Principal or Senior Principal Researcher - FrameWorks Institute

Full job description

The FrameWorks Institute is an action-oriented think tank for progressive movements.

We conduct cutting-edge social science research to understand how to change the way people think, feel, and act on social issues and partner with organizations who can use this research to build power around progressive solutions.

We believe framing is critical to changing culture and systems. We’re building a team of multidisciplinary researchers and real-world change-makers to design and test framing strategies and help organizations use them to create social change.

We are looking for an experienced social science researcher excited by the opportunity to help innovate our theory, methods, and approach as we look to amplify the impact of our research and deepen our engagement with progressive organizations and movements. You should be an innovator and a leader among your peers who embraces the power of applied research in contributing to social change.

It is an exciting time to join FrameWorks. And we want you to be a part of it.

About the position: Principal/Senior Principal Researcher

The Principal or Senior Principal Researcher will lead research to understand the cultural mindsets that people use to understand social issues and to develop and test frames to shift thinking in ways that enable progressive change. The Principal Researcher will lead projects across issues but will focus to a degree on a specific issue area (e.g., health equity, economic justice, children and families).

The Principal or Senior Principal Researcher will work across all the methods of Strategic Frame Analysis. They will lead the drafting of research reports and briefs, and present research findings and recommendations to partners, funders, and general audiences.

As a senior member of the team, the Principal or Senior Principal Researcher will mentor and train other researchers, propose and lead major innovations in theory and methods, and represent the organization at high-level events.

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in research on framing, cultural mindsets, and/or narrative; have experience leading collaborative research projects; have experience working with partners and building and managing those relationships; be intellectually curious, innovative, adaptable, and insightful; be knowledgeable about contemporary social movements and policy issues; and be committed to principles of inclusion and equity.

This is a full-time position based in Washington, D.C, with the possibility of remote work. The position can require up to 15% travel under standard circumstances. (Due to COVID-19, all research is being conducted virtually at least through the summer of 2022.)

Key responsibilities

  • Conceptualizes projects and drives decisions on research design.
  • Serves as the primary contact for funders and partners and manages these relationships.
  • Manages project progress and timelines.
  • Works across methods, leading all qualitative methods, including cultural mindsets research, ensuring that all the research for projects they are leading is designed and conducted in service of project goals, and that findings are integrated across methods.
  • Leads the process of drafting research reports and briefs.
  • Presents research findings and recommendations, and represents the organization at high-profile events with funders and key partners.
  • Mentors and trains other researchers.
  • Proposes and leads major innovations in FrameWorks’ theory and methods.
  • Develops new projects, including leading new business meetings and conceptualizing new scopes of work.

Skills needed

  • Commitment to FrameWorks’ mission, including commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, and ability to integrate these principles into daily work
  • Deep understanding of key theoretical underpinnings of FrameWorks’ research and approach, such as theories of culture, framing, narrative, metaphor, and ideology.
  • Excellent qualitative research skills and ability to analyze and interpret qualitative data, including the ability to identify cultural mindsets and the cognitive effects of frames and narratives
  • Experience with quantitative research, such as experimental surveys, and ability to understand and interpret basic statistical analysis
  • Excellent writing and presentation skills and ability to present to audiences without social science backgrounds
  • Exceptional organizational and time management skills; excellent strategic and practical judgment to move work forward; superior flexibility and ability to adapt to changing needs.

Experience required

The ideal candidate will possess:

  • Minimum of 9 years of combined education and professional experience in social science research with at least 7 years of professional experience or education above the undergraduate level for the Principal Researcher position; 11 years (9 above undergraduate level) required for the Senior Principal Researcher position
  • At least 3-5 years of experience leading projects in a collaborative research setting
  • Experience working in the fields of economic justice, health equity, and/or children and families is a plus
  • Demonstrated experience integrating principles of equity, justice, and inclusion into daily work
  • Demonstrated success in managing relationships with partners, coalition members, or clients, preferably in a nonprofit or movement setting
  • Experience working collaboratively on a diverse team

Salary: $100,000, depending on experience, for Principal Researcher; $130,000, depending on experience, for Senior Principal Researcher

Key benefits include 4 weeks paid annual leave per year, 403(b) retirement plan, 100% employer-paid health insurance (medical, dental, vision), life and disability insurance, flexible spending plan, cell phone reimbursement, paid professional association dues.

To apply

Please submit the following materials to, using the subject header line Principal/Senior Principal Researcher 2022:

  • Resume or CV with complete employment history and educational background
  • Cover letter explaining your interest in the position, its relevance to your career goals and past experience, and where and how equity and social justice fit into your professional and/or academic experiences
  • Up to three writing samples, preferably in a mix of styles and genres, and for a range of audiences

Review of all applications will begin immediately and continue until the search process concludes. Please check FrameWorks’ website ( to ensure that the position is still available before applying. No solicitations, please.

FrameWorks Institute is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Interested individuals who are BIPOC, women, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQIA+ are strongly encouraged to apply.

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P.O. Box 2436 • Oklahoma City, OK 73101 • 405.843.5113 •