Onward Logo Colour White 2021

Head of Science and Technology

This is a critical moment for Science and Technology in the UK. Politicians in the Government and opposition are increasingly focussing on the role that science can play in increasing economic growth, creating better jobs, resolving social problems and improving the country’s international standing. The new Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology is a vehicle to champion this agenda, with new institutions like ARIA providing the opportunity to turn our science ambitions into reality.

In a short period, Onward has established its position at the fore of the science policy debate. We have published papers on the strengths and weaknesses of the UK’s science ecosystem, briefing notes on specific policy areas like R&D tax credits, and pamphlets bringing together leading voices on topics like Horizon Europe. We have hosted speeches from the Science Minister George Freeman, Shadow Culture and Digital Secretary Lucy Powell, and leading industry figures including Sir John Bell and Baroness Blackwood.

We are now looking for an outstanding individual to lead our Science Superpower programme into its next phase. The successful candidate should be a thought leader, with clear ideas, visions and propositions to support policymakers in realising goals around science and technology. They should have at least five years’ experience writing high quality research, ideally in science and technology policy, and be able to demonstrate project management experience. They must also be comfortable communicating their ideas as part of political and public policy debates – including through the media, public events and meetings with MPs and civil servants. 

Main responsibilities

  • Manage a science and innovation research programme, including taking charge of editing research, chairing public and private events, contributing to media and identifying funding. 
  • Conduct high quality research on science and innovation policy, including 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.
  • Write 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 liaising with the steering group for the programme.

Salary: £45,000 – £60,000. Negotiable, dependent on experience.

Commitment: Full-time. We are open to 12 month secondments for this role. 

Working pattern: 9am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, flexible working from home for part of the week, as well as the Westminster Office.

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

Closing date: 12th March 2023

Interviews will be held on 15th March in London.