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Research Leader: Innovation, Health and Science (EU Institutions)

This is an exciting opportunity working with the one of the world’s most respected public policy research organisations.  It is ideally suited to a flexible and ambitious individual who is used to engaging with EU institutions and wishes to make a real impact on policy, working alongside a very talented team in a collegiate environment.

About RAND Europe

RAND Europe is a not-for-profit policy research organisation.  Our mission is to help improve policy- and decision-making through evidence-based research and analysis.  We realise our mission by undertaking objective, balanced and relevant research, sharing the insights and information widely, and working in partnership with a range of clients and collaborators.

We are a values-driven organisation and our experience shows that our most successful researchers closely align their behaviours with our value set.

We wish to recruit a Research Leader to work in our Brussels office who has an excellent track record in policy research, particularly for EU institutions.

About the team

Innovation, Health & Science (IHS) team members have backgrounds in science, innovation and technology policy, public health, health services research, health economics, psychology, systems design and other natural and social science disciplines.  We collaborate widely with like-minded academic and other organisations across Europe, with the RAND Corporation in the U.S., and we have and continue to build strong research partnerships with collaborators internationally.

We are looking for a Research Leader to support the Research Group Director of the Innovation, Health & Science (IHS) research group. The particular focus of this role is to lead business development and project delivery for the IHS group’s EU client base.  This will include managing some of our framework contracts with DG SANTE, DG CONNECT and DG RTD, developing your own portfolio of research with the EU institutions and Member States, as well as supporting the wider IHS team in growing their portfolio of European work. The role will necessarily involve extensive networking with current and potential clients and partners to successfully position IHS for future contracts. The role holder will be accountable for working with senior colleagues in supporting and motivating the IHS research group on a day-to-day basis, leading groups of talented researchers in winning and delivering research/consultancy tasks across a range of innovation, science, health and healthcare-related topics. They will work in a strong team-based environment to conduct policy analysis in national governments, European and global settings.

This talented individual will have strong research methodological skills covering two or more of the following areas in the field of innovation, health or science policy: design of monitoring and evaluation frameworks, intervention logics, indicator design and data collection (qualitative and quantitative), impact assessment (cost-benefit analysis, multi-criteria analysis), and stakeholder engagement.  The successful individual will have experience of policy research and evaluation for the EU institutions and Member States, and the ability to network extensively and develop business across areas both within and beyond immediate areas of expertise.  You should be able to work autonomously and as part of teams, working with colleagues in Cambridge and Brussels. This position would require travel to Cambridge from time to time.

The Research Leader will be responsible for taking a leading role in research projects, generating revenue with EU clients for the IHS team, and leading bid and proposal/business development initiatives to support wider group objectives. The Research Leader will also be actively involved in the strategic development and outreach activities of the RAND Europe Brussels office.

The role will be involved in developing a programme of research across the full range of IHS research areas as well as developing our methodological expertise, particularly in evaluation and impact assessment.


Successful candidates will have:

  • A science, research and innovation, or health policy background with a demonstrable and strong track record of applying their research skills to policy problems. Relevant disciplines include public policy, politics, economics, sociology or related social science disciplines and/or a background in statistics or the natural sciences with related policy experience. They will bring knowledge of policy and/or research evaluation, ideally in more than one setting.
  • A demonstrable track record of winning European funding for research/consultancy Experience of managing framework contracts with EU institutions is desirable.
  • Excellent evidence of working as part of a team, motivating others, mentoring and developing colleagues for career progression.
  • An established network of European contacts and partners with which RAND Europe will be able to develop collaborations and form teams to deliver first class research proposals and projects.
  • In addition, they will have excellent analytical, writing and presentation skills (evidenced by examples) and the proven ability to communicate effectively with clients and to varied audiences.  The role requires strong project management experience, including experience of budget preparation and management.


