Job Title: Research Manager
Location: Based near any SMF target City (London, Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow) with a mix of home and office working
Contract Type: Permanent
Closing Date: 12pm, 27th September, 2021
Virtual Interviews: Week commencing 4th October 2021
About the Social Mobility Foundation and the Department for Opportunities
The Social Mobility Foundation is a high profile national charity with offices across the UK. We help thousands of young people from low income backgrounds enter universities and professions through programmes of mentoring, internships, university application support and skills development. We run the Social Mobility Employers Index, which ranks UK employers on how open they are to talent from all social backgrounds and showcases progress towards social mobility.
Building on the knowledge we have gained from 15 years of delivering programmes and working with young people we are now building our influence and campaigning more widely to improve social mobility across the UK. Through our campaign arm, the Department for Opportunities, we run campaigns based on research, make policy recommendations, identify best practice and influence organisations and decision makers with the aim of reversing the declining levels of social mobility in the UK.
We strive for excellence in everything we do and the right candidate will be joining an enthusiastic, committed and successful team, which has high expectations for the young people we support.
About the role
Reporting line: Head of Campaigns and Advocacy
Salary band: £31,000 – £37,000 per annum plus £2000 London weighting (if applicable).
Benefits: 25 days annual leave; bonus annual leave days between Christmas and New Year; 5% employer pension contribution after a satisfactory completion of a four month probation period, flexible working hours.
Hours: Full time (37.5 hours) 9am-5.30pm (flexible working hours available)
Reporting to the Head of Campaigns and Advocacy the Research Manager will lead on all research for the Social Mobility Foundation and the Department for Opportunities. Your work will ensure we can develop unique insights, produce fresh evidence and recommendations, and compile social mobility league tables by sector.
You will be confident analysing data and in independently producing, and commissioning, original research which will be used to back up our campaigns and advocacy work and build the case for improving social mobility in the UK. The role includes line management responsibilities for a research and policy assistant.
You will work closely with the Employer Index Manager to support our annual Social Mobility Employer Index, including questionnaire development and the analysis and interpretation of data and insights. This is an exciting opportunity to put your mark on our Index, which ranks UK employers on how open they are to talent from all social backgrounds, showcases progress on social mobility and which has significantly added to the understanding and promotion of social mobility among employers over the past five years.
You will also work alongside the Communications Manager supporting them to gain a wider audience for your findings and recommendations, ensuring maximum research impact.
Person Specification/ Experience
- You will be an experienced social researcher, skilled in a variety of research methods (including quantitative and qualitative), and able to translate data into meaningful and persuasive analysis and stories
- Experience of leading and conducting research, drafting research briefs and commissioning external agencies to undertake research
- Previous experience working in multi-disciplinary teams
- Confident using Excel
- Confident using SPSS and/or R
- Experience responding to and engaging with government consultations and the policy process
- Able to come up with innovative solutions for complex research problems
- A high level of project management skill, able to manage a number of different projects at any given time, completing them to a high quality
- Able to identify and maintain external relationships with key stakeholders
- Excellent interpersonal, communication and delegation skills
- Able to analyse data and interpret findings accurately and in an accessible way
- Able to quickly digest research and media reports and identify the salient issues
- Passionate about research impact
- Excellent attention to detail
- Committed improving Social Mobility in the UK
- Demonstrable ability to line manage junior social researchers
- Design and be responsible for delivering research that supports our advocacy and campaign aims, and that drives social change.
- Identify new areas of research that will receive political and media attention
- Collate, analyse and interpret data from the Social Mobility Employer Index and research up to date employer practice and developments to support its growth, keeping the Index relevant and at the forefront of social mobility practices.
- Commission external agencies and researchers to undertake research aimed to support our policy, advocacy and campaign aims.
- Monitor developments in public policy and draft briefings for internal and external audiences
- Build connections externally and contribute to debates around social mobility
- Have responsibility, oversight and quality control over all published reports produced by the Social Mobility Foundation and Department for Opportunities.
- Be responsible for the line management and development of our policy and research assistant
PLEASE NOTE, we do not accept CVs.
Interested candidates should apply by sending the following information to email@example.com by 12pm, 27th September 2021:
- A letter outlining your suitability for the role, including your previous experience and what you think you could bring to the team
- n example of a piece of research you have conducted, where it was necessary for you to come up with an innovative solution to solve a complex research problem. Please describe the nature of the problem, the solution you came up with and your role in conducting the research
- A recommendation for a specific issue which DO should undertake research into, an overview of the methodology, an explanation of why you would choose this area and some thoughts on how you could ensure it was impactful (500 words maximum)
We value ability and potential more than specific experience, and we are committed to having a team that is made up of diverse skills, experiences and abilities. We actively encourage applications from people from low socio-economic backgrounds, from people who are care-experienced, and from people who are Black, Asian or of minoritised ethnicity.
Please note that generic applications will not be considered. If you have any questions about the role, please contact Rosalind Goates – Head of Advocacy and Campaigns, firstname.lastname@example.org