Nesta
Nesta

Charity registered in Scotland SC042833

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality. It also means changing lives for the better. This is what keeps us awake at night and gets us out of bed in the morning.

Current vacancies

Top job! Head of Nesta Scotland

  • Full time
  • £68,000 – £77,000
  • Edinburgh Scotland, Hybrid working
  • Closing 15th February 2023

We are recruiting for a Head of Nesta Scotland

We are a UK-wide charity with dedicated offices in Edinburgh, Cardiff and London. Nesta Scotland is integral to delivering impact at scale through our strategy.

About Nesta

We are Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency for social good. We design, test and scale solutions to society’s biggest problems. Our three missions are to give every child a fair start, help people live healthy lives, and create a sustainable future where the economy works for both people and the planet.

For over 20 years, we have worked to support, encourage and inspire innovation. We work in three roles: as an innovation partner working with frontline organisations to design and test new solutions, as a venture builder supporting new and early stage businesses, and as a system shaper creating the conditions for innovation.

Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to change millions of lives for the better. Find out more at nesta.org.uk.

Our Scotland team operates alongside our central mission teams to deliver Nesta’s strategic aims in Scotland.

The Head of Nesta Scotland will work closely with Mission Directors and a dedicated Mission Manager for each mission based in Scotland.

About the role

The Head of Nesta Scotland role has several areas of responsibility:

Scotland lead: Being the “face of” Nesta in Scotland, supporting the development of impactful partnerships alongside other teams at Nesta, and acting as the expert on the policy, innovation and operating environment in Scotland.

· Responsible for being the senior point of contact for the Nesta team in Scotland and the public face of Nesta to media and high level stakeholders (eg: government, industry, academia and potential partner organisations);

· Write, edit and/or review thought leadership and policy content for a range of audiences, working with the Communications team as part of a broader communications strategy for Scotland

· Proactively championing Nesta, our missions and issues to wider audiences through media and stakeholder engagement;

· Proactively identifying and reactively responding to mission-aligned opportunities with key partners in Scotland to amplify our impact.

· Working closely with other leaders at Nesta and representing the interests of the Scotland team in leadership decisions to deliver against our strategic goals.

Driving impact at scale: Understanding how impact gets delivered at scale in relation to each of our missions in Scotland, building strong routes to working with the Scottish Government and other key partners.

· Develop and deliver on a strategy to drive impact on our missions in Scotland, including through close work with the Scottish Government;

· Work with Mission Directors and other teams at Nesta to identify opportunities to deliver on our strategies in Scotland;

· Work with mission teams to help develop robust evidence-based policy recommendations for Scotland and to effectively communicate those with government partners;

· Work with Mission Managers to build scaling into their projects from the outset and help them to dock into the right people, processes, and networks to stand the best chance of this being a success.

Office manager: Being responsible for making sure Nesta staff based in Scotland have a great home office, a safe and enjoyable working environment, and ample pastoral support at work. Oversight and responsibility for the Scottish operating budget.

· Make sure we are compliant with the terms of our lease;

· Make sure the office environment enables people to do their work;

· Make sure people feel safe and valued in the office;

· Resolve any disputes or issues (with appropriate help) that arise in relation to the office or staff;

· Ensure the team has and uses its social budget.

Team lead: Making sure Nesta staff in Scotland feel connected to colleagues across Nesta, are up-to-speed on matters that affect them at Nesta, develop professionally within their roles and are able to do their jobs well.

· Support staff in the delivery of their work, helping them to navigate uncertainty and find productive ways forward;

· Facilitate relationships between mission team colleagues and influential stakeholders. For example, by asking higher-level government contacts for an introduction to those at working level in a Department;

· Support colleagues to develop professionally, particularly in your areas of expertise.

