Senior Researcher

Closing date 23 September 2019
Organisation Unltd
Location National – assigned to an UnLtd office (London, Birmingham, Bradford, Northern Ireland, Edinburgh or Glasgow) with regular travel across the UK
Hours Full time
Salary Band D, £30,693 - £36,110 + London weighting of £3,285 if applicable
Telephone 02075661100
About UnLtd
UnLtd is the leading provider of support to social entrepreneurs in the UK and offers the largest such network in the world. Our vision is a future where enterprising people are transforming our world for good.
Our mission is to find social entrepreneurs with bold solutions to today’s challenges. We support a range of social entrepreneurs – from start-ups to those with more established social ventures with the opportunity to scale their impact. Through funding and support, we help them to realise their potential and create lasting change. 

For more information please visit and to find out more about our strategy and impact.

Context for the role
Our bold strategy “Going Mainstream” strategy, requires us to step up our performance, our impact and our learning. It requires us to have a more public, evidence-based approach to policy and campaigns to amplify the impact of our social entrepreneurs, and to take social entrepreneurship from being perceived as a niche activity into the mainstream.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, creative and analytical critical thinker to join our growing Research & Impact team. To be successful in the role, you will be able to work in a systematic and collaborative way to collect, make sense of, and use data from social entrepreneurs and partners. You will be passionate about using insights and evidence to drive change and enjoy working both independently and collaboratively.

This role within the Research & Impact Directorate, reflects the organisation’s commitment to building a strong evidence base and putting impact and learning at the heart of everything it does. 

Overall purpose of the role 
As a Researcher at UnLtd you will be responsible for bringing together our research and evaluation activity for one of our impact areas. You will contribute to developing a culture of learning, ensuring that insights and evidence generated by our research and evaluation activity feed back into the organisation. You will work effectively with the rest of the UnLtd Research and Impact team, other UnLtd colleagues, external researchers, learning partners, funders and contractors to help us be an impact-driven, agile, learning organisation.

Key responsibilities

1.Contribute to the delivery of high-quality evaluations of impact areas, external programmes, core activities and other aspects of UnLtd work, in line with our theory of change.
  • Oversee UnLtd’s research and evaluation activity for one of our impact areas, working effectively with the relevant co-pilot
  • Ensure data collected allows us to evidence and test UnLtd’s Theory of Change and feeds into the Collective Impact Frameworks, where relevant
  • Represent the R&I Directorate in relevant impact area activity, championing our Theory of Change and Collective impact frameworks across the organisation
  • With the support of the Head of Research, Impact & Learning, manage a range of other evaluation activity, and where appropriate, manage consultants and contractors to ensure that all deliverables are useful, high quality and timely
  • Conduct and oversee fieldwork using qualitative and participatory methods (e.g. interviews, focus groups) and analyse data to draw out key insights and findings
2.Contribute to developing an evidence-base around and for social entrepreneurs to enable them to break through the barriers they face
  • Develop a specialism around one of our impact areas to become an organisational expert in terms of depth and breadth of subject
  • Deliver research in line with our Theories of Change to demonstrate the impact of social entrepreneurs and/or explore thematic issues and barriers, generating an evidence base to drive our influencing and campaigns work
  • Conduct desk-based research, horizon scanning, rapid reviews and other ad hoc research requests as required
  • Contribute to a system of peer review and quality assurance, ensuring that all research complies with ethical standards
3.Support the development of research methodologies and tools that enable UnLtd to demonstrate impact and be an agile learning organisation, building on successes and learning from failures
  • Contribute to development of our core research methodologies
  • Be a source of expertise within UnLtd on best practice for research and evaluation
  • Work with the team and colleagues across the organisation to effectively contribute to a positive culture of learning and continuous improvement
4. Synthesise and communicate our insights and evidence in an effective and compelling way, to drive change across the organisation and in the wider sector
  • Work with Research & Impact team to identify and communicate actionable insights and evidence from research and evaluation activity to: design our work with social entrepreneurs; develop our knowledge and understanding of social entrepreneurship; and inform our reach and influence work.
  • Contribute to a range of high-quality learning outputs to meet internal and external needs and deadlines, ensuring that all outputs are peer-reviewed and follow quality assurance processes within the team
  • Contribute to developing our online presence, writing evidence summaries/briefings, blogs or articles, and representing UnLtd at appropriate events or meetings
Other responsibilities:
  • Contribute to, facilitate, record and report on internal and external events, ensuring learning feeds back into the organisation
  • Recruit, support, coach and supervise research interns so that they learn and grow as well as positively contributing to the Research & Impact team.
  • Identify research opportunities; contribute to proposals and bids to achieve our aims, raise income and our profile
  • Contribute to maintaining and developing internal and external relationships and the reputation of UnLtd Research & Impact
  • Comply with the GDPR and other relevant data protection legislation
Person Specification
Experience in an evaluation or applied research role       Y   Application & Interview
Demonstrative ability to interpret and work with both qualitative and quantitative data                                                                                             Y 
Relevant research experience or a graduate degree in a related discipline which required primary research, e.g Sociology, Psychology or another Social Science
Experience of designing and delivering high quality primary research or evaluation, having developed a methodological expertise, e.g. mixed-methods, participatory approaches, ethnography, or theory-based evaluation  
Experience of running interviews, surveys, focus groups and participatory methods to collect data
Experience of conducting desk top research and literature reviews, and writing publications  
Good IT skills, especially MS Office, and competence in using data analysis and reporting software packages, such as Nvivo, SPSS or Qlik Sense 
Experience using evidence and insight to design programmes, products or services 
                                                                                                  Application & Interview
A creative and systems thinker with a proactive approachY InterviewDemonstrable experience of multi-tasking and prioritising conflicting demands on your time, meeting deadlines and seeing projects through from conception to completion
                                                                                                     Application & Interview
Excellent inter-personal skills and ability to communicate research findings to different audiencesY InterviewExperience in visualising and communicating insights in a compelling and creative way 
                                                                                                  Application & Interview
Experience of working in areas relevant to social entrepreneurship and/or one of UnLtd’s impact areas 
                                                                                                  Application & Interview

