FrameWorks Institute — Senior Researcher

Effective communications is a key part of bringing about social change and helping the public to better understand society’s greatest social problems. Strategic framing can help us all see the solutions to those problems and build the collective will to support them. That’s what we do at the FrameWorks Institute — a nonprofit, progressive think tank that designs, conducts, interprets, and translates communications research to advance social justice.

We are seeking a Senior Researcher to join our team. The successful candidate will be a part of FrameWorks’ research team and investigate how to effectively reframe a wide range of social and scientific issues, such as affordable housing, poverty, education equity, and climate change. This is an outstanding opportunity for a mid-career professional with experience in social science research and a demonstrated commitment to equity and social change.

The Senior Researcher will collect, analyze, and synthesize multiple streams of data to produce framing recommendations for advocates, experts, and scientists working to engage the public about policy solutions to social issues. They will present FrameWorks’ research to different audiences and contribute to the organization’s efforts to engage communicators across multiple nonprofit sectors. They will also help develop and innovate FrameWorks’ methods and theory.

We are a team of social scientists and strategists with diverse backgrounds and a wide array of professional experiences. The ideal candidate is someone who is intellectually curious, creative, insightful, informed about contemporary policy issues, committed to realizing social justice and equity, and has strong conceptual and analytical skills.

This is a full-time position based in Washington, DC. The position requires up to 30% travel under standard circumstances (due to Covid, all data collection, presentations, and workshops will be conducted virtually until at least the end of 2020).


  • Develop deep knowledge of Strategic Frame Analysis®, FrameWorks’ mixed- methods approach to generating and applying innovative communications strategies.
  • Move FrameWorks’ research process forward by developing new methods, helping us refine our theory, and contributing new ideas about effective framing strategies.
  • Collect and analyze data from individual interviews, focus groups, media content, and advocacy communications
  • Contribute to the design and analysis of survey experiments that test the frame effects of communications tools, such as values and metaphors
  • Analyze and interpret research findings to generate applied communications recommendations
  • Write and present research findings in a variety of formats and styles suitable for different audiences


  • Outstanding ability to design research to answer applied communications questions
  • Strong mixed methods research skills, and ability to integrate qualitative and quantitative findings
  • Deep understanding of a wide range of existing social science theory and methods
  • Ability to distill and interpret complex research findings for non-academic audiences
  • Strong writing and presentation skills; ability to present to audiences without social science backgrounds
  • Ability to apply an equity lens to research (e.g. analysis of coded language in interviews and focus groups).
  • Ability to work effectively in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, partner-oriented setting
  • Exceptional organizational and time-management skills; ability to thrive in a fast- paced organization and get things done; practical judgment to move work forward; flexibility and ability to adapt to changing needs.

The ideal candidate will possess:

  • A Ph.D. in a discipline relevant to Strategic Frame Analysis® (such as anthropology, sociology, linguistics, psychology, political science, communications, or other social science discipline) with 2 to 5 years’ work experience in applied research settings, non-profit organizations, narrative change/communications, or other related fields (e.g. community organizing, market research, journalism).
  • A Master’s degree in a discipline relevant to Strategic Frame Analysis® and 5+ years of work experience designing and conducting applied research in non- or for-profit settings (e.g. narrative change, market research, advertising, strategic communications).
  • Training and experience in conducting multi-method research, on a wide range of topics.
  • Experience in ethnography, person-centered cognitive interviewing, focus group research, interpretive qualitative research and textual analysis, metaphor analysis, media content analysis and/or experimental surveys.
  • Experience in identifying the implications of social science research for applied questions.
  • Track record of producing high-quality, timely analytic research products for non- academic audiences.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social justice and equity. Expertise on issues relating to racial equity is particularly sought.

Salary will be commensurate with experience. At every level within the organization’s personnel structure, FrameWorks’ salaries are competitive with similar nonprofits of our size. FrameWorks values its staff and offers a comprehensive benefits package including generous medical insurance, vacation, and family leave benefits; retirement benefits and life insurance; optional pre-tax salary deductions for childcare, medical, and transportation expenses; options for occasional telework; and more.

Please submit the following materials to, using the subject
header line Senior Researcher Summer 2020:

  • 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 your past experience, as well as where and how equity and social justice fit into your professional and/or academic experiences
  • Up to three writing samples – a mix of styles, genres, and audiences is a plus

Review of all applications will begin as soon as possible, as we would like to have this positioned filled by September, 2020. Please check FrameWorks’ website ( to ensure the position is still available before applying. No solicitations please.

FrameWorks Institute is committed to equity, diversity and inclusion. Applications from people of color, women, persons with disabilities, and people who identify as LGBTQIA are strongly encouraged.

The FrameWorks Institute is a nonprofit think tank that helps mission-driven organizations communicate in ways that build public will to support progressive change.

It applies rigorous social science methods to study how people understand social issues and develops evidence-based techniques for explaining those issues more effectively. Since 1999, it has conducted pioneering research on effectively communicating a wide variety of scientific and social issues, such as early childhood development, climate change and immigration.

In 2015, it was named one of nine organizations worldwide to receive the MacArthur Foundation’s Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Learn more at