The person

Preferred qualification and experience:

· Experience working in or with the Scottish Government and/or other key decision makers in Scotland and navigating the Scottish operating environment;

· Strong understanding of how the Scottish Government works and ways to influence it;

· Experience of communicating to a wider audience via media or other routes;

· Excellent management of high-level stakeholder relationships and networking skills;

· Ability to set out a clear strategy and convince others of a recommended strategic direction;

· Experience of how to navigate internal relationships and work effectively with a wider variety of teams to get work done;

· Excellent team management and resource management skills;

· Ability to interpret evidence, draw conclusions and recommendations and communicate these effectively internally and externally;

· (Not essential) Expertise in at least one of Nesta’s mission areas.

· Strong ability to manage and develop yourself at work. You demonstrate high levels of initiative and willingness to take responsibility for your own workload and professional development.

What we offer

Salary: £68k-£77k plus array of benefits, including private medical insurance, dental insurance, the ability to buy and sell annual leave, eyecare vouchers and more

Location: This role is based in Edinburgh. We offer flexibility for our people to work remotely, but expect everyone to work from a Nesta office two days per week and be available for key internal and external meetings.

Term: Permanent

Hours: This is a full-time role but we offer a range of flexible working arrangements and encourage our people to take advantage of them. Many do.

Reports to: Deputy Chief Programmes Officer, Nesta

Shortlist

Top job! Mission Manager – A Sustainable Future

  • Full time
  • £50,000 – £62,000
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Closing 20th February 2023

We are Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency for social good. We design, test and scale solutions to society’s biggest problems. Our three missions are to give every child a fair start, help people live healthy lives, and create a sustainable future where the economy works for both people and the planet.

For over 20 years, we have worked to support, encourage and inspire innovation. We work in three roles: as an innovation partner working with frontline organisations to design and test new solutions, as a venture builder supporting new and early stage businesses, and as a system shaper creating the conditions for innovation.

Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to change millions of lives for the better. Find out more at nesta.org.uk

Our Sustainable Future Mission

Our mission is to accelerate the decarbonisation of household activities in Scotland and across the UK and improve levels of productivity.

In Scotland, 78% of homes use mains gas to heat their homes. To meet the Scottish Government's 2030 and 2045 carbon emissions reduction targets, heat pump installations need to double every year from now until 2030. Our mission to help decarbonise how we heat our homes in Scotland offers unique opportunities; a more favourable policy environment and a larger social housing stock mean that we can potentially work more closely with the Scottish Government, national agencies and housing providers to test and scale innovative approaches to make change happen. Our impact plan for Scotland has a particular focus on exploring how we can harness social innovation methods to help evidence and scale skills and training opportunities for the provision of low carbon heating in Scotland.

Our goal is that by 2030 the UK will have reduced household emissions by 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

The role

This role leads on the scoping, design and delivery of Nesta’s work in Scotland on our Sustainable Future mission. You will work proactively to deliver active projects as well as develop a pipeline of partnerships, collaborations and business development opportunities in support of our Sustainable Future mission in Scotland.

You'll take what you know from your existing experience of social innovation and/or low carbon heating to scope innovative projects to help achieve our mission goals. You'll lead on recruiting Scottish partners to work with to test those ideas, drawing from your existing networks in the field.

You will work with our Head of Nesta Scotland (based in Edinburgh) and Mission Director (based in London) as well as colleagues across Nesta’s innovation practices - such as data science, design and behavioural science) to pull together multi-disciplinary teams to help improve local outcomes in our mission area and deliver demonstrable impact.

As the point person for this mission in Scotland, this is definitely a role for someone who likes getting their hands dirty and can proactively combine scoping, researching and doing.

As a bridge between Nesta in Scotland and the central Sustainable Future mission team, this position will play a critical role in establishing effective ways of working between Nesta’s missions and the team in Scotland, working with the rest of the mission team to ensure the ASF mission has a strong presence in Scotland and that learning from projects in the rest of the UK informs our work in Scotland, and vice versa.

