OTT is looking for a Research and Projects Officer to join our team. You'll be a crucial part of our consulting projects, conducting research and supporting project leads, while also contributing to our organisational growth and thought leadership.
OTT is a global consultancy and platform for change. We support and strengthen the work of research organisations, foundations, governments and others in support of better-informed decision making.
Our consultancy work focuses on developing tailored solutions to specific challenges. Through services spanning research, strategy, evaluation, learning facilitation, and organisational transformation, we partner with organisations to drive evidence-informed change.
On Think Tanks is a leading global source of information, support and community for people working in, with and funding think tanks. We create a space to connect, learn and exchange knowledge, ideas and resources.
Both our consultancy and community work has public good at its heart. We are committed to gathering new knowledge and making it available to everyone. We continuously seek to drive the sector forward.
Our new Research and Projects Officer (RPO) will work with OTT to support delivery of projects for our clients. Our consultancy work spans research, strategy, evaluation, learning facilitation, and organisational transformation. Current and recent clients include the Gates Foundation, Jacobs Foundation, European Union, Open Society Foundations, IDRC and the Tax Justice Network.
We are looking for a proactive, confident team member with a proven track record in coordinating or managing activities within teams, as well as excellent research and writing skills. The RPO will also participate actively in fundraising and business development activities. Experience in monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL), capacity development, business development and/or communications is desirable.
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.
The role will involve working across multiple projects with different scopes, timelines and roles, requiring excellent time management. Work in specific projects will be guided by the project’s lead (usually a senior associate or consultant) and will involve working with project technical teams, researchers, communications and MEL colleagues, and project assistants. The RPO will be line managed by the OTT Senior Associate (Evidence Use Lead) who will support in planning work across projects, in development and understanding of the role, and in wellbeing at work.
Specific responsibilities will vary per project but are likely to include:
Conducting research and analysis for consulting projects. This may include, for example:
- Conducting short pieces of desk research to produce, e.g., literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, or summaries.
- Drafting and/or summarising short articles, case studies or learning briefs independently.
- Working with other team members to co-author longer reports or reviews.
- Supporting MEL within projects — such as producing feedback forms or facilitating internal learning/sensemaking sessions.
Working closely with project leads as a core member of teams to support management and delivery of consulting projects. This may include, for example:
- Supporting the project lead in work planning, budgeting, team coordination and contracting.
- Supporting the project lead with overall project design and reporting elements such as inception workshops, mid-term review meetings and final reports.
- Leading or coordinating a strand of activities or deliverables within a project.
- We expect that this role may progress to also include leadership of projects.
Supporting the production of deliverables and communications products. This would include liaising with OTT’s communications team and may include, for example:
- Drafting Miro boards, PowerPoint presentations, blogs or other tools to present and share lessons from our work.
- Supporting with visual aspects of written deliverables such as formatting, producing tables or graphics.
- Coordinating between editors, designers and other communications experts supporting the project.
Supporting and contributing actively to business development activities such as proposals and concept notes.
In addition to the work within projects, the RPO will contribute towards our overall organisational growth and development. This will include:
- Supporting thought leadership, communications and engagement activities.
- Contributing to strengthening our networks, partnerships and collaborations.
Skills, knowledge and experience
- Proven experience coordinating and delivering strands of work within a project setting. This could be from any sector but should involve coordinating the work of others, managing tight and shifting timelines, and experience with standard project management activities such as workplanning, timekeeping, risk management, budgeting and reporting.
- Strong skills in qualitative and quantitative research, gained through an academic and/or policy research, think tank or consulting background. We would expect this to include production of high quality (published- think tank or consultancy style) research outputs in a short period of time and for different audiences.
- Interest in the key issues and organisations in evidence informed policy and international development, with specific knowledge/experience in at least one of the following: research production, research communication/knowledge brokering, M&E, or evidence use.
- Exemplary writing skills in English, including confidence with a variety of formats and audiences (e.g., reports, literature reviews, briefs/summaries, communications products).
- Exceptional time management and self-organisation skills in a remote/international team setting. We would expect this to include communication within teams, planning and expectation setting to work within tight deadlines and report to senior positions, and coordination across multiple time zones.
Experience in any/all of the following areas would be an asset:
- MEL, e.g., outcome mapping, theory of change, project level M&E plans, design of M&E tools.
- Communications, either specific skill areas (design, editing, digital) or project level/general communications planning and delivery of activities such as blogs, events, or social media.
- Capacity development approaches, especially training, facilitation adult learning (virtual and/or in person), designing workshops and other learning activities.
- Fundraising and business development management and/or proposal writing.
- Leading projects.
- Drafting Terms of References and managing contracts within teams.
- Handling external relationships with partners, funders, clients and/or other stakeholders in a diverse range of contexts.
- Experience designing and/or leading projects in an NGO, consultancy or think tank setting.
- Ability to work in languages other than English.
- Experience and networks in any of the following regional contexts: sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, Middle East/North Africa.
- Basic knowledge (or inclination to learn) any data analytic software; whiteboard software such as Miro; WordPress websites; design software.
- Experience working in a ‘matrix management’ style setting (across multiple projects and reporting lines).
Terms of employment
Hours: Full-time with flexible working hours.
Salary: Competitive depending on your experience.
Please note that OTT is a UK-based company, for UK residents this would be a salaried position; for non-UK residents the post may be in the form of a consultancy contract depending on the legislation of your country of residence.
Contract type: Fixed, 1 year, with option to renew.
Stage 2: shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a writing sample and attend an interview (expected third- or fourth-week of November)
Stage 3: following the first round of interviews, final candidates may be invited to a follow-up conversation with the OTT Director.
We expect to confirm the role in early December, with a start date most likely in January 2024.