Research Manager

Start date: ASAP

Location: London Waterloo

The recent EU referendum has highlighted the level of division within the UK by ethnicity, age, income and education. The Challenge exists to build a more united, integrated society. The issues of Social Integration and the importance of bringing people from different backgrounds together are moving up the political and policy agenda. We are looking for an enthusiastic and creative professional to lead our research work with the aim of establishing The Challenge as a go to expert on the issue of social integration.

About the role

This is a new role and the successful candidate will have the opportunity to build our research base virtually from scratch. Our work; as Secretariat to the Social Integration Commission in 2014/15; partnering with UCL on a recent gathering of academics; and now as Secretariat to the APPG on Social Integration – has put down some early seeds in establishing our research base. We now need someone to cultivate and build on this work so that we can make a clear and compelling case to decision-makers that social integration matters. We also need someone who can make best use of our unique selling point in the policy sphere – we don’t just talk about social integration; we deliver programmes which bring tens of thousands of young people from different backgrounds together.

The successful candidate will:

  • Build a compelling and convincing evidence base around the benefits of social integration as well as the challenges involved in building a more integrated society, and establish The Challenge as a “go to expert” on the subject.
  • Work with colleagues across the organisation to incorporate impact data gathered from our three programmes (National Citizen Service, HeadStart and Step Forward) in compelling research reports – practically making the case for social integration while also promoting the work of our programmes.
  • Build on our recent partnership with UCL, and reach out to academics and think tanks in this field to ensure The Challenge develops a research strategy and plays an active part in developing the conversation around social integration.
  • Identify creative ways to make the case for social integration and produce research reports which back up our theory of change. This will mean introducing a social integration angle to existing debates on, for example, education, housing, immigration or social mobility.
  • Work with colleagues in our Public Affairs & Policy team to support the development of impactful policy proposals and ensure they are able to make a persuasive case to decision makers.
  • Work with our Campaigns Manager to ensure our campaign aims are underpinned by compelling evidence. Work with our Communications Manager and help to establish The Challenge as a thought leader and ensure they can promote our research reports to a wide audience.
  • Manage the Research budget and work with a fundraiser to attract grant funding. In time, make the case for a wider research team to support the role.

You will be joining the Public Affairs, Campaigns & Communications team however short-term political, campaigns or media concerns will not be allowed to blow your research off course or dictate the terms of your projects.

The successful candidate will be:

  • Thorough and precise – you will be educated to degree level at minimum, probing when it comes to details, able to grasp issues quickly and dig down into the detail to see what is important.
  • A number cruncher who can write in plain English – you will be required to analyse data and understand statistics so you need to be confident with numbers, but we need you to translate these numbers into a clear and compelling story so the ability to communicate complex ideas and concepts in simple persuasive language is essential.
  • Ambitious and enthusiastic – you will be more or less starting from scratch on an issue which isn’t well established so you will need the right attitude to stay focussed on your goals.
  • Informed and curious – you are the kind of person who reads think tank reports for fun, understands the policy landscape (and who our allies and competitors are) and who wants to contribute to the debate.

About The Challenge

Our country is becoming more diverse, by ethnicity, age and income. Diversity without integration is leading to greater inequality and barriers to accessing opportunities; this is costing our economy, and is raising levels of distrust and isolation in our communities. As diversity increases, it is critical that we steer our country towards greater integration.

The Challenge works on a local level to bring people together from all walks of life and from different backgrounds. We design and deliver programmes that change people’s beliefs and attitudes towards those who are different from them, in order to bring about greater understanding, positive behaviour change, and a more integrated society. We also develop and campaign on policy ideas to build a more integrated Britain and work with decision makers to promote these ideas.

Founded in 2009, we are a national charity. As an equal opportunities employer our aim is to have a diverse workforce from all walks of life and to reflect the communities we work in.

Person specification

  • We are looking for an outstanding individual with the following qualities:
  • Excellent research and analytical skills
  • Experience of managing research projects
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Evidence of initiative and being a self-starter
  • Organised with an ability to juggle and prioritise competing tasks.
  • A good understanding of social and domestic policy.
  • An understanding of social integration would be desirable. 

Further details

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.

  • Salary: £40,000 per annum (we are happy to consider applications for part time working – 4 days per week minimum)
  • Please apply by sending your CV and cover letter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by 5pm on Monday 22nd August
  • Interviews will take place on Tuesday 30th August and Wednesday 31st August

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.

No Agencies.