Alongside these core duties you will have the opportunity to support the mission more broadly, either through delivery of projects across the UK and/or through working as a mission representative for critical organisational priorities such as Nesta’s commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

This role will be expected to:

  • Lead on the design and delivery of practical innovation projects within this mission field in Scotland.
  • Direct and work on the end-to-end project cycle, for example:
    • Overseeing, conducting, and reviewing the outputs of primary research. For example: interviews, observations, data analysis.
    • Leading on the establishment of a project theory of change to explain how an intended outcome would be achieved through a particular solution.
    • Leading on identifying, shortlisting, testing, and selecting appropriate solutions for implementation and evaluation.
    • Working with colleagues from Nesta’s various practices to devise an appropriate evaluation design for any solutions being implemented and ensuring the technical details are fit for purpose in the local operating context.
    • Coaching partners through each innovation or prototyping cycle and the wider change needed inside the organisation to make it successful.
    • Owning relationships with stakeholders sponsoring the project and making sure they value and enjoy working with Nesta.
  • Work with the UK wide Mission Director and Deputy Directors, as well as Head of Nesta Scotland, to scope new projects for this mission in Scotland and set up effective teams to deliver this work. This includes scoping and agreeing the formal, technical parameters for each project (e.g. budget, team, deliverables), as well as building an effective culture for delivering the project (e.g. joining up well with central Mission team colleagues in London and building effective and impactful ways of working).
  • Represent Nesta’s sustainable future mission to external audiences in Scotland including to stakeholders and the media
  • Critically assess whether live projects are on track, and suggest / put in place mechanisms to realign the work plan as necessary.
  • Quickly get to grips with the Scotland specific context that mission projects take place in. Working across a variety of projects means you will need to be able to develop contextual competence fast and build effective working relationships with key local partners and stakeholders.
  • Proactively develop a pipeline of partnerships, collaborations or business development opportunities in support of this mission in Scotland
  • Provide line management to team members, both permanent staff and other team members who are part of the project on a temporary basis as needed/required. This includes delegation and oversight of work, as well as personal and professional development.

Minimum qualifications

  • At least three years’ experience delivering relevant programmes, projects or research work specifically and directly in Scotland in areas related to our A Sustainable Future mission focus.
  • A detailed understanding of the Scottish operating environment in relation to the Sustainable Future mission.
  • Experience in the practice or policy context for our Sustainable Future mission - E.g. good knowledge of the low carbon heating sector in Scotland, understanding of Scotland’s heat in buildings strategy, green skills agenda or the wider focus on the policy and practical implications and opportunities of the national agenda of a just transition to net zero by 2045 in Scotland.
  • Project/ programme management skills: you can proactively plan work, execute against the plan, identify and act on risks and issues, ensure that key stakeholders are engaged throughout, and keep track of spend against budget.
  • A proven track record of delivering high impact projects and programmes using innovation methods and/or familiarity working with agile project management methodologies.
  • Stakeholder management skills: you can present ideas persuasively and navigate complex stakeholder discussion to keep focussed on impact, maintain project momentum, build strong working relationships, and drive better work through including more voices in the planning, designing, delivery and criticism of it.
  • Ability to proactively develop a pipeline of business development partnerships or collaborations opportunities in support of this mission in Scotland
  • Ability to build contextual competence quickly (e.g. learn what key jargon means, be credible in conversation with stakeholders, understand what is measured and what is important) quickly.

Preferred qualifications

  • Facilitation skills, e.g. leading workshops and public speaking
  • Research skills: you understand the fundamentals of exploratory research and evaluation. For example, you can interpret research findings, understand common statistics (such as standard deviation, confidence intervals, p values, and correlation coefficients), assess the strength of evidence for something, understand good practice for key research activities (such as interviewing)and analyse data sets to pull out key summary statistics and trends
  • Excellent writing skills to tailor content to different audiences
  • Comfortable working alongside and commissioning colleagues with skills in behavioural science; design thinking; data science; arts and culture methods.

What we offer

Salary: £50k-£62k plus array of benefits, including health cash plans, dental insurance, the ability to buy and sell annual leave, eyecare vouchers and more

Location: This role is based in Scotland, Edinburgh - hybrid working arrangement. This role is based out of Nesta’s Edinburgh office. We offer flexible working to fit around your personal commitments or lifestyle (including part time hours, compressed hours and early start/early finish days etc) as well as remote working for part of the week (full time until the pandemic ends), so you could be based anywhere but we would likely expect you to work at least 2 days a week in our Edinburgh office, and up to 2 days a month in our London HQ.

