Design Research Lead

IDA Business Park Southern Cross Road Irishtown, Bray , IE


Company description

About us

Design Partners is a product design & innovation agency located in the garden
of Ireland, just south of Dublin city. Our mission is to elevate human potential.
We collaborate with the world’s most innovative brands to create meaningful products and services that empower and inspire people. Our experienced researchers, strategists, designers, engineers and makers bring ideas to life that empower people to achieve incredible things. We are now part of PA Consulting.

Job description

Your day to day

We are seeking an experienced and thoughtful Design Research Lead to join our outstanding team to revamp and reimagine products, services, and experiences for some of the world’s most exciting consumer, professional and healthcare brands.  

As an experienced leader and practitioner, you will build and manage a world-class design research capability at Design Partners. By planning, leading, and delivering strategic research programs, you will inspire project teams and clients to reimagine end-to-end experiences, disrupt industries, and shape the future. You will also help build thought leadership in topics/domains that are strategically important to us and our clients. 

You will 

  • Plan, design, lead, and deliver strategic research programs. Uncover actionable insights and frame opportunity spaces that drive creativity and innovation.  
  • Build best practices and expand the toolkit for design research. Push the quality of work across the agency.  
  • Lead research collaborations with clients and internal teams (Design Partners and PA Consulting). Manage client and partner relationships. 
  • Build a world-class design research capability by attracting and nurturing the right talent as well as democratizing research across the agency.  
  • Provide thoughtful and pragmatic leadership to build team morale, identify opportunities to scale, and deepen client relationships. 
  • Cultivate a culture of ethics, inclusion, and diversity.  
  • Work with studio leadership to support the development and publishing of thought leadership content. 
  • Work with studio leadership to build awareness and interest in design research in the broader design and business community.

You're interested in exploring innovative ways to... 

  • Understand complex (eco)systems and problems 
  • Understand organizations and competitive landscapes 
  • Understand people, behaviors, and activities in context 
  • Orchestrate and synthesize multiple research sources and methods (both qualitative and quantitative) 
  • Validate concepts for new or revamped products, services, and end-to-end experiences 
  • Understand the impact of behavioral data and emerging technologies on products, services, and end-to-end experiences 
  • Help customers and end-users achieve incredible things through new products, services, and experiences 



What you bring

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in design research, applied ethnography, behavioral marketing, innovation management, transdisciplinary design, or industrial/service/UX design 
  • 7+ years of relevant work experience 
  • 5+ years of experience of planning, designing, leading, and delivering strategic research programs, ideally in the context of a human-centered design/innovation process 
  • Very strong leadership skills, collaboration skills, communication skills, client management skills, conflict resolution skills, and judgment 
  • Solid understanding of people-centric design research in terms of mindsets, approaches, processes, activities, methods, and tools 
  • Solid portfolio of research assets and deliverables, ideally across multiple industries / service sectors 

Our work environment and facilities are second to none – a fully equipped 1,000 sqm studio with state-of-the-art labs and prototyping facilities designed to maximize collaboration, creativity, experimentation, and progress. We offer you the opportunity to work and grow in a dynamic and supportive team environment. You will be encouraged and empowered to realise your professional potential and grow through continuous learning. 

If you need any further information about this position, please reach out to Robert Bau, If you are interested, please click Apply and attach the following: 
CV & Portfolio of your work (PDF format) 

Additional information

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

Contact the team

We look forward to hearing from you.