Senior Observatory Lead


23rd September 2022

The British Academy, the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences, is seeking a Senior Observatory Lead to join a growing and high-performing policy team, focussed on higher education, skills and research policy.

The role

The Senior Observatory Lead is a new post established as part of a planned expansion to the established Higher Education and Skills Policy Team (currently six people). The Higher Education Team is a collaborative, productive and high-performing team, part of the Academy’s Policy Directorate alongside the Public Policy Team. We work to position the Academy as a thought leader on Higher Education and research policy, engaging in evidence-based policy to influence the health and vibrancy of our disciplines throughout the pipeline. This involves a combination of reactive responses to policy developments as they occur, and proactive planned projects designed to strengthen our evidence base, support the SHAPE discipline community, and stimulate debate.

The core duty of the Senior Observatory Lead is to oversee the strategic development and implementation of an exciting new endeavour for the Academy, the shape Observatory. The Observatory will investigate the health of SHAPE (Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts) disciplines across teaching and research to assist our wider research and higher education community by providing analysis, insights, and interventions.

The Senior Observatory Lead will use, produce, and evaluate different forms of evidence to effectively evaluate teaching and research health, give us early warning of emerging trends, and tailor our higher education and skills policy work to the most pressing issues. This role will involve overseeing a Policy Analyst  while working with the wider policy, communications, and research teams to ensure the continuous collection and deep scrutiny of data through the Observatory.

About the Academy

The British Academy is the UK’s national body for the humanities and social sciences, established by Royal Charter in 1902. We mobilise these disciplines to understand the world and shape a brighter future. Today’s complex challenges can only be resolved by deepening our insight into people, culture, and societies. With a Fellowship of around 1,400 leading national and international academics, the Academy invests in researchers and projects across the UK and overseas, engages the public with fresh thinking and debates, and brings together scholars, government, business, and civil society to influence policy.

The Academy currently has five directorates, Communications & Marketing Development, Policy, Research, and Resources, plus a small Governance & Fellowship Team. We have increased staffing in the last 12 months and expect to continue to grow this year.

Working at the Academy

Our senior management team have worked with staff to foster a culture of collaboration, respect, and empathy, in which all contributions are recognised as we work towards our common goals. Our people strategy and working practices focus on building strengths and sharing insights, with learning & development, wellbeing, and equality, diversity & inclusion at the centre of how we operate as an organisation. Investing in our staff and encouraging a healthy work/life balance is central to our success, as we move forward and continue to grow.

Terms and conditions

The British Academy is based at 10-11, Carlton House Terrace, London SW1, a Grade 1 listed building. We offer a competitive benefits package including a 35-hour working week, with hours and location worked flexibly under our hybrid-working policy, 34 days’ annual leave plus Bank Holidays, and a defined benefit occupational pension.

For more information and to apply, please click here

Closing date: Noon, 23rd September 2022

We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds, in line with our commitment to create a diverse and inclusive working environment, promote equal opportunity, and address under-representation. We will make reasonable adjustments to support disabled job applicants and offer an interview to those meeting the minimum selection criteria.