Education Research Manager

About Sumdog

Sumdog is an online games-based maths & English learning service used by millions of children in the UK and US. We are part of an exciting ed-tech revolution that captures a detailed understanding of each child's strengths and weaknesses to tailor their learning using the principles of mastery learning. The results are spectacular. Recent research shows primary school students that use our service regularly, progress significantly faster than those that don't. 

Sumdog is a small but rapidly growing high-impact company that has just received a substantial investment from Nesta and Scottish Enterprise. Our mission is to close the attainment gap, by helping all children reach their full potential. Our particular strength is the way we engage even the most disenchanted students.

Although we are a small company, our substantial customer base and the complexity of our service - from the algorithms that adapt to individual students through to the big data we collect for teacher reports - mean that we face similar challenges to the internet giants. For many people, this makes us the perfect employer. We're on an exciting trajectory, both small enough to listen to our employees, and big enough to be intellectually interesting. The work we do is both rewarding and valuable.

We're looking for a passionate research manager to lead our research team and help shape the future of education.

About the Role

Sumdog seeks a Research Manager to lead research that will help shape the Sumdog learning service and demonstrate to educationalists how it can help children learn more effectively, thus growing our business. 

Our research team conducts three forms of research: 

  • Formal education research: working with independent research bodies to conduct formal education research on the efficacy of Sumdog
  • Informal quick-fire research: remote and in-person research with end-users (teachers, administrators, students, parents) to facilitate product development
  • Data science: answering business & other research questions using our massive Sumdog databases & other data sources

The research is largely focused on elementary and middle school education in the UK and US. The team is currently composed of one data scientist and an experienced ex-primary school teacher.

As research manager you will:

  • Manage the research team, including professional development
  • Direct and sometimes help with implementing all three forms of research, ensuring a clear monitoring and evaluation strategy
  • Develop our research processes, taking into account best practices in educational research and data science
  • Build and lead the formal research programme
  • Lead relationships with our research partners
  • Position Sumdog as a credible source of digital education research, ensuring we are seen as an authority
  • Inform the global debate on the use of digital technology to help close the attainment gap in maths and English

About you

Sumdog is looking for someone with a proven track record of leading research programmes and contributing to the global debate on what works in education. 

Essential background and experience:

  • A masters degree or PhD with emphasis on quantitative subjects
  • Experience of running research with a variety of evaluation methodologies (controlled trials, quasi-experimental methods, outcome measurements, etc)
  • Significant experience in education research
  • Use & understanding of statistics, such as effect size and sample size calculations

Preferable experience:

  • Management or team leadership experience
  • Data science skills - such as the ability to query databases.
  • Qualitative research
  • Design and administration of in-person, telephone and online surveys.
  • Use of statistical software packages - such as Stata.
  • Organisation and research process design.

Other qualities:

  • A great communicator who is both good at listening and at expressing complex ideas.
  • Ability to manage multiple stakeholders with competing priorities
  • Knowledge of education internationally - particularly with regard to maths and English.
  • Good general IT skills
  • A lateral thinker, able to take a research question, and rapidly understand the most appropriate methodology given the available resources.
  • Ability to work in a dynamic environment, often with demanding deadlines.
  • A creative and inquisitive thinker with exceptional attention to detail.
  • A passionate individual who believes in our mission and has the drive, flexibility and determination to succeed as part of a dynamic team.

Why work at Sumdog

We offer:

  • Competitive salary
  • Central Edinburgh location
  • 39 hours per week
  • Flexi-time and flex-holiday
  • Share options
  • An exciting and vibrant working environment
  • A chance to be part of a fast-growing internet business

Above all, you will help us give all children the opportunity to reach their full potential.

How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter to jobs@sumdog.com. Your covering letter should outline why you are interested in this position. Please include your phone number, and when you're available for an initial phone conversation.

Please reference Jobs.ac.uk in your cover email