R&D Project Holder (Korean-speaking) | R&D 프로젝트 리드(한국어)

Dark Matter Labs

Employment Type Part time 2-3 days per week for first 6 months, with possible increase from 2025.
Location Hybrid · Seoul, South Korea Quarterly/monthly visits to Seoul for stakeholder meetings (key in-person meeting in Dec 2024).
Salary We distribute our wages according to a pay formula. Please see the job description for more details.
Team Tech Embassy for the Future
Seniority Senior
  • Closing: 3:50pm, 9th Jun 2024 BST

Job Description

About this role

Dark Matter Labs (Dm) is working on what is needed to manifest transformations to our food, housing, land, material and nature systems towards a future of mutual thriving. In doing this, we analyse the shifts it requires in the underlying ‘dark matter’ - monetary, economic, governance, regulatory and policy systems - to make this possible, and we work with partners to demonstrate these alternatives in neighbourhoods, cities and bioregions. We share these insights openly for mutual learning.

Since its founding in 2021, Dm Korea has been designing and delivering various smart city-related projects across Korea and Asia (see Permissioning the City). We are seeking a Project Holder and Researcher to lead a multilateral national research project with leading national science and ICT institutions. Tech Embassy for the Future is a multi-year project that aims to design investment logic and options for technological infrastructure amidst the ecological, technological, and societal transitions of the 21st century.

Focus Area 1 - Project Leadership and Delivery - 40%

  • Lead Dark Matter Labs' contributions to the South Korea Tech Embassy project, managing the multi-year development in collaboration with leading national R&D and academic institutions.

  • Ensure quality, timely, budget-conscious delivery of project objectives.

  • Build and maintain strong relationships with local public, academic and private partners.

  • Liaise with consortium partner organisations to streamline project delivery. (biweekly or monthly online check-ins)

Focus Area 2 - Research and Development - 40%

  • Conduct and oversee research on the design of technological infrastructures in ecological, technological, and societal transitions.

  • Develop innovative approaches and produce written outputs on themes related to tangible as well as intangible infrastructures like anticipatory capacities, data and digital infrastructure, and connected interoperable assets.

  • Engage in independent research and innovation, contributing to civic transformation and systems design.

Focus Area 3 - Stakeholder Engagement and Communication - 20%

  • Build and maintain empathetic and effective relationships and communication with team members and external partners.

  • Foster clear, open communication to build trust and collaboration.

  • Navigate dynamic partnership arrangements and resources with political awareness.

  • Continuously develop new funding pathways and remain aware of emerging opportunities.

You might thrive in this role if

  • You have autonomous leadership qualities: You can independently lead complex projects, make strategic decisions, and take full ownership of the project's success.

  • You possess innovative research skills: You have been conducting advanced research, and are excited in themes related to intangible system infrastructures such as anticipatory capacities, data and digital infrastructure, AI, safety and connected interoperable assets.

  • You are a Korean-fluent connector: You speak native Korean (as well as fluent English), ensuring effective communication and collaboration with local and national government bodies, and leading science and ICT institutions. You understand Korean public, academic, and private institutions' culture and engage effectively within this context.

  • You excel in dealing with complexity: You navigate and understand complex, interconnected human and technological systems by asking insightful questions and comprehending intricate relationships.

  • You are strategically mission-oriented: You critically analyse diverse information to create forward-thinking strategies that work towards the project's mission. You understand the project's positionality, balancing Dark Matter Labs’ mission with the day-to-day requirements of multiple stakeholders.

  • You have strong project management and delivery skills: You implement and coordinate complex, multi-stakeholder projects with precision and attention to detail, and ideally have experience leading long-term projects with public and civic partners, especially those with significant innovation components.

  • You are adaptable and a proactive problem solver: You adapt to changing circumstances and switch between strategic and operational roles as required by the project. You approach problems iteratively, refining solutions through continuous learning and adaptation. By identifying emerging patterns and synthesising information, you proactively address challenges with innovative and collaborative solutions.

Who you might work closely with

  • Dark Matter Labs Advisory board (team members like Eunji, Indy, Joost, Eunsoo, Jayne…), your internal thought partners supporting you with mission alignment and systemic sensemaking.

  • Partners and stakeholders in the South Korean innovation, research and technology landscape, including one leading national university.

  • Different teams and circles within Dm, adapting to changing roles and structures. 

How we work

We're a multi-disciplinary and distributed team based around the globe. What's important to us is using the context and local conditions of projects to grow our knowledge and use it to iterate our knowledge and practice across all of our work. We pride ourselves on learning, experimentation and intuition, and look to provide members of the team ways in which they can grow their own knowledge and practice. We view projects, processes and how we work as an evolving design that you would be part of shaping.

Please check our Jobs page for more information on how we organise.


Our approach to pay is not based on favouring one skill over another or rewarding hierarchical power dynamics. Instead, we recognize that everyone possesses unique and exceptional skills, and we remove the process of valuing and comparing them. This allows us to focus on unleashing those skills in diverse ways based on the specific context. It gives us the freedom to determine, assign, and assess roles based on what is most suitable for each situation, rather than being constrained by predefined roles tied to compensation.

As a result, our pay is designed not to reward people for tasks done, but to cover living costs so that we are freed to create what we believe is needed in the world. 

Our current base pay for everyone on the team is: Formula = (((Years experience + 23) (+ 8.82 for freelancers)) *1000) = gross pro rata pay in GBP.

Years experience includes all experience after school completion age (18) - inc work, education, unpaid work (care, volunteering, etc).

We recognise that no formula that tries to do this can fully account for the unique contexts of every person. Therefore we also have a rebalancing process in place to accommodate individual circumstances.

We have recently put in place a range of benefits support across the team, including coaching, learning funds, sabbatical and secondment support, learning funds, workspace funds and more. These were set collectively by the team and vary according to statutory provisions in different geographies - we’ll be happy to confirm the relevant approach for your geography and contract type.

Our holiday policy is a minimum of 28 days/year pro-rata, but we encourage you to take all of the time that you need to properly rest.

Your Hiring Journey at Dark Matter Labs

This page outlines how the process will look if you apply. We recommend checking it, and if you have any questions, please write to us at join@darkmatterlabs.org.

Removing bias from the hiring process

Applications closed Sun 9th Jun 2024


Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Applications closed Sun 9th Jun 2024