UX is one of those incredibly problematic terms for me. Too often, it gets used to mean “visual design”, when obviously there are a ton of more interesting levers that can be pulled and user experience really should be more than just what it looks like on a screen. Interestingly, at Microsoft, most the UX researchers I worked with were psychologists and had similar backgrounds to mine.
The key difference was really where they picked up and dropped off the ball. UX research tends to stop at the brief; they get out into the classroom and see the kids and have the insight, but then they don’t go build out a program. I think that build step has to get integrated better — the people doing the research should also be intimately involved in the building itself, because too much gets lost from report to product. In my ideal CBO team, I wouldn’t create separate roles — everyone would be expected to carry the ball from end-to-end, with appropriate support.