Hours:This is a full-time role but we offer a range of flexible working arrangements and encourage our people to take advantage of them. Many do.

Reports to:Head of Nesta Scotland

Shortlist
Closed vacancies
This vacancy has now closed

Top job! Mission Manager - A Fairer Start

  • Full time
  • £47,000 – £57,000
  • Edinburgh
  • Closing 9th July 2021

About Nesta

We are Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency for social good. We design, test and scale solutions to society’s biggest problems. Our three missions are to give every child a fair start, help people live healthy lives, and create a sustainable future where the economy works for both people and the planet.

For over 20 years, we have worked to support, encourage and inspire innovation. We work in three roles: as an innovation partner working with frontline organisations to design and test new solutions, as a venture builder supporting new and early stage businesses, and as a system shaper creating the conditions for innovation.

Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to change millions of lives for the better. Find out more at nesta.org.uk

A Fairer Start Mission

Our mission is to narrow the outcome gap between children growing up in disadvantage and the national average.

The circumstances of our childhood set us on a trajectory that affects the rest of our lives, with children born into disadvantage being far more likely to experience poorer health, lower earnings, a shorter life expectancy and lower levels of happiness than their peers. Taken together, the early years (ages 0–5) and secondary school period (ages 11–16) account for the development of 80 per cent of this divergence in life outcomes. We know that investing in early childhood can vastly improve outcomes for our poorest children. Yet progress to narrow the gap in early years has stalled, with trends once again worsening, and made even more stark by COVID-19.

Our goal is that, by 2030, the UK will have eliminated the school readiness gap between those born into deprivation and their peers, with similar gains at age 16 among students receiving free school meals.

The role

This role leads on the scoping, design and delivery of Nesta’s work in Scotland on our A Fairer Start mission. You will work proactively to deliver active projects as well as develop a pipeline of partnerships, collaborations and business development opportunities in support of our A Fairer Start mission in Scotland.

You'll take what you know from your existing experience of early years and inequalities to scope innovative projects to help achieve our mission goals. You'll lead on recruiting Scottish partners to work with to test those ideas, drawing from your existing networks in the field.

You will work with our Head of Nesta Scotland (based in Edinburgh) and Mission Director (based in London) as well as colleagues across Nesta’s innovation practices (like data science, design and behavioral science) to pull together multi-disciplinary teams to help improve local outcomes in our mission area and deliver demonstrable impact.

As the point person for this mission in Scotland, this is definitely a role for someone who likes getting their hands dirty and can combine researching with doing.

As a bridge between Nesta in Scotland and the central A Fairer Start mission team, this position will play a critical role in establishing effective ways of working between Nesta’s missions and the team in Scotland, working with the rest of the mission team to ensure the AFS mission has a strong presence in Scotland and that learning from projects in the rest of the UK informs our work in Scotland, and vice versa.

Alongside these core duties you will have the opportunity to support the mission more broadly, either through delivery of projects across the UK and/or through working as a mission representative for critical organisational priorities such as Nesta’s dedication to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Shortlist
This vacancy has now closed

Top job! Mission Manager - A Healthy Life

  • Full time
  • £47,000 – £57,000
  • Edinburgh
  • Closing 9th July 2021

About Nesta

We are Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency for social good. We design, test and scale solutions to society’s biggest problems. Our three missions are to give every child a fair start, help people live healthy lives, and create a sustainable future where the economy works for both people and the planet.

For over 20 years, we have worked to support, encourage and inspire innovation. We work in three roles: as an innovation partner working with frontline organisations to design and test new solutions, as a venture builder supporting new and early stage businesses, and as a system shaper creating the conditions for innovation.

Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to change millions of lives for the better. Find out more at nesta.org.uk

A Healthy Life Mission

Our mission is to increase the average number of healthy years lived in the UK, particularly for those most affected by health inequalities.

