Head of Science and Innovation

Onward is looking for an exceptional candidate to become Head of Science and Innovation, to lead a new research programme focused on making the UK a science superpower. The successful candidate will have decent experience writing high quality research, ideally in science and innovation policy, and be able to demonstrate project management experience. They must also be comfortable engaging with and contributing to public policy debates, including through the media, policy events and meetings with MPs and civil servants. 

The successful candidate would be joining Onward at an important time for the organisation and at a crucial time for UK science. Having launched three years ago, we have quickly established a reputation for rigorous research that gets traction not only in newspapers but also in policy. We pride ourselves on developing policy ideas that are timely, practical to deliver and politically possible. 

This is particularly vital in science and technology policy, where headline ambition and levels of funding (including in the November Budget) have not yet been matched with a detailed reform programme. There is a significant opportunity over the next two years to shape and influence the science and technology debate, and drive up the quality, speed, commercialisation and impact of UK research and innovation. 

Main responsibilities
  • Manage a science and innovation research programme, including taking charge of editing research, chairing events, contributing to media and identifying funding. 
  • Conduct high quality research on science and innovation policy, including high quality data-driven analysis and practical, ambitious policy ideas. 
  • Build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders at the highest levels of government, the media, industry and among the policy community. 
  • Plan and deliver Onward events, including roundtables, panels, and policy workshops. 
  • Produce regular articles for newspapers, websites and other outlets.
  • Manage a small research team of one or two researchers, as well as external policy fellows, and liaise with the steering group for the programme. 

Salary: £45-£55,000, with flexibility for the right candidate.

Commitment: Ideally full-time. 

Working pattern: 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, flexible working from home and the Westminster Office.

Deadline: 21 January 2022

Start Date: Flexible. 

Application details: To apply for this role, please send your CV, a one page cover letter and any relevant published research to will.tanner@ukonward.com