Website FrameWorks Institute

The FrameWorks Institute – a nonprofit think tank that designs, conducts, interprets, and explains communications research to advance social justice – seeks a Senior Researcher to participate in its multi-disciplinary, applied research process. The successful candidate will join FrameWorks’ research team in investigating how to effectively reframe a wide range of social and scientific issues. This is an outstanding opportunity for an early- or mid-career professional with experience in social science research.

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. Other responsibilities include advancing the theory and methods used in Strategic Frame Analysis®, presenting FrameWorks research, and contributing to the organization’s efforts to engage communicators across multiple nonprofit sectors.

FrameWorks Institute has a vibrant intellectual life. We are seeking individuals who are excited about engaging in a multidisciplinary approach to communications. This involves understanding a wide range of existing theory and methods, designing innovative approaches to understand how members of the public think about social issues and to test candidate reframing strategies, and developing useful recommendations for advocates, policy experts, and scientists. Candidates should be intellectually curious, informed about contemporary policy issues, and have strong conceptual and analytic skills.

This is a full-time position based in Washington, DC. The position requires up to 30% travel.


Key responsibilities:

Develop deep knowledge of Strategic Frame Analysis® and generate creative, effective ways to build the rigor, utility, and theoretical underpinnings of this approach to communications on social issues
Collect and analyze data from individual interviews, focus groups, media content, and advocacy communications
Contribute to the design and development of survey experiments that test the frame effects of values, metaphors, and other communications tools
Analyze and interpret research findings to generate applied communications recommendations
Write up and present research findings in a variety of formats and styles suitable for different audiences



Ability to design research to answer applied communications questions
Strong qualitative and/or quantitative research skills, and ability to integrate qualitative and quantitative findings
Interpretive skills to identify and unpack implicit cultural understandings in interview data
Strong writing and presentation skills; ability to present to audiences without social science backgrounds
Ability to distill and interpret complex research findings for non-academic audiences
Ability to work effectively in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary, application-oriented setting
Exceptional organizational and time-management skills; ability to thrive in a fast-paced organization; ability to adapt, and a can-do attitude.
Sensitivity to issues of race, equity, and inclusion


The ideal candidate will possess:

Ph.D. in a discipline relevant to Strategic Frame Analysis® (such as anthropology, sociology, linguistics, psychology, political science, communications, or other social science discipline). Applicants with a PhD in the humanities (e.g. history, philosophy, English literature), and relevant work experience will also be considered.
Training and experience in conducting multi-method research.
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.
2 to 5 years’ work experience in applied research settings, non-profit organizations, or other related fields (e.g. community organizing, market research, journalism) a strong plus.
Experience in identifying the implications of social science research for applied questions.
Experience and interest in working on issues that FrameWorks focuses on, including equity and justice, health, the economy, the environment, and child and youth development
Track record of producing high-quality, timely analytic research products for non-academic audiences.
Compensation and benefits:

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 child care, medical, and transportation expenses; options for occasional telework; and more.


To apply:

So that we can assess what you might contribute to FrameWorks, please submit the following materials to, using the subject header line Senior Researcher Winter/Spring 2020:

Resume or CV with complete employment history and educational background
Cover letter explaining your interest in the position and its relevance to your career goals and your past experience
Up to three writing samples – a mix of styles, genres, and audiences is a plus
Review of all applications will begin on February 28, 2020 and continue until the search process concludes. Please check FrameWorks’ website ( to ensure position is still available before applying. No solicitations please.


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


About frameworks:

The FrameWorks Institute conducts, publishes, and shares communications research to prepare nonprofit organizations to expand their constituency base, build public will, and further public understanding of specific social issues. Since 1999, FrameWorks has combined theories and research methods from the cognitive and social sciences to investigate how Americans view a variety of social issues: children’s issues, education, public health and health access, oceans and climate change, racial disparities, immigration, aging, the role of government, and more. This work has now expanded to other parts of the globe, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. In recent years, FrameWorks has developed an ever more sophisticated curriculum, including new online interactive courses, to help policy experts and advocates, scientists, and community educators use this research to improve public understanding of complex social issues. Over this period, we have built an institution that is highly regarded in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors and have contributed to the development of a community of active framers who access and use our research to build public will and redirect public thinking. In 2015, FrameWorks received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, also known as the “organizational genius grant,” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.




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