CivilServant is Hiring: Full-Time Research Manager

CivilServant is looking for a full-time Research Manager to develop research relationships, co-design our research agenda, and convene events. This is a year-long, full-time remote contract position. The Research Manager for CivilServant will join the founding team and grow our work with communities to test practical ideas for a fairer, safer, more understanding Internet.

CivilServant is a public-interest organization that coordinates citizen behavioral science on the effects of practical ideas for flourishing digital societies. We also work to evaluate and audit the impact of social technologies in people's lives.

In 2018, CivilServant aims to support dozens of field experiments for improving life online, using our open source software for industry-independent, publicly-accountable randomized trials. We have already worked with communities of tens of millions of people to test ideas that prevent online harassmentreduce the spread of misinformation, and manage political conflict. In January, we held our first community research summit, where we worked with moderators of online communities on plans for research and action in 2018.

Past and upcoming CivilServant research includes preventing harassment, limiting misinformation, managing conflict, restorative justice, encouraging respect online, auditing algorithms, auditing AI law enforcement, and expanding research accountability and ethics across multiple online platforms

CivilServant organizes industry-independent citizen behavioral science in the public interest.

CivilServant is directed by J. Nathan Matias, a postdoc at Princeton University in Psychology, the Center for Information Technology Policy, and Sociology. The project is incubated by Global Voices, a borderless, largely volunteer community of more than 1,400 writers, analysts, data scientists, online media experts, and translators working in 167 countries and 40+ languages (read about our 2017 summit in Sri Lanka).

CivilServant started at the MIT Media Lab, which continues to host much of our work. Overall, the project is funded by the Ethics and Governance of AI Fund, the Mozilla Foundation, the Kahneman-Treisman Center for Behavioral Policy at Princeton University, and donations.

Roles and Responsibilities

As Research Manager, you will develop relationships and set strategy for research that could support substantial, measurable improvements in the lives of millions of people. You will also help pioneer community engagement strategies for public accountability in online research. You will regularly interact with online communities on Wikipedia, Twitter, reddit, and other online platforms, as well as NGOs and news organizations. Your role will be to:

  • develop relationships with communities and organizations interested to evaluate the effects of online interventions
  • organize convenings with those partners (ie., research design workshops like our summit in January)
  • craft reports that outline strategic research directions for a fairer, safer, more understanding internet
  • (if you wish) co-author academic papers from CivilServant research

CivilServant will develop software and conduct new studies based on relationships and research you develop. While successful candidates may not be experts in all aspects of behavioral science, program evaluation, or statistics, you do need a strong understanding of social science research methods and have an ability to discuss them with non-experts.

This year-long position will be contracted through Global Voices. We are looking for candidates who can take a growing leadership role in CivilServant as it develops, contingent on performance and funding.

Who We're Looking For

First and foremost, we are looking for:

  • proactive networker or qualitative researcher with a track record of relationship development and community building in diverse contexts
  • creative researcher and strategist with experience negotiating practical needs into achievable research designs
  • clear communicator with experience writing publicly-accessible and inclusive work on research or technology topics
  • An experienced group facilitator, both online and in person, who can guide inclusive conversations that reach decisions and take action
  • A creative and detail-oriented event organizer with experience curating inclusive, public conversations

We are also looking for someone with:

  • Substantial experience with online behavior, from industry, research, or personal life
  • Familiarity with US ethics procedures for human subjects research
  • A graduate degree in a subject area involving social research (including, but not limited to information systems, program evaluation, political science, communications, sociology, anthropology, psychology, public health, behavioral economics, or education).

Finally, it would be desirable but not necessary if you already have:

  • An ability to read and write in at least one language other than English
  • Experience working in a distributed environment with a remote team

CivilServant is an equal opportunity project. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.

How To Apply

To apply, please send an email to and include a cover letter, resume/CV, and three professional references.

In your cover letter, explain your interest in this role, who referred you or how you learned about this opportunity, and why you would be the ideal candidate.

Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis from March 1st 2018, and the position should be considered open until filled. Please contact with any questions; inquiries will not be held against your eligibility as a candidate.

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