Senior Youth Understanding Officer needed for the Youth Endowment Fund to lead the commissioning and delivery of national peer research and social action network. In order to be eligible, you must have experience in research in a relevant field, experience working with youth that we work with and have programme management experience.
Reports to: Head of Research and Youth Understanding,
Salary: £35,000 - £40,000
Location: Central London
Contract: Full time. The role starts with a two-year contract
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.
In recent years violent crime has risen significantly. Homicides, assaults, robberies and offences involving weapons have all seen sustained growth. We have also seen large increases in violent crime involving children and young people. This is a tragedy. Every child captured in these numbers 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.
Research and evidence are at the heart of our charity’s mission. We want to be the go-to place for evidence on the lives of children affected by youth crime and violence, its causes, and what works to prevent it. The research and youth understanding team are responsible for commissioning and producing research to inform the YEF’s understanding of what works to reduce violent youth crime and to help us better understand the lives of young people vulnerable to youth violence, and what this means for the YEF’s work.
About this role
We’re looking for a passionate person who is committed to ensuring that evidence and a deep understanding of young people are central to everything that we do. Your job will be to lead the commissioning and delivery of a national peer research and social action network that the YEF will be establishing. This network will support the YEF’s understanding of youth crime and its drivers and will involve several partners, including:
- a national partner helping support and coordinate overall project delivery,
- a learning partner conducting a developmental evaluation of the project,
- a technology partner developing and supporting the systems to collect and process data across the network, and
- up to ten delivery partners operating in the ten regions of England and Wales, responsible for the recruitment, training, and ongoing support of peer researchers, as well as supporting the delivery of social action projects.
It will also include boosting our understanding of the characteristics, backgrounds and lives of the children and communities affected by youth crime and violence.
You will have knowledge and experience in a relevant sector such as the youth sector, social work, children’s social care or education. You will help identify, assess, fund and support organisations that will be responsible for delivering our national peer research network over the next two years.
Working as a senior member of a team, we want a person who can:
- Make sure we choose the best organisations to work with through managing the assessment of funding applications, getting to know potential partners and where possible conducting site visits.
- Build strong relationships with our partners and lead the ongoing oversight of the partners that will assist the YEF in delivering a national peer research and social action network, thinking creatively about how we can work with our partners to achieve our aims
- Oversee the development of materials to support the roll-out and delivery of the peer research and social action network
- Help host project events
- Be responsible for involving YEF’s youth advisory board in the oversight and delivery of the network
- Ensure the delivery of high-quality research across the network, which is designed to answer key questions of relevance to the YEF and the sector
- Help ensure that research and youth understanding informs all of the YEF’s work
- Engage with and understand the experiences and needs of people affected by violent youth crime, including young people and their families, across England and Wales.
- Work collaboratively with a range of external partners, including central government, local bodies and other research organisations, to enhance our understanding of what works to reduce violent youth crime and in delivering our broader research programme.
- Support the synthesis and dissemination of learnings across the network and external stakeholders in conjunction with a learning partner.
You are this sort of person:
- You are a naturally very curious person that is confident with qualitative research. You have expertise in a range of qualitative research methods. You can provide examples of how you have practically used these skills.
- You are an excellent communicator. You love to communicate research to a diverse range of audiences, many of whom are not experts.
- You’re able to work independently and as part of a team. You get satisfaction from supporting your colleagues and meeting goals together but are self- motivated and can work independently.
- You are a highly effective project manager. You are effective at managing projects from beginning to end, whether they are delivered internally or externally.
- You win people over. You can build great partnerships and are comfortable working with a range of different people, including young people.
- 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 committed to equality, diversity and inclusion. You believe and act in a way that celebrates and encourages a range of experiences, views and values.
- You want to work in a job that makes young people safer. This issue matters to you. You do not need extensive experience in grant making, you can learn that. You will be an incredible member of our team if you are committed to understanding the challenges facing young people and the people and organisations working to support them and are inspired by a mission to find what works to prevent violence.
You must be able to demonstrate the following areas of knowledge/experience:
- Delivery experience: You have practical experience of delivering participatory research and managing teams delivering participatory research. You know what it's like to support young people and/or deliver programmes. When a person or organisation we fund is facing challenges, you can relate. You know when to provide challenge and support to ensure quality.
- Research methods: You have good knowledge and practical experience of a range of research methods including participatory research and qualitative approaches, and the ability to both deploy them and critically appraise their use.
- Excellent communicator: You can combine your technical expertise with experience of communicating complex evidence and analysis in a simple and accessible way to non-experts.
- Stakeholder engagement: You are comfortable seeking the views of young people and other stakeholders to help gather experiential insights for our work. This could include facilitating sessions with them.
- Project management: You are comfortable leading projects from beginning to end, tracking progress across different workstreams and ensuring delivery keeps to deadlines. When things might not go to plan, you aren't afraid to speak up about it and work constructively to find solutions.
- Collaborative working: You see value in working with others to get the best outcomes on each task and project.
- You are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion: You believe and act in a way that celebrates and encourages a range of experiences, backgrounds and values.
You might have these sorts of qualifications/knowledge/skills/experience:
- Previous experience of grant making, or managing complex programmes with multiple partners
- Post-graduate degree (Masters or PhD) in social science, social policy, public health, health services or other field, with a significant qualitative component, or relevant experience equivalent to a Masters qualification.
While it is not a criterion, 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.
You will 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 the interview stage.
Interviews will take place in the week commencing 14th December. You must be available for two interviews within this week to proceed.
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.