Vacancy: Head of programmes and operations

Sense about Science is a unique campaigning charity that has turned the case for sound science and evidence into popular campaigns. It has launched important initiatives to expand and protect honest discussions of evidence, including AllTrials, a global campaign for the reporting of clinical trial results; and ‘Ask for Evidence’, which engages the public in requesting evidence for claims. It has challenged practices and changed the behaviour of governments, media and corporations in the use of scientific evidence.

This is a new senior role, created as we reorganise our team to achieve greater respect for the public interest in good use of evidence, and introduce effective internal systems to support that. The head of programmes and operations will work closely with the director to implement strategy, with oversight across delivery of projects and programmes, finance and governance, and managing partnerships.

Job description

The role involves:

  • Developing and leading an organisation-wide management system, involving planning and monitoring the delivery of our projects and programmes, integrating responsive actions and identifying the necessary changes and decisions:
  • Supporting staff in the development and delivery of plans, to align activities and resources and meet the charity’s obligations and objectives.
  • Progress tracking, evaluation and risk management for all major initiatives identified by the director as requiring support, and assembling the necessary business case to authorise and prioritise them.
  • Oversight of all partnerships including the Voice of Young Science and Quality and Peer Review programmes
  • Implementing a strategy to expand the charity’s offer and income
  • Innovating and integrating systems, processes and data management to make the charity’s activities easy to manage and effective
  • Supporting the effectiveness of the director and contributing to the overall goals of the charity by:
    • Ensuring effective management of the staff team, directly and through others – with a focus on impact and in accordance with HR good practice – along with associates, contractors, partners and volunteers to deliver our goals and meet our standards
    • Coaching and developing staff capabilities in project management
    • Supporting the Board of Trustees and the Governance and Planning Committee, including quarterly reporting on governance, fundraising and cashflow
    • Trouble shooting, problem solving and finding ways to make our incredible networks and small resources achieve the best outcomes.
    • Maintaining senior level external partnerships

You will be articulate, motivated and ambitious about our aims. We respond to events and no two days are the same so you need to be able to plan well but adapt quickly and maintain a view across all of our work. Established networks with publishers, universities, learned and professional societies, researchers or community groups would give you a head-start. The ideal candidate might come from project management or a range of other backgrounds but will have:

  • A strong commitment to achieving the aims of Sense about Science
  • Significant experience in project management, and managing relationships and resources in an effective, imaginative way.
  • A bold and competent approach to organisation and efficiency, including competence in databases, spreadsheets and project planning and ideas about how to tailor them.
  • Knowledge of a good spread of governance, HR, financial and project management processes (we can provide a full induction and support training)
  • A university degree and good general knowledge of public life
  • Confidence and unflappability

However, if you don’t have a CV that matches all these requirements but you are absolutely convinced you are right for the post, feel free to write to us to make the case. There is great scope in this job to develop the role.

Salary £50,000- £55,000 p/a. Central London (W1). Will include some travel and out of hours activity.

To apply please email [email protected] with a one-page letter and a 2 page max CV, by 9am on 6 July.

First round interviews will be held on 13 and 14 July, with second round interviews on 17 July.

All candidates shortlisted for the first round will hear by 9 July.

Please note that we will not be able to notify those candidates who have not been shortlisted.