Director, Research

Please make sure to attach your resume to complete your application.


The ASPCA is seeking two Directors of Research to join our Strategy & Research team – a thoughtful, mission-driven, hard-working team that collaborates with departments across the organization to conduct research that supports the strategic priorities of the ASPCA. Our work addresses a wide range of topics that directly impact our internal programs as well as the field of animal welfare.

Behavior Focus

We seek a Director, Research to partner with departments within our Policy, Response, and Engagement division, especially those departments focused on animal behavior.

Access to Veterinary Care Focus

We also seek a Director, Research to partner with departments within our Shelter and Veterinary Services division, especially those focused on veterinary care. As such, this Director will also be integrally involved in our work to increase access to veterinary care.

As a member of the 11-person Research team, working under the supervision of the Senior Director of Research, the Director of Research leads research projects and program evaluations in collaboration with specific departments within the ASPCA.  In addition to strong research skills, this position requires an individual with a collaborative work style, experience in project management, and the ability to lead teams in a matrix structure, often without direct authority. Candidates may come from a diverse range of disciplinary or applied backgrounds.

Through deeply understanding how the work of the ASPCA advances impact for animals, Directors work closely with partnering departments to design strategic and evaluation plans to enhance that impact. They also collaboratively design and conduct research that 1) illuminates current and future trends in the animal welfare landscape and 2) aims to directly influence attitudinal and behavior change by key stakeholders in that landscape. Work activities may include literature review, planning, research/evaluation design, managing research projects, data collection and analysis, creation of peer-reviewed publications and other publications/presentations for key audiences, participating in initiatives to advance external research, and providing expert input and insight for ASPCA projects and programs. In addition, Directors work together with partner departments and other relevant teams to plan how research results will be used and communicated internally and externally.

This remote-based position (which requires travel, as described below) is open to all candidates based within the United States.


Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Be a strategic thought partner with other ASPCA departments  (35%)

  • Quickly and creatively develop effective relationships with partner departments and key staff

  • Assist with identifying and prioritizing the most impactful work

  • Help to develop program goals and design ways for program partners to evaluate work

  • Guide program direction for partner departments by identifying or developing and analyzing data and transforming it into meaningful insights

Collaborative research and program evaluations (50%)

  • Lead research projects and program evaluations with minimal supervision 

  • Develop timelines and apply appropriate project management tools to ensure that the work is completed in a timely, efficient, thoughtful, and accurate way

  • Problem-solve within the project to achieve the goals of the department

  • Scope projects appropriately and outline what the Research team is responsible for

  • Recognize when the work needs to change in scope or if the overarching goal of the work needs to be revisited and generate appropriate solutions

  • Communicate goals, progress, timelines, challenges, and findings clearly up, down, and across departments

  • Identify key audiences for uptake of the research to support the development of an internal and external communication plan for the completed work

  • Participate in department- and organizational-level initiatives to advance research internal and external to the ASPCA: e.g., ASPCA sponsored research grant programs, annual ASPCA-AAWA Research Forum, selection and supervision of research externs, ongoing development of ASPCA research policies and processes

  • Ensure all data collection and reporting against goals is accurate, efficient and complete

  • Manage consultants and temps

  • Communicate research to diverse audiences through journal articles, reports and presentations

Provide Expertise and Share Knowledge (15%):

  • Maintain and develop subject matter expertise relevant to the work of the ASPCA; provide input on area of expertise across the ASPCA; generate new ways to apply subject matter expertise to enhance the work of the ASPCA

  • Stay generally abreast of field of animal welfare in the areas of specific partner departments to be able to share new research with them to help drive change

Exemplifies the ASPCA’s Core Values: 

  • Has Commitment and dedication to improving the lives of animals 

  • Demonstrates Ownership and feels responsible for outcomes 

  • Believes in Team – that we are stronger together 

  • Seeks to Elevate others and reimagine what is possible 

  • Focuses on Impact, specifically making change for animals 


Graduate level degree or equivalent experience required.


