Research and Learning Officer

On Think Tanks Research and Learning Officer
Location Remote
Application deadline 31 January 2022
Contract type Consultancy
Hours Full-time
Salary Commesurate with experience
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OTT Consulting Ltd (OTT) supports foundations, governments, international agencies, NGOs, universities, think tanks and the private sector in innovative and creative ways to contribute to better-informed decision making. This involves improving how foundations engage with and support local organisations, helping governments to develop evidence-informed policymaking competencies and strengthening local think tanks and other evidence-based organisations. We do this through a range of activities: research, evaluation, providing advice, facilitation and coaching.

Our team members, associates and consultants are spread across the world, come from a range of cultural and disciplinary backgrounds and have experience in a range of fields concerning evidence-informed policy including the generation, communication and use of evidence.

The On Think Tanks programme is OTT’s flagship initiative. Founded in 2010, it is the leading global source of information, ideas, advice and services for policy research centres, or think tanks. The programme offers knowledge, learning opportunities and spaces for engagement for think tanks and other evidence-based organisations and their supporters.

The role

OTT’s research and learning officer (RLO) will work primarily in the On Think Tanks programme in support of, and leading on, key initiatives like the OTT School, The Open Think Tank Directory, the OTT conference, webinars, resource and publication development among others. S/he might also be involved in other OTT projects and will work under the guidance of different senior associates within OTT. This will offer the opportunity to quickly gain experience and knowledge about multiple aspects of the evidence-informed policymaking field.

This is a remote post (OTT does not have an office) and entails working with a wide range of actors in the evidence-informed policy field including funders, research institutes, policymaking bodies, academics, civil society organisations and the private sector.

Key roles and responsibilities

The RLO will perform these tasks with support from the On Think Tanks Coordinator, OTT’s director, and other senior staff. S/he will have to work closely with OTT’s director of communications and engagement, the digital communications officer and OTT’s programme manager. S/he will be line managed by the On Think Tanks Coordinator.

Knowledge development:

  • Proactively contribute to the generation of original content drawing from across OTT’s work;
  • Produce research/knowledge products (from OTT´s projects or other sources) as needed and indicated by the line manager. This may include articles, good practice documents, undertaking surveys and interviews, data analysis and preparing reports, annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, etc.
  • Work in the development of OTT resources (previous resources include Think Tank Organisational Health Check and How to set up a Think Tank manual).
  • Commission and write articles for On Think Tanks.

Open Think Tank Directory and State of the Sector Report:

  • Responsibility for the update of the Open Think Tank Directory, reviewing and approving new submissions, promote its update by think tanks.
  • Coordinate the fieldwork for the yearly update of the data for the think tank in the directory (planning fieldwork, hiring and supervising field workers, data quality review
  • Coordinate the yearly think tank survey and analyze results
  • Planning, development and writing of the Think Tank State of the Sector publication (in close coordination with the On Think Tanks Coordinator). Includes basic data analysis.

Engagement and outreach:

  • Proactively seek to inform OTT’s audiences on the basis of sound evidence and experience by communicating and engaging with them through OTT’s multiple channels and spaces.
  • Support the planning and development of the OTT Conference.
  • Engage with the OTT Community and Reference group.
  • Work with the communications and engagement team in publishing and disseminating all research and resources.
  • Disseminate the work done for OTT, representing OTT in external events, conferences or webinars.

Business development:

  • Contribute to the development of proposals to help build the On Think Tanks programme – and participate in externally funded projects when needed and indicated by the line manager.


  • Support in the development of OTT’s learning strategy.
  • Coordinate the execution of the School for thinktankers (online, in-person or project versions) as well as other learning initiatives as required.
  • Support with the advertising and selling of our learning activities.
  • Coordinate the OTT talks ( in coordination with other team members)
  • Plan and participate in webinars, courses and the OTT fellowship as indicated by the line manager and/or other senior staff.
  • Contribute to the development of learning proposals and participate in external learning projects.

Admin and management:

  • Participate in internal OTT calls and coordination meetings.
  • Lead and or support the delivery of the projects and provide specific inputs to ongoing projects,
    Support MEL initiatives.

Experience and skills


  • Self-motivation.
  • Self-organisation. Ability to manage time and resources and work with tight deadlines efficiently. And the ability to manage a complex and varied workload, coordinate tasks amongst different activities and report to strategic positions within the team.
  • Flexibility to adapt to different responsibilities and to engage with a variety of audiences.
  • Good time and resource management.
  • Curiosity, creativity, and proactivity to find solutions, identify opportunities, and propose new ideas.
  • Engagement with different actors and facilitation skills are desirable.
  • Ability to work in a team AND the ability to work on own initiative and remotely
  • Strong synthesis and writing skills
  • Excellent writing skills.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Skills in negotiation, listening, communication of ideas, problem-solving, decision making.
  • Willingness to respond to queries and requests in a timely manner.
  • Multitasking skills.
  • IT skills basic knowledge of any data analytic software (or inclination to learn), basic knowledge of WordPress websites (or inclination to learn). Knowledge of Airtable desirable (but an inclination to learn is also good).
  • Experience in gathering and analysing quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Fluent in English, competency in any others desirable.

Previous experiences and knowledge:

  • Experience in producing high quality (published – think tank or consultancy style) research outputs in a short period of time and for different audiences.
  • Experience working in a think tank or a policy research institute.
  • Knowledge or interest of key issues and organisations in the fields of international development and, in particular, evidence-informed policymaking.


  • A positive disposition to engage with policy research funders, policymakers, thinktankers and think tank leaders from all parts of the world.
  • Experience working as part of a remote team.

Other useful information

Terms of employment

  • Hours: Full-time ( but flexible working hours)
  • Salary: Salary is competitive depending on your experience – note OTT is a UK based company – for UK residents this will be a salaried position; for non-UK residents, the post will be in the form of a long-term consultancy contract – depending on the legislation of your country of residence. When possible OTT will seek to equate the benefits that UK based staff receive.
  • Contract type: Fixed – 1 year- with the option to renew on a permanent basis.

Application process

To apply, please, submit your application to this link, by 31 January 2022, wherever you are. The application form will ask for:

  • Your CV in PDF tailored to respond to the role (no more than 3 pages).
  • A cover letter that addresses the competencies required and your experience in performing the roles for the post.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed, asked for two references and to complete a simple task.

If you have any questions about the position, please email [email protected]

Diversity and inclusion

At OTT we value diversity. We are a global initiative. We encourage applicants from all over the world and will not discriminate on the basis of anything other than the candidate’s ability to do the job.