Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality. It also means changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society, from the frontiers of personalised healthcare to stretched public services and a fast-changing jobs market. Nesta is based in the UK and supported by a financial endowment. We work with partners around the globe to bring bold ideas to life to change the world for good.
As part of Nesta’s upcoming new strategy, we will focus on three innovation missions, comprising of work to equalise life chances, to increase the number of healthy lives for people most affected by health inequalities, and to secure a post-COVID-19 economy that works better for people and the planet.
Are you an analytical, highly organised and influential individual with strong business acumen and a proven record of overseeing the design, prototyping, and rigorous testing of interventions as well as of leading effective teams that maintain high research standards?
If so, Nesta is looking for a Chief Scientist to play a key role in Nesta’s new strategy, where you will contribute to a transformative agenda to improve the lives of millions of people by leading teams who apply a range of innovation capabilities, such as data science, design, experimentation, to prove the potential of innovation to achieve social impact.
Key roles and responsibilities
As Chief Scientist, you will focus on building and combining world-class innovation practices within Nesta to achieve the outcomes of our Missions and our overall strategy. You will achieve this by overseeing teams of experienced data scientists, researchers, and designers to develop their methodological expertise, and apply their practice to develop interventions that drive innovation for social good. You will also be expected to:
- Champion and drive an organisational culture of exploration, learning, development, and rigour
- Clearly communicate and mobilise staff around Nesta’s vision and direction
- Support the development and delivery of our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals
- Contribute at all board meetings and represent Nesta in external fora as an expert
- Lead and manage Nesta’s methods teams to produce excellent work and develop their skills and influence
- Proactively identify research grants and design, staff, run and publish research projects
Experience and skills
Curious about new methods, open to contributions and ideas from all sources, and keen to push the pace and scale of our impact, our successful candidate will be used to working as part of a senior management team, supporting executive level colleagues and possess experience in an executive role with authority for strategic decisions affecting organisational impact, profitability, partnerships, and staffing.
An outstanding communicator, you will also have a proven record leading multidisciplinary teams, including those working on randomised controlled trials, data science, design, arts and culture, and a sound understanding of different innovation methods and disciplines. A recognised academic contribution in a relevant field and the ability to translate the findings of your research into applied insights for non-academic audiences are also vital.