  • Minimum of 6 years of research or program evaluation in a field applicable to animal welfare required

  • Strong statistical analysis skills, including experience using statistical software (Stata, SPSS, R, etc.) and Excel, as well as data summary and visualization skills, required

  • Strong project oversight and management skills including excellent organizational, interpersonal, and communication (verbal, written, and typing) skills with a wide range of audiences of varying professional backgrounds and levels as well as the ability to manage activities without direct authority

  • Strong ability to rapidly get up to speed on new information

  • Experience writing scientific publications required, experience serving as an author of empirical, peer-reviewed publications preferred

  • Ability to quickly, calmly, and efficiently adjust to changes in direction and re-prioritize work

  • Must be a self-guided, creative, highly organized, and motivated individual

  • Experience with supervision of staff, temp employees and/or contractors, preferred

Qualifications specific to the Behavior Position

  • Experience in animal behavior research preferred

  • Knowledge of topics in animal behavior preferred

Qualifications specific to the Access to Veterinary Care Position

  • Experience in studying the complex human interactions that occur in veterinary and community settings preferred

  • Knowledge of veterinary terminology and veterinary medicine preferred

Additional Information:

  • Must be able to work confidently in a remote office

  • Ability and willingness to travel up to 15% of the time as needed (Please note, travel requirements may be modified temporarily due in part to COVID-19; this remains a requirement of the position, and we expect normal travel volume to resume as the organization resumes normal operations)


The starting salary for this role is contingent on the employee’s primary location of residence and its respective cost of labor. As a point of reference, we’ve included our ASPCA locations broken down by geographic zone to illustrate what the hiring salary range would be in each of the following areas:

  • Zone 1 (Asheville, NC; Columbus, OH; Miami, FL; Weaverville, NC): $90,000 - $98,000

  • Zone 2 (Washington D.C.; Los Angeles, CA): $100,000 - $108,000

  • Zone 3 (New York, NY): $110,000 - $118,000


See above for qualifications details.



English (Required)

Education and Work Experience:

High School Diploma (Required)


COVID Statement:
The ASPCA strives to maintain a COVID-free workplace. To that end, being fully vaccinated is a condition of employment for all ASPCA employees, including new hires, except where prohibited by applicable state or local law. The ASPCA makes reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs that prohibit a person from being vaccinated.

Our EEO Policy:

The ASPCA is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.  All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital or domestic partner status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.

Applicants with disabilities may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act and certain state or local laws.  A reasonable accommodation is a change in the ASPCA’s standard application process, which will ensure an equal employment opportunity without imposing undue hardship on the ASPCA.  Please inform the ASPCA’s People Team if you need an accommodation in order to complete any forms or to otherwise participate in the application process.

Individuals seeking employment are considered without regards to race, color, creed, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity or expression, age, marital or domestic partner status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, disability, genetic information, military or veteran status,  or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.

ASPCA is an Equal Opportunity Employer (M/F/D/V).

Please don’t forget to attach your resume to complete your application.

About Us:
The ASPCA was founded in 1866 on the belief that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment by humans and must be protected under the law. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation with more than two million supporters nationwide, the ASPCA is committed to preventing cruelty to dogs, cats, equines, and farm animals throughout the United States.

The ASPCA is headquartered in New York City, where we maintain a full-service animal hospital, spay/neuter clinic, mobile spay/neuter and primary pet care clinics, a rehabilitation center for canine victims of cruelty, kitten nursery, adoption center, and two community veterinary centers.

The ASPCA also operates programs and services that extend nationwide. We assist animals in need through on-the-ground disaster and cruelty interventions, behavioral rehabilitation, animal placement, legal and legislative advocacy, and the advancement of the sheltering and veterinary community through research, training, and resources.

At the ASPCA, we are committed to fostering a collaborative and compassionate culture and we welcome all voices to contribute to our lifesaving mission. Our staff represent a vast array of backgrounds and diversity dimensions, bringing with them valuable experiences and perspectives. They join the ASPCA to learn, grow, and continually do their best work on behalf of animals. We are inspired by our staff, partners, and the communities we support across the country who work to improve animal lives. We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion at the ASPCA because it elevates our organizational culture, aligns with our Core Values, and enables us to move further and faster toward the ASPCA’s vision – that all animals live good lives; valued by society, protected by its laws, and free from cruelty, pain and suffering.