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12 Feb 2019

Internship Design Research Fellow

Civilla – Posted by civilladetroit Detroit, Michigan, United States

civilla print - name - transparent

Job Description

Hi All – Civilla is looking for two Design Research fellows to join us this Spring/Summer! It’s a great opportunity for a researcher who is looking to contribute to meaningful work through a blend of learning and hands-on field experience. You can find the job description below or online here.


Who is Civilla? 

We are a Detroit-based design studio dedicated to changing the way our public-serving institutions work. Our team is excited to bring on two Design Researchers for a 4-month fellowship program. This is an opportunity to do work that matters, using human-centered design to impact millions of residents in Michigan and across the country while growing your skill set alongside industry leaders.

What’s the program like? 

On April 15, we’ll kick off our fourth fellowship program. For four months, two researchers will join our studio in Detroit to learn and contribute to meaningful, mission-oriented work. During your time with us, you will:
  • Receive training & mentorship from industry leaders in user research and human-centered design
  • Work on small teams to design government services that are more compassionate, more effective, and less expensive to operate
  • Lead a capstone project (related to your specific interests) and bring it into the world with the support of the Civilla team

What does a day in the life look like? 

Your days will vary, but an average day of fieldwork might look like this:

  • You’ll pair up with a teammate to conduct creative research–including ethnographic interviews, user testing, and quantitative data collection
  • Following fieldwork, you’ll join the team back at Civilla to synthesize research findings, identify patterns in the data, and help make improvements to digital and physical products
  • Before wrapping up, you’ll work alongside teammates to communicate your findings. You’ll share insights through a variety of written and visual formats–such as stories, sketches, decks, reports, and exhibits

What are we looking for in a research fellow? 

Qualitative research is your primary skill set. You love connecting with people from all walks of life, and you are drawn to understanding people’s stories and experiences in the world.

You carry a basic understanding of the human-centered design process, and you are eager to go deeper through hands-on, immersive learning.

You are energized by the thought of jumping into large, complex systems – and can quickly process information in order to arrive at meaningful insights.

Bonus points if you bring a secondary skill set in a field such as UX design or quantitative data analysis!

What are the qualifications for this fellowship? 

  • Detroit-based or ready to spend time in the motor city! This fellowship is not remote
  • Available April 15 – August 15
  • 2+ years of qualitative research experience in a professional setting (including anthropology, psychology, journalism, human factors, etc.)
  • Comfort planning a research process, conducting fieldwork, leading interviews and doing desk research
  • Ability to synthesize research findings and uncover insights rooted in user needs
  • A high comfort level working within a self-directed culture and navigating ambiguity
  • Open to learning, committed to personal growth, and proactive about seeking feedback
  • A passion for contributing to mission-driven work on a highly collaborative team

What have past fellows said about their experience at Civilla? 

I can honestly say that spending time at Civilla changed my life. I didn’t think that a place of work could be an incubator of dreams, an opportunity to overcome fears, a place of discovery of my true self, and a gathering of family. I now understand the importance of unearthing one’s life’s work and growing the courage to build it with others, no matter what.” 
— James Paek, Master’s Candidate at the Experience Institute

What else should I know? 

  • Program dates: the fellowship runs April 15 – August 15
  • Structure: You will spend four days a week receiving immersive training & contributing to meaningful projects alongside Civilla. One day a week will be self-directed and focused on bringing your capstone project into the world with the support of the Civilla team
  • Compensation: You will be given a monthly stipend
  • Come as you are: Civilla is an equal opportunity employer. Women, non-binary individuals, minorities, people with disabilities, veterans, and people of all ages are strongly encouraged to apply

How to Apply

Apply online here. Send your resume, portfolio, and a two-minute video introducing yourself and why you’re excited about this opportunity. We will accept applications on a rolling basis, but applications received by February 25, 2019 will be prioritized.

Job Categories: Economic Development. Job Types: Internship.

Job expires in 1 year.

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