Research Program Manager

WhatsApp   •  

Menlo Park, CA

Industry: Technology


5 - 7 years

Posted 51 days ago

As a Research Program Manager you will implement operational systems, act as a connector, and problem solve operational hurdles to enable researchers to do their most impactful work. This particular Research Program Manager will be the first for the WhatsApp UX Research team. In this new role, you will define, establish, and maintain operational and team-wide programs as well as create and manage processes to support the growing team. The ideal candidate is entrepreneurial, enabling the team's best work by leading strategic planning of programs, managing short and long-term project milestones, anticipating project issues and resolving them, connecting resources to research needs, and removing barriers to doing great work. The Research Program Manager is an expert in problem solving and multitasking, while building long-term relationships with the team. You'll utilize a full range of organizational and interpersonal skills that help our talented teams operate at their highest and most effective level.

This role requires both execution and strategic-focused program management experience and broad knowledge of research's impact on product design and development. Communication skills, ability to manage complex logistics, and a highly organized approach are mandatory. This is a full-time position based in our Menlo Park office.


  • Program Management:
    • Act as the program lead and project manager for research programs, building out and creating resources for programs such as research best practices, onboarding, legal processes and vendor management
    • Create, maintain, and refine programs and initiatives, establishing operational systems and outcomes
    • Move initiatives forward, find resources, raise concerns to appropriate owners early and resolve open issues that prevent progress
    • Hold the line when schedule or progress is in jeopardy while maintaining respectful relationships
    • Predict roadblocks and obstacles and establish meetings or integration points between teams
    • Prioritize competing needs with reasoning and solutions
    • Coordinate resources across multiple projects and teams
    • Contribute to overall Research Program Management team processes and tools, updating databases and initiating improvements where needed
    • Serve as a dependable point-of-contact/link to the Global Research Ops team, leveraging new processes or best practices for WhatsApp when needed and relevant
    • Partner with Researchers and other Research Program Managers on program areas
  • Research Logistics:
    • Partner with WhatsApp Researchers to identify vendors to work with based on team and project needs
    • Work with third party research tools vendors to get quotes, establish them as vendors, create a process to leverage their services and ensure quality
    • Act as the point-of-contact for the vendor, managing communication, the proposal and SOW process and ensuring the vendor is aligned with our project goals and that milestones are being met
    • Guide research planning, collaborating with Researchers, Data Scientist and vendors to identify ideal locations for research and managing logistics
    • Ensure projects are processed through the procurement and purchasing team
  • Operational Excellence:
    • Source and onboard new vendors to WhatsApp through procurement
    • Develop efficient processes for working with Legal on research projects
    • Develop and maintain processes or systems to work with WhatsApp localization team to facilitate translation of surveys and discussion guides
    • Partner with the Finance team to develop efficient processes for working with vendors on contracts and payments

Minimum Qualification

  • 5+ years of experience as a program manager or producer with experience in global operations, supporting teams, and developing cross-functional relationships
  • Experience working with user experience teams
  • Experience working independently
  • Communication experience for interacting with researchers, participants, businesses and leadership

Preferred Qualification

  • Familiarity with WhatsApp's features and functionality from a user perspective
  • Client or vendor management experience