Director, Research and Impact

Rise is a program that finds brilliant people who need opportunity and supports them for life as they work to serve others.

An initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust, the global program starts by finding exceptional young people at the ages 15 to 17 who may go undiscovered or unsupported otherwise and continues potentially for life through scholarships, mentorship, and a global community. Rise is building a global community of future leaders, connecting everyone who applies with a network of peers, learning resources, and additional opportunities from Rise partners around the world. Additionally, each year, Rise will select 100 Global Winners, ages 15 to 17, and provide them with individualized support throughout their lives as they commit their talents to building a better world.

In its inaugural year, Rise has received tens of thousands of registrations from young people in more than 165 countries. The first cohort of 100 Global Winners will be announced in the Fall of 2021.


The role

A member of Schmidt Futures’ technology and talent infrastructure team, the Director, Research and Impact will be responsible for leading the development and implementation of data science tooling to support Rise’s approach to sourcing, measuring and developing talent. The Director will also be responsible for managing research partnerships to help shape the science of talent development.


Key responsibilities

  • Collaborate with the partnerships and marketing teams to measure and prioritize outreach to maximize the number of target applicants
  • Collaborate with the selection team to develop design-based measurement tools of non-cognitive skills
  • Build statistical models to parse and score applicant data with a focus on reducing bias and noise in measurements
  • Develop and implement algorithms to fairly assign application reviewers to applicants
  • Develop algorithms to create finalist cohorts that maximize various dimensions of applicant quality and mix
  • Develop our outcome measurement strategy for both Rise winners and those in the broader applicant pool. This might include sourcing external survey and evaluation partners, integrating with social media platforms, and instrumenting aspects of our support systems
  • Conduct research into the causal impacts of different types of Rise support on candidates, in order to guide improved efficacy of the program
  • Develop strategy to build out the research team as Rise grows



Applicants must:

  • Experience working with granular data in an industry setting (e.g., using logs from mobile applications or unstructured web data)
  • Strong background in industry or academic research, including a deep knowledge of causal inference
  • Strong statistical modeling skills, especially methods of distinguishing noise and signal in survey data
  • Strong SQL skills and experience in at least one programming language for data analysis (e.g., Python or R)
  • Track record of presenting nuanced analysis to both technical and non-technical audiences
  • Familiarity with software engineering toolkit (e.g., version control, documentation, package development, testing frameworks)
  • Have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution
  • Be based at the Schmidt Futures offices in New York and be able to travel within the U.S. and internationally on a regular basis as needed following company policy and permitting circumstances


About Schmidt Futures 

Schmidt Futures is a philanthropic initiative, founded by Eric and Wendy Schmidt, that finds exceptional people and helps them do more for others together.  We knit talent into networks, bet on the most promising ideas through diverse forms of competition and support, and equip people to scale through partners and modern tools. To realize this vision, Schmidt Futures uses a broad set of tools — including gifts, grants, investments, and startup activity — for charitable, educational, and commercial efforts with a public purpose. Our initiative brings together the efforts of various charitable and non-charitable entities to improve our potential impact by making diverse types of capital available to the efforts we support.

Futures Action Network, LLC, which operates Schmidt Futures, is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer that proudly pursues and hires a diverse workforce. We do not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious belief, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability, age, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws or prohibited by Company policy. We strive for a healthy and safe workplace and strictly prohibit harassment of any kind.