Head of Research Craft, Brighton UK or Montreal Canada

in Brighton or Montreal

  • Salary: Annual
  • Format: Full-time, permanent
  • Location: Brighton UK or Montreal Canada, starting remotely
  • Reports to: Managing Director


Player Research is the premier partner for games user research.

Across the world, we partner with video game developers and publishers to realise their creative visions by providing meaningful insight into how real players experience play.

We’re seeking an exceptional user researcher who is passionate about achieving excellence from research teams

The Head of Research Craft owns technical skill growth of our consultant games user research staff globally, and helps us ‘raise the bar’ of research quality in our influential business.

This is an established role within our business, developing under your guidance.

About The Role

Our Head of Research Craft contributes continually to our research projects and processes, ensuring they’re rigorous, impactful, and efficient, while being unafraid to push methodological boundaries and experiment.

You’ll be on-the-job coaching, soliciting feedback, organising internal and external training activities, and implementing your own initiatives for continual improvement. The Head of Research Craft defines and implements the strategic initiatives that drive growth in our staff and business.

You’ll be instrumental in balancing consistency with creativity and innovation in our approaches: delivering to the fullest potential of the method, the project team, and our client’s research opportunity.

By involving yourself in key research projects – either actively as a lead or passively as a mentor – your influence will accelerate the domain growth of staff, and shape the future of our service offerings.

You’ll design and execute training, solicit feedback, and lead by example to promote a culture of learning and improvement

You will naturally develop relationships with key clients by consultatively designing research strategies, and supporting the delivery of excellent research to plan. You’ll be an ambassador for our business, both project-to-project and in business development events and conferences.

The Head of Research Craft is a ‘dotted line’ manager for all games user researchers in the business. Full-time people management (‘solid line’) is owned by a People Manager in each regional studio. Our Head of Research Craft is the central manager responsible for providing guidance, mentorship, and performance evaluation on topics of research and technical skills for researchers cross both studios.

Our staff are a healthy mix of expert practitioners and academics, of ambitious career-starters and seasoned professionals. Experienced games user researchers – like you – bring unique perspectives and learnings to help us grow, and to offer even richer insight to our client studios. In return, Player Research provides a stable and vibrant workplace to conduct the most fulfilling work of your career.

Who do we work with?

Game developers, publishers, platform owners, incubators, universities… As an external research studio we collaborate far and wide. You’ll benefit from the long-term relationships we’ve forged with our key partners, while also having opportunities to develop fresh relationships with studios taking their first steps in player-centric development.

Every month we welcome new clients; each places their trust in Player Research to guide their creative and commercial vision.

Although we collaborate with studios big and small, it’s noted that we choose not to contribute to real money gambling, nor adult entertainment games.

We are exceptionally proud of our decade-long reputation for authenticity, transparency and rigour. And we’d love to make you a part of it.

Core Responsibilities

  • Overseeing performance and continual professional growth for our ~13 games user researchers as their ‘dotted line’ manager
  • Involvement in research projects of all shapes and sizes, as either a client-facing consultant, an on-project researcher, or as a mentor to the project team
  • Collaboratively drive the recruitment and onboarding of new Games User Researchers
  • Become a trusted client-facing consultant: collaboratively designing campaigns of research, writing research proposals, and educating on topics of player research
  • Deliver learning and development on topics of research craft: communicating with stakeholders, methodological excellence, project management, and so on
  • Arrange internal project retrospectives to ensure systematic reflection and adoption of learnings
  • Change-manage improvements to research protocols by documenting our learnings and innovations
  • Explore opportunities to design novel or adapted research approaches to drive ever more insight into the game development process
  • ‘Spotlight’ staff excellence to show appreciation, promote wellbeing, and increase eminence both internally to Player Research and on the world stage
  • Be constantly ‘on the pulse’ of our culture, working closely with our People Managers, Strategy and Support teams, including international travel and on-sites (post-pandemic)

Skills/Experience Required

  • Significant hands-on experience of leading user research projects, ideally in game development
  • Passion and knowledge of video game user experience and game development
  • Knowledge of applied research methods and best practices in user research: behavioural and attitudinal, quant and qual
  • Demonstrable experience supporting the growth of others, e.g. through coaching, mentorship, and/or formal training
  • Strong communication skills and an empathetic leadership style

Bonus Points

  • A PhD or Masters in a relevant field, e.g. psychology, HCI, ergonomics, gamedev
  • Deep/broad experience of games user research specifically as project manager, strategist or lead
  • Experience of formal people management (as sole manager or ‘dotted line’)
  • Experience of agency/consultancy, or working in a centralised team
  • Experience working ’embedded’ with senior production stakeholders on a project team
  • Specialist qualitative data analysis and/or applied game telemetry knowledge

Location and Starting

  • For immediate start, but we’re willing to wait for the right candidate
  • The candidate can be located in Brighton (UK) or Montreal (Canada), post-pandemic
  • Our offices in both regions are closed, and will remain so until post-vaccine
  • Permanent remote working is regrettably not feasible: empirical studies in our secure playtesting facilities are central to the operations of our research. We’ll resume them post-vaccine, when it’s safe to do so. 
  • Flexible working from home is feasible for several of our research methodologies and portions of empirical studies too. 
  • We’re open to proposals for part-time work for this role

Company Benefits

  • Competitive salaries, in line with regional games user research
  • Generous annual leave allowance
  • Life insurance
  • Pension plan
  • Income protection plan
  • Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
  • Optional subsidised private medical cover
  • State-of-the-art research premises in Brighton and Montreal
  • Relocation support for candidate and family
  • Region-specific perks and benefits
  • Friendly, inclusive teams with a range of interests and activities to join

We are a passionate and impactful company working on some of the biggest names in gamedev.

We also have vacancies for experienced Games User Researchers in both regions.

Visas and Right To Work

We are pleased to offer visa sponsorship to support international applicants for this role. Please identify on your application whether or not you have an existing right to work.

Requirements for those without an existing right to work in Canada: minimum three or more years of industry experience (further information on immigration to Canada).

For those without an existing right to work in the UK: minimum two or more years of industry experience, plus professional-level spoken and written English (further information on immigration to the UK). 

If you meet the foundational criteria for both locations, please outline your preference in your application. Your preference of locale is not a factor in our selection process.

To apply:

Montreal: Please submit your CV and cover letter outlining your career goals to [email protected]

Brighton: Please submit your CV and cover letter outlining your career goals to [email protected]

The closing date for this role is Monday 24th May 2021. We will confirm receipt of your application, but most applicant communication will occur after the closing date.

We’ll arrange a short ‘get to know you’ meeting as a first step.

Stand out and be passionate. Good luck.

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