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Director of Research and Policy
Sarcoma UK

Job Description

The Director of Research and Policy is an extremely important role at Sarcoma UK. This role will lead the development and implementation of our research and policy & public affairs strategies and oversee the delivery of our plans and activities in these areas. You will also be a member of our Senior Management Team contributing to the wider organisation’s success as well as managing your team.

Since the charity was established in 2010 we have seen impressive year on year growth in terms of our reach, our offer and our impact as well as our income. We launched our Support Line in 2016, the Sarcoma Clinical Trials Hub in 2018 and we have invested over £2million in sarcoma research to date. We will invest £890,000 into research this year.

We aim to spend £1million on our research portfolio next year and will work with partners to both strengthen that research and improve outcomes for patients. Our 2018-21 organisational strategy outlines three priorities: research; information and support; and awareness and campaigning. The successful candidate will play an important role in helping us develop a dynamic, new strategy for Sarcoma UK as well a robust research strategy.

We are keen to find someone with research and public affairs experience who is looking for an exciting new role where they can make a real impact and help us reach our ambitious targets. Our ideal candidate is someone who has a passion for high quality research which increases knowledge and practice. They will be keen to influence public policy for this rare cancer and committed to improving the lives of sarcoma patients and their families.

Hours: Full-time (37.5 hours per week)

Location: Office based - Old Street, London N1

Reports to: Chief Executive

Direct reports: Research Grants Officer and Policy and Public Affairs Manager

Salary: c£50,000 p.a. (depending on experience) 

Benefits:   Up to 5% matched contribution to Sarcoma UK pension scheme; interest-free season ticket and bicycle loan. 25 day’s holiday entitlement per annum plus bank holidays and the working days between Christmas and New Year.

Job Purpose

Responsible for the strategic direction, leadership and management of the Research and Policy Departments, including; the Sarcoma UK Research Programme, and development of policy and campaigns.

To contribute to the development of the charity as part of the Leadership Team.

Duties and Key Responsibilities

Strategic leadership

  • To ensure the work of the Research and Policy Department is focused on delivering the targets set out in “Changing the landscape for sarcoma”, Sarcoma UK’s 6-year strategy and any new strategy documents.
  • To scan the horizon and identify new opportunities for development.
  • To report to the Board of Trustees about progress against strategic objectives.
  • To contribute to the senior leadership of Sarcoma UK as a member of the Leadership Team: Sharing responsibility for overall organisational performance and ensuring that Sarcoma UK’s strategic objectives and decisions are well informed, clear, implemented on time and within budget.
  • Operating a management culture that is performance based but also supportive.
  • Promoting Sarcoma UK’s values and brand to internal and external audiences.
  • Deputising for the Chief Executive as required.

Leadership of the Department

  • To develop and implement an annual plan for the department that reflects agreed strategic priorities and contributes to the charity’s overall annual business plan.
  • To establish effective systems for monitoring, evaluating and reporting progress against the business plan and strategy.
  • To prepare, manage and regularly review the departmental budget.
  • Oversee the development of and implementation of policies and practices relating to delivery and operation of the department. Establish review and audit programme where appropriate.
  • To provide line management and day-to-day support for the Research Grants Officer and Policy staff.

Leadership of the Scientific Research Programme

  • To manage and develop Sarcoma UK’s scientific research programme in order to maximise the charity’s investment and impact.
  • To work with the Research Advisory Committee to develop, review and implement the charity’s research strategy and to influence the development of a UK-wide research strategy for sarcoma.
  • To manage the charity’s grant application processes ensuring that the highest quality research is identified and funded.
  • To manage the charity’s portfolio of active research grants including monitoring and evaluation of grant progress and reporting.
  • To work with Sarcoma UK’s Communications team to ensure our research activities and outcomes are communicated effectively.

Leadership of the Policy Programme

  • To develop and lead the policy programme for Sarcoma UK.
  • In conjunction / liaison with Communications develop campaigns to bring change for sarcoma patients and meet our strategic aims.
  • To increase visibility of sarcoma through influencing and lobbying in UK government and devolved nations.
  • To develop and manage cohort of ambassadors / spokespeople to brief and influence on behalf of the charity. 

Building Relationships

  • To network, establish and maintain professional relationships with key external bodies, stakeholders and to develop partnership working opportunities when appropriate.
  • To represent the charity externally at conferences and meetings, and to the media.
  • To ensure the charity’s research and policy activities are integrated across the charity and enhance marketing and fundraising objectives.
  • To establish and maintain professional relationships internally, leading by example and reflecting Sarcoma UK’s values.
  • Effective line management of the Research Officer and Policy Manager.


  • To maintain an up-to-date knowledge of developments across the sector.
  • The post holder will be working in a developing environment and s/he will therefore be required to undertake other appropriate duties as necessary for the efficient operation of Sarcoma UK.
  • The role will require occasional travel to meeting and events. Occasional weekend or evening work may also be required and time off in lieu may be given.

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.