Research and Policy Director

Pro Bono Economics (PBE) enables professional economists from across the private, public and third sectors to volunteer their skills to tackle some of the most pressing issues in society. Working with our network of experienced consultant economists, our volunteers help charities and social enterprises appreciate their economic and social impact and so improve their overall effectiveness. We have worked with over 400 charities across the third sector since our inception in 2009.

We are now embarking on an exciting new phase of our development, by adding a dedicated in-house research and policy function. In doing so, we plan to supplement our charity projects with new ‘macro’ insights into the value and the potential of civil society in the 2020s. Armed with new content, we want to play an enhanced role in helping shape the policy debate in the UK through a programme of public events, media engagement and contact with different layers of government.

About the role

We are looking for an experienced and exceptional research and policy professional to help direct the programme. Working directly with the Chief Executive, the director will design, deliver and disseminate their own research content and commission support from external partners. They will also support PBE’s continued expansion in this area by helping to recruit and then manage a new team of research and policy analysts. The director will also have a key role to play in helping build PBE’s networks in the third sector, academia, government and the media.

Post type: Full-time, fixed-term (24 months). Flexible arrangements will be considered, and we welcome people applying on secondment

Reports to: Chief Executive

Main duties & tasks:

  • Establish and help manage a research and policy advisory group comprising leading experts on civil society, economics, demographics, technology, data analysis and government

  • Work with the advisory group and the Chief Executive to establish an overall research programme that shines a light on the value of civil society and the challenges and opportunities it faces in the 2020s

  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research to the highest standards and disseminate findings through written reports, media articles, blogs, presentations and social media

  • Manage a rich network of stakeholders in the voluntary sector, government, the private sector, and academia to support and inform PBE’s research programme

  • Commission work from external partners when appropriate, identifying opportunities for collaboration and then managing the ongoing relationships

  • Propose, design and test policy solutions objectively and in association with others in order to further PBE’s aims of using economics to support social change

  • Establish and manage PBE’s research ‘style’, working with the Chief Executive to design, chart and document templates and managing the organisation’s quality assurance process

  • Communicate PBE’s work in print and broadcast media, and represent the organisation at our own seminars and at events run by others

  • Manage PBE’s relationship with its external communications agency, supporting the production of press notices, media campaigns and events organisation

  • Any other duties as deemed reasonable by the line manager.

About you

We are looking for an exceptional candidate with at least five years’ experience working in research and policy development. The role would suit candidates with formal training in economics and/or statistical analysis and a deep knowledge of the key government and administrative datasets relating to wellbeing, living standards and civil society in the UK. Candidates should be able point to a strong track record of project and people management, alongside a history of developing policy recommendations.

Ideal characteristics include:

  • Extensive experience of developing a research strategy and managing a programme of projects, with clear evidence of designing, managing and delivering high quality projects on time

  • A proven and extensive track record in original research or policy, with a first-rate understanding of quantitative and qualitative research techniques and evidence-based policy development

  • Experience of using a range of quantitative research techniques, econometric analysis and statistical packages

  • A proven track record for influencing policy change at the higher levels of government, and a demonstrable knowledge of the public policy issues relating to civil society

  • Experience of line management, including motivating others collectively and individually, overseeing career development and delegating and coordinating work effectively

  • Proven writing and presentational skills in a range of contexts and to a range of audiences, including published reports and press articles

  • A well-established network among the UK’s analytical and policy communities, alongside a proven ability to commission and monitor external projects

  • Proven experience of managing budgets

  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to work flexibly as part of a small team in a fast-moving environment

  • A commitment to PBE’s focus on using economics to drive wellbeing improvements in the UK.

Desirable characteristics include:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent knowledge gained in another environment

  • Qualitative research skills and experience of using a range of techniques

  • Comparative social and economic policy knowledge

  • Experience of working with the print and broadcast media.

Interviews: To be held week commencing 22 March 2020

PBE is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity

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Role posted - 2020-02-12T15:12:34Z 3:12pm, 12th Feb 2020 GMT