Location: Dearborn, Michigan US


This position is no longer open.

Job Number: 3487

External Description: Research Operations is the set of tools and strategies that set design research in motion. This critical skill delivers the support needed to execute and scale quality research across an organization. You know how to work with project teams and design researchers to plan and execute research events, recruit research participants, manage vendors, and design processes and structures that help catalyze and elevate our craft.

As a Research Operations Specialist, you will...

  • Manage research-related vendors. This includes: screening new vendors, helping new vendors through Ford's verification process, writing and submitting SOWs, tracking vendor progress, managing the ongoing relationship, and more.
  • Help a project team think about research participants that might help inspire a design in a creative way.
  • Plan and execute on different ways of reaching research participants and screening them, including targeted outreach via social channels, relevant organizations, or working with an external recruiting agency.
  • Apply your intuition and instincts while screening respondents to ensure they are appropriate for a particular project.
  • Co-design and coordinate the logistics behind user interviews, group discussions and events supporting each project team's design research needs locally and in the field.
  • Help the Design Research community build a resource bank of tools, assets and relationships.
  • Promote ethical research practices and adherence to data protection regulations. Help us be good stewards of research data, including developing a data retention and governance structure, tracking consent forms and NDAs, etc.
  • Assist the Design Research Lead with growing the design research team, recruiting, and with onboarding new staff.
  • Support the Design Research Lead and Design Lab Operations in managing the design research budget, assisting the team in submitting expenses, and organizing participant incentives and rewards.
  • Assist the team with procurement and booking travel.
  • Assist the team in developing manuals / guidelines, and internal communications.
Basic Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree in sociology, anthropology, psychology, design or other related discipline.
  • 2+ years of experience supporting research teams in the planning and execution of research events
  • 2+ years of experience in an intense people-focused role such as project coordinator or executive assistant
Preferred Qualifications:
  • An ability to show empathy and passion for understanding human behavior
  • Superb communications skills - the ability to clearly and simply communicate complex concepts and methods to different audiences
  • Ability to balance multiple tasks and prioritize
  • Proficiency with a range of communication and data processing tools such as Microsoft Office Suite
  • Experience working with designers is a plus; as well as a background in research.
  • Experience of working on highly collaborative teams, or other multidisciplinary teams
  • Passionate about automotive and mobility industry

A bit about us
We're in the midst of the biggest change the automotive industry has ever seen.

Just as cars changed the world over the last century - creating the driver, highways, gas stations, and malls - self-driving cars, electric powertrains, and connected vehicles will radically reshape how we live, work, and play, our cities and society themselves, in the next hundred years.

At D-Ford, you'll be at the heart of creating that future. You'll be at the cutting edge of Ford's most strategically critical work, designing people and society's needs into the heart of our next generation of products, services and experiences.

You'll also be designing at scale. Every day, Ford's vehicles and services support millions of people around the world. So, at D-Ford, we're not just inventing the future, we're operationalizing it, to help all those people move through their lives, better.

We drive human progress through empathy, creativity and design.

Our values are our guiding light, and the conscience for our work, and our people. We're looking for people who share this way of being - you don't need to be convinced of it, you just get it:
    We are curious about the world, designing systems and connections that enable people to move more freely.
    We are inspired by the people around us, bringing their unique stories to the forefront of our designs.
    We provoke new ways of thinking about tomorrow's toughest design challenges, while grounded in what's possible.
    We build in the open, rigorously testing, iterating and evolving our ideas with others.
    We radically collaborate across teams, geographies, and philosophies, uncovering new insights to tomorrow's problems.
    Our strength comes from bringing our whole selves to the community—from introspective to playful or quirky. What will you bring?

We don't hire "Design Thinkers." We hire T-people. You:
  • Have deep expertise in a craft
  • Are comfortable working in relatively flat and dynamic teams
  • Are passionate to work on ambiguous and complex future challenges
  • Have a collaborative and empathetic mindset to solve problems with teams across Ford
Alongside everyone's role as a designer of world class design content, you will also be expected to contribute to a range of communities to maintain our creative culture. We call these Community Hats.

They can range from stewarding the lab, leading a workshop, mentoring others, contributing to publications, hosting a tour with executives, bringing your maker skills to build prototypes, or leading your craft in a global community of like-minded designers.

These global communities will ensure that we stay connected across the organization, and constantly push the impact of what we do. They can act as additional areas of responsibility, helping to push careers in different directions.

We have four global labs: Palo Alto, Detroit, London and soon, Shanghai.

You'll be part of a growing organization in the heart of Ford's Product Development Center to drive innovation from the inside out.


Join our team as we create tomorrow! We believe in putting people first, working together, and facing challenges head-on, because we're Built Ford Tough. We're one team striving to make people's lives better while creating value, delivering excellence and ultimately going for thewin.

Candidates for positions with Ford Motor Company must be legally authorized to work in the United States on a permanent basis. Verification of employment eligibility will be required at the time of hire. Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

Ford Motor Company is an equal opportunity employer committed to a culturally diverse workforce. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, age, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability status or protected veteran status.

Job Number: 36272BR


Location_formattedLocationLong: Dearborn, Michigan US