About you
You are motivated, committed, and with a deep empathy and connection to our mission and values You have real intellectual curiosity and a desire to understand based on rigorous evidence and collective wisdom
You are collaborative and a systems thinker with experience and interest in business development, design, innovation and policy

You are able to balance the role of an individual with considerable initiative, with the need to work as a team-member of a national organisation 
You demonstrate personal integrity and professionalism at all times 
You have excellent communication and persuasion skills with the ability to negotiate and influence at all levels 
You are an energetic and inspiring individual with an inclusive approach to supervising others  
You are a confident decision maker, able to make sound judgements under pressure 
You are methodical and well-organised, adept at juggling multiple concurrent priorities and demands 
You are willing to travel across the UK and occasionally internationally

UnLtd’s Values
At UnLtd we are looking for people who support our values below:
We are Brave
  • We are ambitious about achieving social change
  • We are bold in pursuing new ideas
  • We are resilient in the face of adversity
We are Inclusive
  • We actively seek out great talent from everywhere
  • We value diversity and welcome challenging points of view
  • We foster an open and supportive environment
We are Accountable
  • We are transparent in our decisions and actions
  • When things go wrong, we learn from it
  • We hold ourselves to our purpose
UnLtd values diversity and is committed to inclusion and understanding intersectionality. These are more than buzz words for us. They’re principles guiding how we build our teams, support leaders, empower social entrepreneurs and create an organisation that’s the right fit for every person. 
To support an inclusive environment where employees feel empowered to share their lived experiences and ideas, we have embedded an inclusion group within UnLtd made up of staff, alumni and partners whom are diverse in age, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, ethnicity, and religious beliefs. 

This accompanied by the 9 protected characteristics of the equalities act means together we have a wide range of different perspectives in our work to help us see what is most needed in society. 

However you identify, we would like to hear from you. We are particularly keen to hear from those who identify as BAME, LGBTQIA, those with disabilities and those in later life as we are committed to continue to diversify our teams.

How to Apply
You will need to submit a recent CV and cover letter that tells us about why you are interested in the role, how you meet the person specification, and how your skills and experiences relate to the responsibilities outlined in the job description (max. 2 pages)

To apply visit:

Application Closing Date:10am on 23rd September 2019
Telephone Interviews: 30th September 2019 
Final Interviews: 08th October 2019

*UnLtd is committed to offering employment opportunities for people with criminal convictions. As a result, we will only ask you about any criminal convictions at initial offer stage. Your information will be treated fairly and confidentially and will not automatically exclude you from the role that you have applied for.

Find out more about our generous range of employment benefits by clicking on the link below:
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