Research Director, Consumer @ Instacart - San Francisco, CA

Research Director, Consumer

Every year, people across the world spend nearly one trillion dollars on groceries. It's an industry that's been around for centuries. Food itself, however, has been a constant in people's lives since the beginning of time. Yes, sustenance is essential, but it's also much more than that. Food can be a part of a daily ritual or a special moment that resonates with people on a meaningful and emotional level. It can be a much-needed break in a long day, a taste that brings back memories, a creative experiment, a shared meal with loved ones, or even comfort during a hard time. Whether it's a special occasion or an everyday occurrence, it should always be easy for people to get the ingredients they need.
The Instacart Research team is dedicated to understanding the future of online grocery shopping and how current behaviors and needs may be rapidly evolving. We generate insights that drive product strategy and innovation. We are a collaborative and tight-knit team, and we partner with product, design, data science, and engineering to help build products that solve real problems for people and support Instacart's mission.
We're looking for a Research Director to join our Consumer team and bring the world to Instacart, connect them to everything we offer, and change the way they shop forever. You're a passionate people leader that cares about building teams and setting the conditions that inspires others to thrive.


  • Research Management & Leadership

    • Shape and grow the Consumer Research team through hiring and career development

    • Coach and inspire researchers and managers at varying points in their career

    • Define a vision and create the conditions for team success through goal setting, allocation, and clear processes

  • Strategic Impact

    • Partner with product, design, data science, and engineering leadership to set the consumer strategy through research and business insights

    • Drive research priorities and ensure insights answer critical product and business decisions across a mix of short and long term, evaluative and generative workstreams

    • Utilize a wide range of storytelling techniques and communicate research insights in a clear, opinionated, and compelling way that influences and leads to action

  • Research Excellence

    • Collaborate with the Head of Research and broader management team to create a unified research vision, identity, and culture across the whole Research organization

    • Drive research excellence by defining quality and establishing best practices that improve research rigor

    • Immerse the broader Consumer organization in customer needs through advocacy, education, and socialization of insights


  • 12+ years of research experience, with 5-7+ years conducting primary research and 5-7+ years managing a research team, demonstrating:

    • Experience building and retaining high performing teams that include both managers and individual contributors

    • Impact on company level product and business strategy through research insights

    • Track record of influencing senior leaders including Directors, VPs, and C-suite executives through clear communication and opinionated recommendations

    • Deep understanding across a range of qualitative and quantitative methods

  • Experience working within e-commerce, online marketplaces, groceries, or consumer tech a plus

  • Degree in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Human-Computer Interaction, Design, Human Factors, Anthropology, a related field or the equivalent experience desired