Now Hiring: Researcher

Application Deadline: Open until filled

Position Overview

Third Plateau, a growing multi-disciplinary social impact strategy firm, is looking for an intelligent, self-directed professional to support our Research, Evaluation, and Learning team as a Researcher. Under the guidance of one of Third Plateau’s Vice Presidents, the Researcher will primarily focus on the design, implementation, analysis, and presentation of research and evaluation projects for Third Plateau’s diverse set of clients to help bring bold visions to reality and drive social change. The Researcher is also expected to prepare for/attend client meetings and help manage client relationships. Top candidates will be highly organized self-starters, able to work under tight deadlines, able to juggle multiple assignments simultaneously, and be eager to learn.

Application Deadline: Rolling, first review in March 2023

Start Date: ASAP

Location: United States - any location, with access to office space in the Bay Area and Sacramento, California. Please note that being authorized to work in the U.S. is a precondition of employment and Third Plateau, as we are not able to sponsor applicants for work visas at this time.

Starting Annual Salary (Exempt):

  • Researcher I: $75,000 - $90,000
  • Researcher II: $90,000 - $110,000

A compensation committee of at least one department head, co-founder, and the COO will meet to discuss band (Researcher I vs II) and potential starting salary within the band by weighing the candidate's expected contribution in terms of previous experience and expertise against current Third Plateau employees. We commit to sharing the reasoning used to determine starting salary with you. The expectation is not for new team members to be hired with a starting salary at the top of the band, but to have a salary that adequately compensates experience and expertise while countering pay inequality and upholding internal parity.

Benefits: In addition to collaborating with an incredible team of social impact professionals,
benefits include:

  • Health, dental, and vision insurance
  • Retirement plan with employer matching
  • Regular high fives
  • Unlimited paid time off
  • Wellness program ($500/year)
  • Dedicated professional development budget
  • Cell phone and home internet reimbursement ($110/month)

What You'll Do

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Design and Implement Research and Evaluation Projects (20%)
    • Engage with clients to understand their research needs and determine methods and methodologies to best answer clients’ research questions.
    • Identify and develop the most relevant and appropriate research methods to answer research and evaluation questions, and to make sound methodological justifications for using them.
    • Design qualitative, quantitative, and participatory tools for research implementation.
  • Lead Data Collection and Analysis Efforts (20%):
    • Conduct and synthesize stakeholder interviews, focus groups, document reviews, and desk research on a variety of topics including client markets, landscapes, and issues in various fields.
    • Conduct primary and secondary qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research.
    • Build and analyze surveys, as well as other quantitative datasets.
    • Summarize desk research findings into cogent memos that answer targeted research questions for clients (e.g., What are the major trends in our field? What are best practices in our organization’s management?).
    • Design and implement formative and summative evaluations.
    • Develop Monitoring and Evaluation Plans to help to track and assess the results of client interventions.
  • Produce Client Deliverables (20%):
    • Facilitate reflections on findings with clients and relevant stakeholders.
    • Act as a concise and efficient writer, and a strong copy editor, and produce client-ready work with minimal editorial oversight.
    • Think creatively about how to communicate complex qualitative and quantitative data research findings through written, visual, and real-time mediums in accessible, engaging, and actionable ways for our diverse set of clients.
  • Project and Client Management (15%):
    • Play point on all client communication, relations, and management, holding primary responsibility for developing and growing authentic relationships with clients on research and evaluation projects.
    • Work with clients to oversee and manage project workflow. This may require travel for client retreats.
    • Ensure all deliverables (memos, strategic plans, etc.) are on time, high-quality, and poised to help clients solve complex problems and approach problems and solutions creatively.
  • Organizational Stewardship (25%)
    • Tend to internal administrative items (e.g., emails/slack, timekeeping, expenses, HR, etc.).
    • Participate in Beast Day activities (i.e., full team meetings, peer learning communities, full team learning opportunities and individual professional development), team meetings, and culture building activities.
    • Support business development efforts.
    • Supervise staff (if applicable).
    • Have regular check-ins with your supervisor (i.e., Supervision).
    • Travel for team meetings and retreats.

What You'll Need

  • Must be able to design and execute multiple quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods research and evaluation projects from start to finish in applied research settings
  • Must be familiar with research and evaluation frameworks, approaches, and methodologies.
  • Primary experience in quantitative research design and analysis
  • Strong data visualization skills including experience developing dashboards is a plus.
  • Must be able to work collaboratively with teams, and build trust with clients and team members

Who You Are

To be successful in this job, you will excel in the following key areas:

Nuanced thinking: You don’t see the world in black and white. You tend towards constructive skepticism, but you are careful not to veer into cynicism. You’re able to take in and triangulate diverse perspectives and information and can understand the limitations to what can be known and asserted from the information you have.

Organization: You stay on top of your work, take initiative without being asked, can handle many moving parts with ease, and have a habit of building sound processes where there were none before.

Attention to detail: You strive for quality and have a mind that can simultaneously focus on the big picture while also caring deeply about the smallest details of a project.

Communication: You are a strong and creative communicator. You can translate complicated information into accessible insights. You are able to “manage up” or laterally to ensure things get done.

Learning: We don’t expect you to know everything, but we do expect you to be a quick and perceptive learner and to acknowledge what you don’t know.

Relational: You collaborate effectively in a cross-functional team. You are
relationship-oriented and able to build trust and goodwill with team
members, partners, and clients.

Calmness under pressure: You thrive in a fast-paced work environment and can stay relaxed and focused when juggling many projects and deadlines, including when they arise at the last minute.

Interpersonal ability: You must be able to build trust and goodwill with team members and our clients. You’re the kind of person who knows how to get along well with others and anticipate their needs. You thrive when working efficiently and collaboratively across teams

Passionate: You are ambitious and creative, and you are excited about the idea of building something meaningful. You notice problems and want to find ways to solve them. You are excited to be a part of creating a solution.

How To Apply

Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when
they meet an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are
systematically marginalized tend to only apply if they meet every requirement.1 If you believe
that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. Whether you're new to this field, returning to work after a gap in employment, looking to transition, or take the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar.

If are you interested in applying, please take some time to reviewing Who We Are, What We Do, Our Values, and Our Commitment to DEI. After learning about us, submit your application using the following form as soon as you can, with the first review starting March 14, 2023.

At Third Plateau, we believe in the power of diverse teams. In our recruiting efforts, we always seek to reach a broad and diverse pool of applicants to ensure our final candidates are not a homogeneous group in terms of demographics or experience. You can read more about our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) here. Furthermore, we’ve been and are continuing to experiment with our own application process to decrease implicit and explicit biases as much as possible. We ask that you anonymize your resume, and anonymously review answers to our application’s questions to understand how your strengths and skills could look on our team. We welcome applicants of all backgrounds to apply. Third Plateau is committed to providing equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to their race, color, age, religious creed, sexual orientation, or other personal characteristics.


Reach out to discuss how we can help you more effectively drive social impact.