Key responsibilities of the role are:

Research Leadership

  • Taking forward RAND Europe’s successful research track record in its existing innovation, health and science areas of specialism, developing and managing a portfolio of large, complex projects and expanding into new areas of work.
  • Providing thought leadership on specialist topics and new ways of addressing research challenges (including different methods and techniques).
  • Mentoring research staff and facilitating development of others' project management and methodological skills.
  • Taking a leading role in ensuring that RAND Europe’s research has a positive impact within policy communities.


Business development, particularly in the EU

  • Contribute to the work of IHS in Brussels, so contributing to delivery of research group target revenues and sales by securing funding for research and consultancy tasks, and supporting others in doing so.
  • Leading some of our framework contracts with EU institutions.
  • Co-ordinating and managing a portfolio of business development initiatives including leading and supporting bid and proposal activity, often as multi-partner proposals.
  • Consolidating and initiating networks and contacts with funders and collaborators.


Group and other responsibilities

  • Working with other team members and the Research Group Director to develop the IHS Group’s research and strategy.
  • As a senior member of the team, setting a collegiate tone and contributing to the development and profile of the wider organisation. 
  • Leading on innovative ways to raise RAND Europe’s profile and communicate research findings to maximise impact.
  • Contribute to the EU business development strategy and operations of the Brussels Office


Required skills and experience:

  • Proven track record developing and managing significant projects related to innovation, health and science research in support of improved policymaking in the European Union, Member States.
  • Extensive experience building and leading multi-disciplinary teams, with research leadership experience preferred.
  • Demonstrable success in business development, including bid and proposal writing (preferably securing EU and national governmental research funding).
  • Good research and policy networks with the EU institutions and in Member States. 
  • Evidence of sustaining effective working relationships with stakeholders in the public and/or private sector and an understanding of their pressures and drivers. Fluency in English is essential. Proficiency in one or more other languages would be an asset.
  • First class verbal and written communication skills, with an ability to think and work accurately in high-pressure situations.


Personal qualities:

  • Commercially astute, analytical thinker with the ability to see issues strategically and at a practical level from a variety of perspectives.
  • The gravitas, networking and sales presentation skills to build relationships at senior levels, facilitate joint decision making and develop an order book of business with potential funders and collaborators.
  • An inclusive, motivated leader and coach with the inspirational interpersonal skills to motivate a team, instil standards of excellence and develop people as appropriate for career progression.
  • Hands-on, team player with a strong commitment to rigorous research, customer service and the ability to project manage multiple tasks and work to tight deadlines.
  • Ambitious, results driven, self-starter with high energy levels, who is comfortable working with ambiguity as well as process, and quick to spot a commercial opportunity.
  • Open minded, with the humility to recognise success in others and accept challenge from highly capable junior members of the team.


This role is based in RAND Europe’s Brussels office, and will work alongside RE colleagues in our office there, although there will be some requirement to travel and spend brief periods away visiting clients at other European sites, RAND Europe’s Cambridge office and possibly also RAND Corporation in the US.  Further, in order to be fully immersed in the culture and ways of working of RAND Europe and the IHS team, for the first 3 months of this post the post-holder will be based in Cambridge with the IHS team.


Benefits package

  • 7% Employer contribution Pension 
  • Hospitalisation costs
  • Meal vouchers
  • Generous holiday allowance
  • Flexible working arrangement
  • Group insurance
  • A friendly multinational work environment
  • Employee wellbeing initiatives – such as fresh fruit

How to apply

If you feel that you have the qualities to be a part of our team, please submit an application via RAND Europe’s online careers portal.  Your application will consist of a CV, covering letter and a short writing sample (up to 3 pages, aimed at a non-technical audience). Please note, your CV, covering letter and writing sample must be submitted as a single document.

Providing all candidates meet the required criteria, preference will be given to those candidates who already have the legal right to work in Belgium.

In your application you must state your eligibility to work in the EU.

Closing date for this position is 16 February 2020.