Job vacancy: Senior Researcher

2 October 2020

The Ada Lovelace Institute is seeking a Senior Researcher, to assist in executing Ada’s research strategy.

Salary: £38,730 per annum FTE (salary dependent upon experience)
Contract: Permanent – 35 hours per week (28 hours also considered)
Closing date: Sunday 18 October 2020 (23:59 BST)

About the Ada Lovelace Institute
The Ada Lovelace Institute is a young research institute and deliberative body, funded and incubated by the Nuffield Foundation, with the mission to ensure that data and artificial intelligence work for people and society. After little more than a year of operation, the Institute is already emerging as a leading independent voice on the ethical and societal impacts of data and AI and society, and building relationships in the public, private and civil society sectors in the UK and internationally. Some of our most impactful work to date includes our rapid evidence review on contact tracing apps, Exit Through the App Store?, and our public attitudes survey on facial recognition, Beyond Face Value.

We take an interconnected approach to issues such as power, social justice, distributional impact and climate change (read our strategy to find out more) and have a wide range of expertise in house that cuts across policy, technology, academia, industry, law and human rights. We value diversity in skills, perspectives and life experiences, and are an employer that supports inclusion. Because we are part of the Nuffield Foundation, we are a small team with the practical support of an established organisation that cares for its employees.

We aim to be a collaborative, welcoming and informal place to work. Before COVID-19 the team worked flexibly, with some working from home regularly or on an ad hoc basis. We now operate fully remotely, using collaborative working tools such as Microsoft Teams with regular video calls). We are currently a 12 person team and expect to return to some in-person working in 2021 (and will have a shiny new office in Farringdon in early 2021), but we are open to staff working remotely for the foreseeable future, including in geographical locations outside of London.

The role
The role of Senior Researcher will be a new one for Ada, and successful applicants will have the opportunity to craft the position in post. The primary responsibilities for the position will be to assist in executing Ada’s research strategy, including through identifying and managing research partnerships with external organisations. Ada’s research methodologies include working groups and expert convenings, public deliberation initiatives, desk-based research and synthesis, and ethnographic research.

Senior Researchers will be responsible for management of research projects from start to finish, including by defining communications strategies for outputs and conceptualising, facilitating and attending meetings, workshops and events with a view to achieving strategic impact. We will expect Senior Researchers to identify and develop strategic working relationships with organisations and individuals relevant to the work of the Institute. The role will include line management of up to two Researchers.

Senior Researchers will also provide leadership on assigned substantive domains and subject areas. These will change over time, but in the first year of the role, will likely include one of the following policy domains: Data policy and data for the public good; Algorithm accountability and transparency; and Justice and inequalities.

Senior Researchers will be charged with staying abreast of developments in the field, looking for strategic moments of intervention using research methodologies, and developing partnerships.

This is a unique and exciting opportunity to join a dynamic and energetic organisation working at the intersection of technology and society on some of the most pressing policy and technical challenges.

About you
You may have a background working in the tech industry, or researching and co-ordinating for an academic organisation, research institute or community charity. You may have a university degree or have gained experience from an apprenticeship or trainee programme at a research, policy or other civil-society organisation. You will be curious and passionate about the issues which arise at the intersection of technology and society, and committed to bringing an interdisciplinary and intersectional lens to understanding them. Importantly, you’ll be comfortable taking initiative, working independently and to short deadlines at times. You’ll enjoy working in a team environment, willing to jump into projects and keen to explore areas of policy, technology and practice that you don’t already understand. You’ll appreciate the importance of exceptionally high standards of rigour in research, but also want to think creatively about communicating and influencing in novel ways.

Download the full job description and a description of the day in the life of a Senior Researcher

How to apply
To apply, please click through to our online portal where you can submit your CV and covering letter explaining how your experience matches the requirements detailed in the person specification. Please note that during the online application process you will also be required to respond to some questions relevant to this role.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 18 October 2020, 23:59 BST, with interviews taking place via video towards the end of the month. We expect there to be only one round of interviews, and we hope to invite an external reviewer to join the interview panel and ensure a diversity of perspectives in the process.

We are an employer that values the diversity of its workforce and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

If you are from a background that is underrepresented in the sector (for example you are from a community of colour, did not go to university or had free school meals as a child), and you would like to discuss how your experience may be transferable to this role, you can book time with one of our team who will be pleased to have a chat with you. Please note that this person will not be involved in the recruitment process. You can request this by emailing (and we will not ask you to disclose your background).

Please note that candidates must have the existing right to work in the UK.

Apply now

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