Slides, Excel) and will distill complex information into focused and impactful documents to directly drive product decisions. You should be skilled and comfortable with presenting to a range of leadership levels, from Program Owners to the Executive Leadership Team, earning buy-in for the work in a manner that instills confidence in leadership at the College Board. 

As a Research Lead, you have both qualitative and quantitative research techniques in your toolkit and are able to quickly collect research findings in an iterative fashion. You are an empathetic interviewer, have experience launching surveys, and are comfortable processing site analytics data. You have built user personas, crafted user journeys, and have led workshops. In addition, you are interested in learning new processes for conducting research. Above all, you are self-directed, enjoy working in a collaborative environment, and find restraints a welcome challenge. 

This position will principally work with our programs that focus on clearing a path for student access to college and career opportunities. As such, an asset for this position would be an understanding of the K-12 educational system and/or working for and engaging with under-served communities. Past experience with not-for-profits, holding teaching or mentorship roles, or working at an educational tech company is a plus. An added benefit for this position is a familiarity with Agile and basic skills or a conceptual understanding of programming, prototyping, UX design, and business analysis.

Based in New York City, this role will be part of a co-located team. As such, there will be regular travel required to our Reston, Virginia office as well as travel for onsite research. 

What you’ll do:

  • Design, manage and conduct qualitative user research projects (onsite and remote) such as user interviews, moderated usability tests and ethnographic studies
  • Design, manage and conduct quantitative user research projects including surveys, unmoderated usability tests, web analytics, and A/B tests
  • Present, represent, and advocate for findings and recommendations
  • Identify needs and opportunities for research to guide, inform and validate product strategy, UX design, and content
  • Be a core member of a cross-discipline team, taking shared responsibility for the success of the project
  • Be the "voice of the customer," representing user needs in product design decisions 

About you

You are...

  • A believer and advocate for user centered design, research and evidence-based decision making
  • Flexible to respond to changes and different ways of working
  • A strong collaborator and leader
  • Have experience in agile as well as “water-fall” design and delivery environments
  • Have worked on redesign projects with legacy systems, not just “green-field” projects
  • Able to provide relevant case studies and a portfolio of your research work 


We offer our employees an outstanding benefits package, which includes 4 weeks of paid time off, a generous retirement savings plan, tuition reimbursement and ongoing professional development and training.


If you are interested in joining the College Board in this position and you meet our qualifications, we encourage you to apply by submitting your resume and a brief, introductory cover letter through our Careers page at


Our mission is to clear a path for all students to own their future.

The College Board is committed to diversity in the workplace and is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The College Board participates in E-Verify, a service of DHS and SSA, where required. Please understand that only qualified applicants will be contacted.