Research Director

San Francisco, CA

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The Research Team at Instacart generates insights to drive product strategy and innovation across the organization, and consists of three sub-disciplines: User Experience Research, Market and User Insights, and Research Operations. User Experience Researchers partner with product, design, data science, and engineering to build products that solve real problems for people. Market and User Insights Researchers uncover a deeper understanding of customers and shoppers, their relationship to Instacart, and opportunities for growth. Research Operations keeps everything running smoothly, from participant recruiting to the evaluation and implementation of tools to support the work.


Instacart is seeking an experienced Research Director to lead and grow the team, providing Research Managers and individual contributors with coaching and support while partnering with leadership to socialize the studies and ensure Research is representing Instacart’s users throughout the organization. The Research Director should be equally comfortable on the frontlines with our shoppers, as they are presenting foundational insights to executives to influence business strategy.

  • Hire excellent researchers and develop the current team to maximize their impact on business and product strategy
  • Represent and advocate for the Research team throughout the org – from All Hands meetings to planning sessions with executive leadership – to ensure insights are driving business and product strategy
  • Determine allocation of researchers across the organization; ensure research efforts are aligned with company priorities and where research can have the greatest impact
  • Clearly communicate research priorities, plans, and results to all audiences – within teams, company, to users, etc.
  • Promote a healthy understanding of, trust in, and appreciation for research processes and outcomes across disciplines and provide strategies to the researchers so they can do the same
  • Assume ownership across various operational aspects of research, including but not limited to: team meeting structure and cadence, rubric documentation, recruiting, professional development, research budgets, outing budgets, and design-owned events


We rely on our values to guide our decisions: Solve for the Customer, Every Minute Counts, This is Your Baby, Go Far, Together and Of Course, But Maybe. What does this mean for your role? We are looking for someone who has:

  • A minimum of 8 years experience conducting research and/or leading research teams in-house at a technology company
    • 4+ years of experience in a leadership position, leading teams of researchers
    • 2+ year of experience managing Research Managers
  • Demonstrated ability to partner with cross-functional disciplines like Design, Data Science, Product Management, Operations, and Engineering to build a holistic view of user behavior that guides decision-making and drives impact
  • Demonstrated success building teams, developing team members and fostering personal and professional growth
  • Proven track record of effectively communicating with other managers and executives across disciplines, balancing the needs and concerns of the Research team with those of other departments
  • Experience working with cross-platform experiences (native, desktop, mobile web)
  • Bonus:
    • Experience with multi-sided marketplace, e-commerce, and/or gig economy
    • Experience managing UXR, Research Operations, and Market and User Insights


Instacart is the North American leader in online grocery and one of the fastest-growing companies in e-commerce. Instacart’s same-day delivery and pickup services bring fresh groceries and everyday essentials to busy people and families across the U.S. and Canada in as fast as an hour. Since its founding in 2012, Instacart has become an essential service for millions of families, while also serving as an immediate, flexible earnings opportunity for hundreds of thousands of shoppers across North America. The company partners with more than 350 retailers and delivers from more than 25,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America. Today, Instacart is accessible to more than 85% of households in the U.S. and more than 70% of households in Canada.

We believe that great people are the ingredients for success. We like to think that we are like a potluck—everyone brings something new, different and flavorful to the table. We believe that just as meals are best shared together, success is best shared together. Our mix of thoughtful, inventive and neighborly employees work together to deliver our common goal: to create a world where everyone has access to the food they love and more time to enjoy it together. If this resonates with you, then Instacart just might be the place for you.

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