Over the past decade, the increase in UK life expectancy has slowed dramatically and health inequalities have widened. One of the starkest truths we face is that the poorest in society die around nine years before their more affluent peers, and experience ill health almost two decades earlier. This gap is socially determined: the conditions in which people live and the opportunities available to them shape the extent to which they can be healthy. Related negative outcomes such as loneliness and high blood pressure contribute to the greatest loss of healthy life. Obesity, which affects around 29% of adults in Scotland, and loneliness, account for a disproportionate risk to healthy life across Scotland and the UK.

Our goal is to halve the prevalence of obesity by 2030. This would increase healthy life expectancy by an average of nearly two years for around ten million people in the UK, while narrowing the health inequalities gap between the richest and poorest in society.

The role

This role leads on the scoping, design and delivery of Nesta’s work in Scotland on our A Healthy Life mission. You will work proactively to deliver active projects as well as develop a pipeline of partnerships, collaborations and business development opportunities in support of our A Healthy Life mission in Scotland.

You'll take what you know from your existing experience of health inequalities and scope innovative projects to help achieve our mission goals. You'll lead on recruiting Scottish partners to work with to test those ideas, drawing from your existing networks in the field.

You will work with our Head of Nesta Scotland (based in Edinburgh) and Mission Director (based in London) as well as colleagues across Nesta’s innovation practices (like data science, design and behavioral science) to pull together multi-disciplinary teams to help improve local outcomes in our mission area and deliver demonstrable impact.

As the point person for this mission in Scotland, this is definitely a role for someone who likes getting their hands dirty and can combine researching with doing.

As a bridge between Nesta in Scotland and the central AHL mission team, this role will play a critical role in establishing effective ways of working between Nesta’s missions and the team in Scotland, working with the rest of the mission team to ensure the AHL mission has a strong presence in Scotland and that learning from projects in the rest of the UK informs our work in Scotland, and vice versa.

Alongside these core duties you will have the opportunity to support the mission more broadly, either through delivery of projects across the UK and/or through working as a mission representative for critical organisational priorities such as Nesta’s dedication to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

Shortlist
This vacancy has now closed

Top job! Mission Manager, A Fairer Start

  • Full time
  • £50,000
  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Closing 31st October 2022

We are recruiting for a Mission Manager, A Fairer Start (Scotland)

About Nesta

We are Nesta, the UK’s innovation agency for social good. We design, test and scale solutions to society’s biggest problems. Our three missions are to give every child a fair start, help people live healthy lives, and create a sustainable future where the economy works for both people and the planet.

For over 20 years, we have worked to support, encourage and inspire innovation. We work in three roles: as an innovation partner working with frontline organisations to design and test new solutions, as a venture builder supporting new and early stage businesses, and as a system shaper creating the conditions for innovation.

Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to change millions of lives for the better. Find out more at nesta.org.uk.

A Fairer Start Mission

Our mission is to narrow the outcome gap between children growing up in disadvantage and the national average.

The circumstances of our childhood set us on a trajectory that affects the rest of our lives, with children born into disadvantage being far more likely to experience poorer health, lower earnings, a shorter life expectancy and lower levels of happiness than their peers. Taken together, the early years (ages 0–5) and secondary school period (ages 11–16) account for the development of 80 per cent of this divergence in life outcomes. We know that investing in early childhood can vastly improve outcomes for our poorest children. Yet progress to narrow the gap in early years has stalled, with trends once again worsening.

Our goal is that, by 2030, Scotland and the UK will have eliminated the school readiness gap between those born into deprivation and their peers, with similar gains at age 16 among students receiving free school meals.

The role

This role leads on the scoping, design and delivery of Nesta’s work in Scotland on our Fairer Start mission. You will work proactively to deliver active projects as well as develop a pipeline of partnerships, collaborations and business development opportunities in support of our work and in line with our strategic areas of focus for the mission.

You'll take what you know from your existing experience of early years and education and scope innovative projects to help achieve our mission goals. You'll lead on recruiting Scottish partners to work with to test those ideas, drawing from your existing networks in the field.

