Research and Policy Manager 

About The Challenge

The Challenge’s vision is a more integrated society where there is understanding and appreciation of each other’s differences. We design and deliver programmes that bring different people together to develop their confidence and skills in understanding and connecting with others.

We also develop ideas to forge a more socially integrated Britain. During 2014 and 2015, The Challenge convened the Social Integration Commission. Following the Commission’s conclusion, we set up the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Social Integration, which is chaired by Chuka Umunna MP.

We believe everyone benefits when people from all walks of life come together to better know, understand and trust each other. This also applies to the people we employ to work with us. As an equal opportunities employer our aim is to have a diverse workforce to reflect the communities we work in.

This is a unique opportunity to join a dynamic organisation which works with young people and local communities across the country. 

About the role

The Research and Policy Manager will drive The Challenge’s thought leadership work. The successful candidate will work to the Head of Public Affairs, Policy and Research, joining a department which – collaborating closely with The Challenge’s Communications and Campaigns team – seeks to cultivate a political landscape and public conversation in which the need for institutions and initiatives bringing together people from different backgrounds to meet, mix and connect is recognised, and to raise awareness of The Challenge and its work. The post-holder will:

  • Conduct qualitative and quantitative research on social integration issues and in pursuit of the above aims.
  • Produce, commission and edit authoritative research and policy reports.
  • Build a compelling and convincing evidence base on the benefits of ‘social mixing’ as well as the challenges involved in building a more socially integrated society.
  • Develop policy recommendations aimed at growing understanding of The Challenge’s theory of change and persuading political and policy stakeholders to prioritise action to boost social integration. This will at times mean working to inject a focus on social integration into existing policy debates on, for example, education and social mobility issues.
  • Work with the Head of Public Affairs, Policy and Research to design a research work programme balancing the need to generate findings which are aligned with The Challenge’s organisational mission with those which are politically salient and media-friendly – achieving maximum overall impact against our strategic objectives.
  • Manage the delivery of this work programme on a day-to-day basis.
  • Draft briefings for internal and external use and responses to consultations.
  • Manage partnerships and cultivate positive relationships with relevant academics, think tanks and practitioners.
  • Draft research grant applications and pursue external funding opportunities.
  • Produce articles, blogs and essays on research insights and policy recommendations.
  • Work closely with colleagues across The Challenge’s Public Affairs, Policy and Research, Communications and Campaigns and Strategy teams to ensure that our research output meets the wider needs of the organisation.
  • Liaise with colleagues across the organisation to incorporate impact data and insights gathered through our programmes within compelling research reports and briefings.

We are looking for outstanding individuals with the following qualities:

  • At least five years of experience of working in policy and research roles.
  • Knowledge of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  • A keen interest and understanding of UK politics, policy debates and social issues.
  • Strong written communications skills.
  • Articulate and able to confidently represent the organisation externally.
  • A good self-starter, able to spot opportunities and act on initiative.
  • A team player who enjoys working collaboratively and is capable of supporting colleagues across departments and locations whilst assessing and balancing competing agendas and priorities.
  • A talent for juggling numerous tasks and prioritising effectively, and an ability to work under pressure.
  • Desire to strive for continuous improvement by seeking and sharing feedback appropriately and respectfully.
  • Comfortable working with new ideas, information and concepts.

Safeguarding Statement

The Challenge is committed to safeguarding and protecting the young people that we work with. As such, all posts are subject to a safer recruitment process, including the disclosure of criminal records and vetting checks. We ensure that we have a range of policies and procedures in place which promote safeguarding and safer working practice across our programmes. We expect all staff and post holders to share this commitment to safeguarding by ensuring compliance with our policies and practices.

Employment Screening

Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application will be considered for this role.

Further Details                  

  • Benefits: In addition to being part of a fun, dynamic and challenging workforce, we are proud to offer an attractive benefits package including contributory pension, Simplyhealth cash plan, Ride 2 Work, childcare vouchers, season ticket travel card loan etc. to eligible employees.
  • Location: London Waterloo Office.
  • Status: This is a full-time, permanent role.
  • Salary: £40,000 per annum.
  • To apply: Please send a CV and one-page covering letter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Closing Date: 12 PM on December 1.
  • Start Date: As soon as possible following appointment.