Farringdon, Greater London
£90,000 - £110,000 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

About the role

We are looking for a talented, thoughtful and inspiring Research Director to lead our team of world-class researchers (4 individuals across London and Berlin) who are responsible for identifying and evaluating high-impact funding opportunities to enable the philanthropists we work with (what we refer to as our members) to give as effectively as possible. We believe that it is important to provide our members giving recommendations across a range of cause- and issue-areas that fit into one of three core philosophical worldviews - (1) the long term future of humanity; (2) helping the current generation & people living today; and (3) animal welfare - and our research team is responsible for finding the highest-impact funding opportunities therein. Therefore, your openness to and interest in  the fundamental ideas of Effective Altruism (EA) - doing the most good possible, being ‘cause neutral’ and having a focus on impact maximisation - will be critical to your success in this role as you set our research strategy.

While you will be responsible for undertaking some of your own research and conducting charity evaluations personally , around 80% of your time will be spent leading, coaching and mentoring each of our researchers to continually develop their research, writing, communication and analytical skills. You will also ensure the quality of the team’s output meets our rigorously high standards, either by reviewing work yourself or overseeing peer-review processes within the team, and you will be responsible for the continuous improvement of our processes as well as developing new ways of identifying high-impact funding opportunities. Inclusive, servant leadership is a must - your success as a leader will be measured by how well your team is able to perform and how well you are able to facilitate a good team dynamic, so a collaborative and empathetic approach is crucial. 


As Research Director, you will work closely with others throughout the organisation, from senior leadership to individual team members, to ensure that the overall work of Founders Pledge is deeply rooted in the strength of our research recommendations. This will mean meeting regularly with other Directors, collaborating with other teams in their work, providing analytical consultation and advice across the business and having a good understanding of how other parts of the business are influenced by your team’s work. You will need to be incredibly well organised, an excellent communicator and happy meeting and liaising with colleagues across the business.

In particular, the research team is closely tied with our Advisory team, which is responsible for advising and influencing our members in their philanthropy to ensure as much money is donated to the highest-impact funding opportunities possible. You will partner with our Head of Advisory to ensure that her team not only has the knowledge of our research in order to be able to advise our members in the best possible way such that they can give counterfactually more impactfully, but also maintaining an effective and constructive feedback loop between what our members are interested in and what we believe to be the most effective giving opportunities. 

Our researchers are excellent speakers and communicators, presenting their research at dinners, events, webinars and conferences. We will also look to you as a representative of Founders Pledge’s research in the wider world, through media exposure (interviews, podcasts, speaker slots etc) as well as through identifying and building strategic partnerships with research partners, charity evaluators, philanthropic organisations, think tanks and universities and building the profile and reputation of our research among our members and donors.

The opportunity ahead of us is vast and exciting, and we approach this with a sense of urgency and drive that oftentimes feels more like a high-growth startup than a traditional charity - we move fast, we try new things, we iterate and learn from our mistakes - and that can be daunting for some. But if you’re open to a challenge that will make a truly remarkable difference to the world with a team of passionate and talented individuals working at the forefront of impact influencing large-scale donations from a global community of entrepreneurs to some of the most impactful interventions across the world, this is the role for you.

This role is perfect for someone who has:

  • Masters degree (or higher) in a subject with a substantial quantitative or analytical element, such as maths, statistics, social sciences or natural sciences
  • Proven experience leading and coaching research teams, with excellent line management and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent understanding of impact maximisation and the nuances of charity evaluation from multiple worldviews
  • Openness to and interest in the fundamental principles of Effective Altruism - doing the most good possible, being ‘cause neutral’ and having a focus on impact maximisation
  • Intellectual curiosity and openness; a willingness to consider alternative points of view, explore the counterfactual, think on the margin and follow good arguments wherever they lead
  • Exceptional analytical thinking and expertise in a broad range of research skills
  • Strong commitment to Founders Pledge’s mission, and to social impact more generally
  • Willingness to work in a high-growth, dynamic startup environment and comfortable with ambiguity

Why work with us

- Help shape the future of strategic philanthropy

- Join a team of talented, mission-driven individuals

- Generous vacation time to let you recharge and refresh

- 2 days per year charity & civil engagement leave

- Private healthcare through BUPA

And when we're back in offices...

- A well-stocked kitchen with fresh fruit, coffee, tea and healthy snacks

- Discounted gym membership and on-site massages

- Office dogs

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at Founders Pledge. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We are committed to building an inclusive and diverse workplace where everyone can do their best work.


About Us

Founders Pledge is a charity that brings together a community of entrepreneurs committed to finding and funding solutions to the most pressing global challenges. On joining, every member makes a legally binding pledge to donate a percentage of their personal proceeds to charity when they liquidate shares. Our in-house research and advisory team helps them understand how and where those donations will create the biggest impact based on the latest evidence from the sector.  We facilitate grants to charities around the world on behalf of our members and offer access to a global network of experts, at zero cost.

Since launching in 2015, the Founders Pledge community has collectively pledged more than $3 billion towards social causes. Spanning 30 countries and over 1,500 members, it includes the people behind industry-leading companies including Deepmind, Skype, Spotify, Uber, Farfetch and Planet. Working across our offices in London, New York, San Francisco and Berlin, we are a growing and passionate team committed to empowering entrepreneurs to do immense good.

More about Founders Pledge
Founders Pledge

Founders Pledge is a charity that brings together a community of entrepreneurs committed to finding and funding solutions to the most pressing ... Read more

Refreshed on: 23 December 2020
Closed date: 12 January 2021
Tags: Policy/Research, Management

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