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Research Director Human Factors-Chicago

Design Science
Evanston, Illinois
Closing date
Dec 9, 2022

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Position Type
Research Scientist / Analyst
Full Time
Science and Technology Studies
Organization Type
Job DescriptionCompany Description

Are you interested in working for a fast-growing and established organization that has carved out a niche as a trusted partner for human factors in the medical device industry? Are you passionate about impacting the lives of patients and their families across the globe? Founded in 1971, Design Science is looking to expand our Philadelphia and Evanston teams!

Our vision is to be the trusted standard of integrity and expertise where human factors meets healthcare, bringing the latest life-changing innovations to the world. We take pride in improving healthcare experiences through deep rooted partnerships with the goal of optimizing usability and safety. Design Science is committed to improving the quality and safety of medical devices across the globe. Headquartered in the heart of Philadelphia, PA, Design Science has offices in Evanston, IL, and Munich, Germany. Our team consists of diverse, talented, and caring individuals who value socially impactful work in a collaborative culture.
Job Description


The Research Director is an outstanding opportunity to take your career to the next level with an established organization in the human factors research and usability testing space. Design Science is expanding our Evanston office and we need a strong leader to help guide the team to continued success!

The Research Director provides day-to-day leadership for project teams in conducting Human Factors research and usability testing that meets or exceeds clients' objectives and expectations. The Research Director liaises with clients and designs research to ensure alignment between client needs and applicable regulatory strategy. They supervise the execution of all Human Factors projects from initial inquiry, through proposal writing to final delivery, making documentation, personnel, and budgetary adjustments as necessary to ensure profitable and effective research. The Research Director hires new HF staff, manages the workload of the HF staff and facilitates their professional development, while creating and refining procedures and policies to enable their success.

The Research Director is also responsible for setting the commercial engagement strategy for Design Science's Human Factors practice whilst at the same time seeking out, evaluating and developing strategies to win new business in related fields. The Research Director creates, tracks, and manages the HF department yearly budget and future department goals.

Primary Responsibilities:
  • Managing Account Directors and all Human Factors staff and organizing and supervising Human Factors department meetings and project meetings
  • Overseeing client engagement, proposal writing, and ongoing client management
  • Overseeing project execution, providing guidance when needed
  • Reviewing project budgets and overseeing project profitability
  • Reviewing monthly HF department financial and personnel timesheet reports
  • Providing summaries and reports outlining departmental activity, business development pipeline, and profitability
  • Creating and managing HF department budget; Allocating and managing capital appropriately to support HF department and company priorities
  • Collaborating with COO/Principals to develop and track HF department goals
  • Monitoring studies, including research and analysis plans
  • Planning, reviewing, and editing deliverables
  • Presenting to clients and managing the deliverable presentations by other Human Factors staff
  • Cultivating beneficial collaboration and relationships with third-parties
  • Managing scope of work changes and writing appropriate addendums
  • Leading process improvement initiatives
  • Creating and refining standard operating procedures for Human Factors
  • Sourcing/developing/providing training on Human Factors methods and practices
  • Facilitating the professional development of HF staff
  • Hiring HF staff

Secondary Responsibilities:
  • Working with the COO/Principals to develop overarching commercial strategy for Design Science
  • Collaborating with the COO/Principals to develop and track yearly company goals
  • Supporting COO in developing strategies to monitor performance and capture metrics to support staff development and incentives
  • Participating in strategic meetings
  • Supporting the Principals and management team in establishing annual company goals and objectives, creating a strategic three-, five-, and ten-year growth plan and implementing new processes and approaches to achieve such goals
  • Supporting internal operations


Essential Requirements:
  • Human factors experience in the medical field is required
  • Master's degree in human factors; industrial engineering; experimental, cognitive, or perceptual psychology, anthropology, business (i.e., MBA) or related field (i.e., product design and development). Bachelor's degree in related fields will also be considered with adequate professional experience.
  • Minimum 5 years of client or internal stakeholder management experience
  • Evidence of collaboration with colleagues in other disciplines such as software development, mechanical and electrical engineering, industrial design, visual design, and marketing
  • Strong knowledge of management and sales principles, methods, practices, and techniques
  • Proven track record of ability to successfully lead a team towards a common goal
  • Strong writing and presentation skills
  • Ability to work full time at a Design Science office and to travel approximately 20% of the time, domestically and internationally
  • The finalist must successfully pass a background check

Additional Skills & Experience Desired:
  • Experience with, or knowledge of, FDA regulatory guidance on usability and medical devices
  • Interest in and familiarity with the design of medical devices
  • Knowledge of financial principles and budgetary planning

    Additional Information

    Here's what we're offering:
    • Full-time position (40+ hrs/week)
    • Salary commensurate with experience
    • Lots of benefits: 100 % Company Paid Health, dental, vision, life, disability, 401k, bonus-eligibility, 20 days PTO to start, Summer Fridays, paid family leave, flex work hours, all you can drink coffee, the best co-workers, and more!


    You must submit a resume and cover letter for consideration.

    Visit our website / blog at for more information on the company, or check us out on social media @designscience .


    Minorities, females, individuals with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply

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