Job Posting - Skill Acquisition Research Fellow

The Oklahoma City Thunder is an elite performance organization and a leading franchise in the NBA. Beyond any single game, season, or outcome, we are driven to shape the future of our industry, our community and our own legacy in sports. We are looking for people who want to make an impact–individuals with the courage and ambition to think and work differently and an endless desire to push for progress. At the Thunder, you are joining a culture that performs at the highest level and empowers you to realize your greatest potential.

This research-focused position will allow you to contribute to the evolution of applying skill acquisition sciences in basketball. This work is critical to better understanding and optimizing decision-making to support our staff and athletes. Working with a multidisciplinary staff, you will help facilitate an evidence-based approach to skill acquisition, coaching sciences, and subsequent applications.


  • Conceptualize and develop research projects in skill acquisition, player development and coaching science for professional basketball players.
  • Support the Player Development Innovation program, including collection, analysis and presentation of player development related data.
  • Contribute to the creation of future systems designed to enhance the application of scientific principles in decision-making processes related to player development.
  • Develop impactful projects and educate colleagues through ongoing presentation of research results.


  • PhD or equivalent required, or willingness to pursue a PhD (this role includes funded research training opportunities, such as PhD studies)
  • Experience working on collaborative projects solving applied research problems
  • Demonstrated passion for understanding and enhancing skill acquisition and player development in basketball players or similar areas
  • Prior experience in sports, either through participation or professional involvement, is preferred
  • Proficiency in using technical tools for data analysis (e.g., R, Python, SQL)
  • Proven respect for confidentiality
  • Exceptional communication skills, capable of articulating clear and effective messages to a range of stakeholders

This is a research-focused position reporting to the Director of Player Development and co-supervised by the Director of Performance Research and Development. 

We offer a positive office environment and a robust benefits package including excellent medical, dental and vision coverage, 401k with matching funds, paid downtown parking, tuition reimbursement, employee ticket options, family gym membership subsidy, parental leave, team shop discount, and more! 

We invite you to apply online here.

At the Oklahoma City Thunder and Oklahoma City Blue we value diversity, equity and inclusion, and we know that teams with a variety of backgrounds, perspectives and skills make a stronger company. As an Equal Opportunity Employer we consider applicants fairly on the basis of qualifications, experience and business needs and provide equal opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, age, sex, gender identity, religion, disability, ethnicity, national origin, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, or any other legally protected status. We also consider applicants regardless of past legal system involvement, considering the needs of the role, nature of and recency of legal history. We are committed to a welcoming and inclusive environment for all employees through our culture of RAVE – Respect and Value Everyone.