This vacancy has now closed

Top job! Director of Research

  • Full time or Part time
  • £55,500 – £65,500
  • Working remotely from home in Great Britain, occasionally co-working spaces, with business travel subject to current safety restrictions.
  • Closing 19th January 2022

  • Advertised from 9th December 2021
  • Band 1 or 2 SMT. Salary depending on experience. Permanent. Flexible (either part-time 0.8 FTE 28 hours per week, or full-time at 35 hours per week.
  • 30 days Annual holiday (pro rata), Pension Scheme


Do you feel passionately about improving the life chances of children, young people and families? Are you committed to advancing innovations in the generation and use of evidence? Do you care about applying knowledge and learning into practice?

Dartington Service Design Lab is an internationally respected research and design charity focussed on using evidence and design in innovative ways to help those working with children and young people have a greater impact. As an organisation, we have more than 50 years of experience working across the public and voluntary sectors.

During an exciting period of our growth and development, we are creating a new role: a Director of Research. This is a new post designed to help Dartington achieve its new strategy for 2022-2025, deliver upon project commitments and support our staff team.

The role sits within the Senior Management Team (SMT). The successful candidate will be responsible for oversight of research methods and project design, ongoing innovation in methods, quality assurance (including promotion of anti-racism and equity through our work), oversight of ethics and safeguarding, information governance, and consistency and codification of research methods. They will provide executive oversight and supervision support to project leads responsible for leading research projects (also leading themselves on a small number of research initiatives).

The role also entails wider management and leadership responsibilities, including contributing to organisational decision-making within the SMT (strategic and operational), fundraising and line management responsibilities.

The work is rarely routine. We are often experimenting and trying to innovate with those who we work with. This requires a blend of mental agility, practicality, perseverance and an ability to adapt to deliver on our ambitions. Candidates should be comfortable with ambiguity and approach new challenges with both curiosity and level-headedness. As a small organisation the wider team are mutually supportive as we all work closely together. The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker and able to communicate well with a range of stakeholders. We value empathy and collaboration and a focus on using evidence for social good.

We need an experienced leader who is able to quickly add value and integrate into our team, with at least 8 years’ working at a senior level within the research or social sector.

We strive for diversity in our team. If we’re going to design impactful services for children and families, we need to ensure our team is inclusive. Dartington encourages applications from all backgrounds and are committed to having a team that is made up of diverse skills, experiences and abilities.

As a wider team, we operate remotely across the UK with regular project-related travel when it is safe to do so. Over the past 4 years we have successfully been using online and video communication tools to deliver our work. Our staff tend to work from home or when appropriate, together in local co-working spaces, and normally, every quarter we meet as a whole team in our beautiful Devon office.

The post is subject to an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service certificate and pre-employment checks will be undertaken before any appointment is confirmed.

Application notes

Closing date: Wed 19 January 22 at 23.59

Shortlisting: Mon 24 Jan 22

Virtual Interviews:Tue 8 to Thu 10 Feb 22

Start date: Ideally early spring 2022

To find out more and to apply, please visit our website.