You will work with our Head of Nesta Scotland (based in Edinburgh) and Mission Director (based in London) as well as colleagues across Nesta’s innovation practices (like data science, behavioural science, design and the arts) to pull together multi-disciplinary teams to help improve local outcomes in our mission area and deliver demonstrable impact.

As the point person for this mission in Scotland, this is definitely a role for a proven self-starter, someone who likes getting their hands dirty and can combine rigorous research with active project management.

As a bridge between Nesta Scotland and the central Fairer Start mission team in London, this role will play a critical role in establishing effective ways of working across teams to ensure the AFS mission has a strong and active presence in Scotland and that learning from projects in the rest of the UK informs our work here, and vice versa.

Alongside these core duties you will have the opportunity to support the mission more broadly, either through delivery of projects across the UK and/or through working as a mission representative for critical organisational priorities such as Nesta’s commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.

This role will be expected to:

• Lead on the scoping, design and delivery of practical innovation projects within this mission field in Scotland.

• Scope new projects for the mission in Scotland and set up effective teams to deliver this work.

• Direct and work on the end-to-end project cycle, for example:

o Overseeing, conducting, and reviewing the outputs of primary research. For example: interviews, observations, data analysis.

o Leading on the establishment of a project theory of change to explain how an intended outcome would be achieved through a particular solution.

o Leading on identifying, scoping and selecting appropriate solutions/projects for implementation and evaluation.

o Working with colleagues from Nesta’s practices to devise an appropriate evaluation design for any solutions being tested and ensuring the technical details are fit for purpose in the local operating context.

o Coaching partners through each innovation or prototyping cycle and the wider change needed inside the organisation to make it successful.

o Owning relationships with external stakeholders and partners in Scotland to make sure they love working with Nesta.

• Critically assess whether live projects are on track, and suggest / put in place mechanisms to realign the work plan as necessary.

• Quickly get to grips with the Scotland specific context that mission projects take place in. Working across a variety of projects means you will need to be able to develop contextual competence fast and build effective working relationships with key local partners and stakeholders.

• Proactively develop a pipeline of partnerships, collaborations or business development opportunities in support of this mission in Scotland.

• Provide line management to team members as necessary, both permanent staff and other team members

The person

Essential

• Demonstrable experience delivering relevant programmes, projects or research work specifically and directly in Scotland in areas related to our Fairer Start mission focus.

• Research skills: you understand the fundamentals of exploratory research and evaluation.

• A detailed understanding of the Scottish early years operating environment in relation to the Fairer Start mission.

• Experience in the practice or policy context for the A Fairer Start mission

• Demonstrable project/ programme management skills: you can proactively plan work, execute against the plan, identify and act on risks and issues, ensure that key stakeholders are engaged throughout, and keep track of spend against budget.

• Delivering high impact projects and programmes using innovation methods and/or familiarity working with agile project management methodologies.

• Stakeholder management skills: you can present ideas persuasively and navigate complex stakeholder discussion to keep focussed on impact, maintain project momentum, build strong working relationships, and drive better work through including more voices in the planning, designing, delivery and criticism of it.

Desirable

• Facilitation skills, e.g. leading workshops

• Excellent writing skills to tailor content to different audiences

• Public speaking

• Feel comfortable working alongside and commissioning colleagues with skills in behavioural science; design thinking; experimental/quasi-experimental design; data science; arts and culture methods.

What we offer

Salary: £50k plus array of benefits, including health care plans, dental insurance, the ability to buy and sell annual leave, eyecare vouchers and more

Location: This role is based out of Nesta’s Scotland office in Edinburgh. We offer flexible working to fit around your personal commitments or lifestyle (including part time hours, compressed hours and early start/early finish days etc) as well as remote working for part of the week, so you could be based anywhere but we would expect you to work at least 2 days a week in our Edinburgh office, and up to 2 days a month in our London HQ.

Term: Permanent

Hours: This is a full-time role but we offer a range of flexible working arrangements and encourage our people to take advantage of them. Many do.

Reports to: Head of Nesta Scotland

Shortlist