Principal Research Scientist at Crisis Text Line


$132,000 - $205,000/year

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Crisis Text Line provides free, 24/7, high-quality text-based mental health support and crisis intervention by empowering a community of trained volunteers to support people in their moments of need.

Our mission is at the intersection of empathy and innovation — we promote mental well-being for people wherever they are.

Our vision is an empathetic world where nobody feels alone.

Our core values are at the heart of all we do: connect with empathy, center equity, get it done together, and reflect and evolve.

Why you should join our team: 

  • Our work is transforming the way people in pain access support at their fingertips
  • Our work is innovative in the crisis response space
  • Our dynamic, fun, and diverse culture
  • Our meaningful cause, led by empathy and innovation
  • Our strong values at the center of all we do
  • Our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Our commitment to engagement and belonging
  • Our commitment to our employees and their holistic wellbeing
  • Our  value of work/life balance
  • Our growth mindset and prioritize professional development
  • Our leaders who truly care

What you will be doing:

As Principal Research Scientist within the new Research & Impact team, you will lead foundational efforts to deliver a consistent flow of high-quality, insightful research aimed at evidencing and optimizing impact of Crisis Text Line’s service and improving practice, policy and the broader field of mental health support globally. Reporting to the Chief Impact Officer, you will work closely with diverse thinkers and experts within and outside the organization to leverage the opportunity of more than 7.5 million crisis conversations since 2013 to design and conduct research and generate insights to help people thrive, specifically uplifting underinvested communities. Leading a small but nimble team, your work will have a clear overall impact through your technical leadership and influence across the organization; institutional research partnerships and collaborations both nationally and globally; and cross-functional internal partnerships with clinical, volunteer, user research, data analytics, engineering, product, and external-facing leadership teams. 

Deliver research leadership for Crisis Text Line 

  • Design and lead research projects to produce insights from internal data, combined with external research and resources, to continuously situate Crisis Text Line at the forefront of the field through compelling research briefs, reports, and presentations
  • Provide quantitative research methods expertise and mentorship across the Research & Impact portfolio, team, and organization to uncover actionable insights to improve mental well-being for diverse populations across languages, cultures and contexts
  • Actively learn from, contribute to, and engage with the broader field of mental health
  • Manage cross-functional relationships and collaborations with other managers and senior leaders on strategic assessments, evaluations, and research 
  • Strategically develop and oversee appropriate partnerships with other organizations and experts nationally and globally in collaboration with Chief Impact Officer
  • Lead or support strategic funding opportunities (contracts and grants) to optimize Crisis Text Line’s impact for texters, volunteers and society
  • Manage team to meet organization-wide priority business needs for data and insights 
  • Support your team and direct report(s) by setting clear team and individual goals, providing consistent and actionable feedback, and intentionally supporting professional development
  • Actively support individual and team equity, diversity and inclusion knowledge, and apply understanding through ongoing learning, reflecting and dialogue opportunities
  • You embed both intermediate-knowledge level of cultural awareness and accountability
  • You are able to foster belonging and elevate diversity creativity and innovation within the department

What you bring to the table: 

  • 8+ years of combined training and experience in computational linguistics, computational social science, natural language processing, computer science, statistics, evaluation, or related quantitative disciplines
  • Significant experience in programming languages used for data manipulation and computational statistics (such as Python, R, MATLAB, C++, Java, Go), and with SQL.
  • Deep knowledge and demonstrated experience using rigorous quantitative research methods, analyzing data using multiple approaches, and reporting recommended actions based on research results
  • Excellent skills in turning data insights into various formats for broad consumption (e.g. slides, briefs, blog posts, and talking points for executives, funders and the public)
  • Experience designing, implementing and managing complex research and evaluation projects
  • Understanding of qualitative research methods and basic ML theory and practice
  • Experience working in cross-functional or matrix teams
  • Excellent project management, communication, and presentation skills

Salary Range: $132,000 - $205,000
This range is provided by Crisis Text Line. Your actual pay will be based on your skills, experience, location, and applicable law (such as local minimum wage laws). We pay competitively in the tech-forward nonprofit space and offer a robust benefits package.


Crisis Text Line employee  benefits are thoughtfully designed using an equity lens, acknowledging that we are all unique human beings with individual life circumstances that require flexibility and support. 

 Benefits include: 

  • 20 paid holidays including:
    • Federal  holidays like Juneteenth and Labor Day
    • Election day
    • Holiday break from Dec 24  through January 1
    • 2 renewal days 
    • 2 floating holidays  
  • Flexible  paid time off, including: 
    • 15 vacation days
    • 3 personal days
    • 7 sick days 
  • Medical, dental, and vision benefits for the staff member and family at no cost to the employee
  • 403B retirement plan (the nonprofit equivalent of a 401K): 3% contribution by Crisis Text Line to support building financial wellness,  regardless of personal contribution
  • 12 weeks paid parental leave (after 6 months of employment)
  •  Student loan repayment (after 2 years of continuous full time service)
  • Family support through a virtual childcare platform
  • Stipends/Allowances
    • Mental health  (Monthly) 
    • Internet Service (Monthly) 
    • Professional Development (Annual)
    • Wellness (Annual)
    • Home office setup (One time/First year)

(Benefits only apply to full-time employees)

Crisis Text Line is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status. We provide reasonable accommodation to individuals who have a disability and meet the skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of the role to allow the individual to perform the essential functions of the job.

Apply Now

Applications are now closed