A framework for #WhatisResearchOps

Kate Towsey
3 min readOct 24, 2018


Workshops took place in 34 cities around the world, from Cape Town to Moscow and Tokyo.

Eight months ago a global community of user researchers came together with the intention of shaping the emerging practice of ResearchOps.

Since then, a team of 60 organisers have run 34 workshops around the world to understand researchers’ challenges and triumphs, and their thoughts about what research operations should include. We also ran a survey that received 300+ responses. We nicknamed the effort #WhatisResearchOps. It’s been an initiative that has seen researchers, researching researchers across the world to inform the advancement of research!

We’ve done hours of analysis — much more could be done — and had countless meetings that have stretched across every timezone there is. We’ve achieved our first goals: to ignite the conversation around giving researchers the support they need as team sizes grow and demands grow too; to show that ResearchOps is more than just recruitment and procurement; and that, in its ultimate state, ResearchOps is a multi-person, multi-specialist job.

The intention is not that this framework indefinitely defines ResearchOps, but that it gives greater shape to our conversations about ResearchOps as we: ask for resource and support; share the nuts and bolts of doing research right with our colleagues; more clearly articulate why as researchers we all so damn busy! (And possibly that it’s human that we can’t do it all.)

Make it yours

Explore the framework in Mural (thanks Mural, for continuing to support our Community!)

Access it on Google Drive

Download it as a PDF (Dropbox)

The framework is free for you to use under the Creative Commons License ShareAlike 4.0. Please expand on it, share it and modify it but always give credit to the ResearchOps Community as its source.

Where possible, please share what you learn back to the Community so we can keep growing and learning collectively.

The power of team

Thank you to everyone who took part in making this happen. Onwards! Other than by country, contributers in no particular order:

Kate Towsey / UK
Ben Cubbon / UK
Steph Troeth / UK
Emma Boulton / UK
Audree Fletcher / UK
Andy Parker / UK
Mark McElhaw / UK
Saskia Liebenberg / UK
Monica Ferraro / UK
Ed Crowley / UK
Jane Reid / Scotland
Chris Adams / Germany
Kathryn Hing / Germany
Maria Arrilucea / Spain
Daniel Boos / Switzerland
Susanne Schlegel / Switzerland
Daria Hoplova / Russia
Hugo Froes / Portugal
Kathleen Asjes / Sweden
Kea Zhang / Norway
Amanda Pike / USA
Marisa Morby / USA
Andrew Maier / USA
Holly Cole / USA
Andi Galpern / USA
Ryan Hunt / USA
Michael Bam / USA
Sheetal Agarwal / USA
Jeanette Fuccella / USA
Melissa Braxton / USA
Heather ONeill / USA
Zack Naylor / USA
Yushi Wang / China
Samantha Yuen / Singapore
Brigette Metzler / Australia
Ruth Ellison / Australia
Lily Ainsworth / Australia
Sandy Ho / Australia
Michelle Pickrell / Australia
Kristina Lund Hansen / Australia
Katie Phillips / Australia
Catherine Sutton-Long / Australia
Johnny Linnert / Japan
Tomomi Sasaki / Japan
Rob Enslin / South Africa
Marie Slundt / South Africa
Nishita Gill / India
Shreya Toshniwal / India
Ruben Perez Huidobro / Canada
Tammy Le / Canada



Kate Towsey

ResearchOps thought leader. Writing Research That Scales: A ResearchOps Handbook for Rosenfeld Media. Founder of the Cha Cha Club-a ResearchOps club.