London, Greater London
£80,000 - £85,000 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

About the Youth Endowment Fund

The Youth Endowment Fund is a bold new attempt to put early intervention at the heart of efforts to tackle youth offending.

Over the last few years, evidence suggests that growing numbers of children and young people have been affected by violent crime. More children have been found carrying knives and a growing number have been recorded as victims. We believe that each individual child is an important member of our community and society has a duty to protect them.

The Youth Endowment Fund is a charity with a £200m endowment and a mission that matters. Founded by youth charity Impetus and its partners the Early Intervention Foundation and the Social Investment Business, we exist to prevent children and young people from getting caught up in violent crime. We do this by finding the very best ways to prevent youth violence, funding great initiatives and working to scale them up and spread great ideas.

Making this happen is a massive challenge. We will only succeed if we build a fantastic body of knowledge about youth violence and make it very accessible. This knowledge must be rigorous but also highly relevant to those making decisions about how to support vulnerable young people.  We need to be excellent at finding out what works and what doesn’t, at building a deep understanding of the lives of vulnerable young people and at using data and data science to map and predict violent crime.                   

We are looking for someone to build and lead the team to do this.

Key responsibilities

Most fundamentally, your job is to ensure that the Youth Endowment Fund builds and shares a deep understanding of youth violence. To do this, you will:

  • Lead a high-performing team of researchers and building with them a culture of intellectual rigour, compassion for children who feel unsafe, determination to get to the facts, ambition for what can be learnt, humility about what we know and what we don’t, passion for the importance of evidence-based decision-making and very high quality, easy to understand communication.
  • Create a single hub of knowledge about youth violence which includes
  • A highly accessible, regularly updated ‘toolkit’ which summarises what works to prevent and reduce youth violence
  • A clear picture of the lives and experiences of young people and their families who are most vulnerable to youth violence
  • An up to date view of levels, trends and spread of youth violence and an understanding of their drivers
  • Spread this knowledge far and wide by ensuring that you and your team
    • Produce easy to understand but rigorous briefings and reports
    • Make the case that evidence must be used when deciding how to support vulnerable young people.
    • Build and maintain close relationships with our top priority audiences which include Violence Reduction Units, Local Authorities, Police and Crime Commissioners, Elected Mayors, Local Authorities, Whitehall and Welsh Government Officials and Youth Sector umbrella bodies.
    • Maintain regular repeating meetings with Ministers across government
  • Ensure that all our work at the Youth Endowment Fund is informed by the cutting-edge knowledge that you are building. Before we launch a new funding round you make sure that we have a very clear understanding of what existing evidence says.
  • As a senior leader in the organisation you will also:
    • Build and lead your team, providing clear direction, agility, high-quality outputs and a culture where it is natural to perform well and support colleagues brilliantly.
    • Lead the organisation as a core member of the Leadership Team, setting the strategy, delivering results and building and modelling the culture that we need to succeed.

About You

You are this sort of person:

  • You have a good level of knowledge and understanding of crime or serious violence. You know the facts, understand the issues, know the key people, can discuss the theories. You are knowledgeable on this topic, are seen as credible and will be very at ease discussing it with experts.
  • You have led teams that produced high quality, accessible research which can drive change. You have led a team that was very well respected for the quality of research that it produced and the impact that that research had. You know how to get evidence used and are familiar with the methods for doing this.  The outputs your team produced rarely just sat on a shelf. They were discussed, debated and led to change happening.
  • You are a real expert on evidence standards and evaluation. You have a real expertise in the evidence standards that underpin a What Works Centre’s activity. Ideally this would include expertise in the standards used to guide evaluation design and analytical choices in individual evaluations, as well as the standards needed to carry out evidence synthesis.
  • You are very at ease with data and have a real interest in data science: You are highly numerate and very comfortable with data. You may not be an expert but you have a real interest in data science and machine learning and how it might be used to help understand, predict and prevent crime.
  • You make change happen. You have experience of leading people and teams in delivering results. You especially excel in situations of ambiguity where there are not clear rules to follow, previous patterns to copy or clear evidence of what will work. You care about evidence and information but you are just as passionate about making change happen because of that information.
  • You win people over. People tend to warm to you and respect you. You have built good relationships with very senior people and with very junior people. You are comfortable talking to a Secretary of State, a leading professor of criminology, a youth worker, a company CEO, a teacher and a 15-year-old student. Listening to people from all backgrounds matters to you.
  • You learn fast but remain humble. You are very quick at getting your head around things. You like learning. You are very good at synthesising information. You know how much you don't know. You know that you can learn more. You know that it's easy to assume you know when you don't. You care more that good things happen than who gets the credit. You are a great and supportive team player.
  • You are fascinated and thoughtful on how people engage with information. You have the cognitive intelligence, emotional intelligence and experience to find the ways to make present information so that people find it engaging, use it, recommend it to others and return to it. You are thoughtful and interested on what we can learn from behavioural science on how people make decisions. You understand why people resist making evidence-based decisions and interested in how to disrupt this. You come alive talking about to make information and evidence really accessible so that people change what they do.
  • You are an excellent strategic thinker. People say that you are good at seeing the big picture. You have experience of wrestling into place a strategy for a project or organisation. You are good at thinking logically but you are also creative. You have ideas but are happy rejecting a lot of them. You like seeing things from different points of view.
  • You don't want your days to pass without making a difference. You want to play a significant part in reducing the level of youth violence.
  • You are at ease with policy makers. You are very comfortable and experienced talking to and exploring policies with policy makers whether junior civil servants, senior civil servants, advisers or Ministers. You are very effective in these conversations and good at communicating often complex research evidence very simply. 
  • You are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.

While it is not a criteria, we are especially interested to hear from applicants who have lived experience of youth violence.

It is also important to us that the people we hire do not discriminate. We believe in being inclusive and giving everyone an equal chance to succeed. Applications are welcome from all regardless of age, sex, gender identity, disability, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, race, sexual orientation, transgender status or social economic background.


To Apply

Apply by 9am 12th July 2020

You should also include the contact details of two referees, one of whom must be your current or most recent employer. Referees will only be approached with your express permission. You will also be required to provide proof of your eligibility to work in the UK. As part of our commitment to flexible working we will consider a range of options for the successful applicant. All options can be discussed at interview stage.

Interview week commencing 20th July

Panel interview week commencing 27th July

Due to the large number of applications we receive, it is not possible to write to you should you not be shortlisted. If you have not heard from us within three weeks of the closing date, please assume that your application has not been successful on this occasion.

Your personal data will be shared for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. This includes our HR team, interviewers (who may include other partners in the project and independent advisors), relevant team managers and our IT service provider if access to the data is necessary for performance of their roles. We do not share your data with other third parties, unless your application for employment is successful and we make you an offer of employment. We will then share your data with former employers to obtain references for you. We do not transfer your data outside the European Economic Area.












More about Impetus

Impetus transforms the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring they get the right support to succeed in schoo... Read more

Posted on: 09 June 2020
Closed date: 12 July 2020
Job ref: Director of Knowledge
Tags: Policy/Research

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.