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Senior Design Researcher at Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (San Francisco, CA) (allows remote)

Location: San Francisco, CA or Remote (Americas)

Duration: Permanent

Hours: Full time


The Wikimedia Foundation’s Product Design Strategy Group is seeking a senior design researcher to whose primary focus will be to work with the Anti-Harassment Tools (AHT) Team to support the development of tools and policies aimed at reducing online harassment and other disruptive behavior on Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects.  Formed in 2017, the AHT team’s mission is to address a wide range of behavior: from content vandalism, stalking, name-calling, trolling, doxxing, and discrimination, to anything that targets individuals for unfair and harmful attention. As the world’s largest encyclopedia, and a cornerstone of the open content movement, Wikimedia seeks to build and model an online community that aligns with its mission of inclusion and diversity.

The team is building tools that will: help detect harassment and stalking; make it easier for people to report harassment; help wiki administrators to evaluate reports; and block unwanted harassers from our projects.  Working closely with product managers, developers, community advocates and many passionate volunteers, the Sr. Researcher will design qualitative and quantitative research that results in actionable insights that can drive the development of these new tools.  Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia projects are complex places, both socially and technically — this position requires enthusiasm for learning about new communities, processes, and cultural norms.

The WMF Product Design Strategy Group provides strategic research and experimentation to help inform and inspire future product and platform decisions.


  • Design, drive and support qualitative and quantitative research agenda to better understand the needs of Wikipedia contributors who have experienced or witnessed harassment, and administrators who are working to protect the editing community

  • Perform analysis of complex, dynamic online communities to identify opportunities and problematic areas of existing tools and workflows

  • Help design a set of interdependent software features, in collaboration with the editors who will use those features

  • Consult and collaborate with other researchers to ensure quality and usability of output


  • Expertise in multiple qualitative research methodologies, e.g. surveys, textual analysis, and ethnographic interviewing and observation, including qualitative analysis methods.

  • A strong sense of mission and energy for this initiative

  • Experience with quantitative research methodologies, e.g. statistical analysis, data visualization, data manipulation

  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills

  • Aptitude for defining and measuring project success

  • Strong time-management skills

  • Self sufficiency and ability to resolve what blocks your work within a cross-functional team environment

  • Comfortable working on short deadlines and the ability to pivot quickly

  • Experience leading research projects from start to finish (solo and in collaboration with others)

  • Collaborative nature (willingness to make collaboration across time zones via remote functionality work, as well as in person collaboration)

  • Academic training in Behavioral or Social Sciences (e.g. sociology, social psychology, anthropology), Information Science, or Human-Computer Interaction background

  • 5+ years of professional experience in a research role

  • Masters Degree or PhD in a related field

  • Experience working collaboratively with design teams to translate insights into actionable recommendations


  • A nuanced understanding of group dynamics and online cultural practices

  • Experience working in interdisciplinary teams with data scientists and designers

  • A history of social activism, volunteering, and/or open source contribution

  • Experience contributing to Wikimedia projects

  • A strong portfolio of public presentations of research work (e.g. conference presentations, white papers, peer-reviewed manuscripts)

The Wikimedia Foundation is... 

...the nonprofit organization that supports Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia free knowledge projects. Our vision is a world in which every single human can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. We believe that everyone has the potential to contribute something to our shared knowledge, and that everyone should be able to access that knowledge, free of interference. We host the Wikimedia projects, build software experiences for reading, contributing, and sharing Wikimedia content, support the volunteer communities and partners who make Wikimedia possible, and advocate for policies that enable Wikimedia and free knowledge to thrive. The Wikimedia Foundation is a charitable, not-for-profit organization that relies on donations. We receive financial support from millions of individuals around the world, with an average donation of about $15. We also receive donations through institutional grants and gifts. The Wikimedia Foundation is a United States 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with offices in San Francisco, California, USA.

The Wikimedia Foundation is an equal opportunity employer, and we encourage people with a diverse range of backgrounds to apply

Benefits & Perks *

  • Fully paid medical, dental and vision coverage for employees and their eligible families (yes, fully paid premiums!)

  • The Wellness Program provides reimbursement for mind, body and soul activities such as fitness memberships, baby sitting, continuing education and much more

  • The 401(k) retirement plan offers matched contributions at 4% of annual salary

  • Flexible and generous time off - vacation, sick and volunteer days, plus 19 paid holidays - including the last week of the year.

  • Family friendly! 100% paid new parent leave for seven weeks plus an additional five weeks for pregnancy, flexible options to phase back in after leave, fully equipped lactation room.

  • For those emergency moments - long and short term disability, life insurance (2x salary) and an employee assistance program

  • Pre-tax savings plans for health care, child care, elder care, public transportation and parking expenses

  • Telecommuting and flexible work schedules available

  • Appropriate fuel for thinking and coding (aka, a pantry full of treats) and monthly massages to help staff relax

  • Great colleagues - diverse staff and contractors speaking dozens of languages from around the world, fantastic intellectual discourse, mission-driven and intensely passionate people

More information



Annual Report - 2017

Wikimedia 2030

by via developer jobs - Stack Overflow

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