Overview of Zinc: Zinc exists to build and scale a new way to tackle society’s most important problems. We run a venture-builder programme where 50 entrepreneurs come together in London, full-time, with the aim of creating new businesses from scratch. Our programmes bring together diverse & talented cohorts of people, who are united by one overarching mission. From 2020-2024, we will be focusing on four missions: improving mental and emotional health; adding more years of high quality to later life; creating new opportunities in places hard-hit by automation and globalisation; and helping people minimise the harm they do to the environment.
Research & Development at Zinc: Zinc’s missions & ventures provide a range of exciting opportunities for research. We are committed to maximising the potential value of these opportunities, through a programme of work that is problem-led, user-centred, interdisciplinary, and aligned with open science principles. Our in-house R&D team (https://www.zinc.vc/rdteam) have backgrounds in behavioural science, psychology / cognitive neuroscience, sociology / gerontology, and data science. We support founders to identify opportunities from existing research, develop lines of enquiry, undertake rapid problem-led reviews of research, design and test new products and services, work closely with users to co-create solutions, and identify gaps that need to be targeted by researchers, innovators and/or funders.
Role Description: As part of the team that will scale-up our R&D activities over the next 4 years, we are looking we are looking for someone with a strong research background to lead Zinc’s research design and evaluation activities - developing and implementing a coordinated approach to user-centred research across our activities and ventures. This role is ideally suited to someone who has experience in setting up or scaling up a research function in an organisation, with excellent research translation and application skills and a passion for innovative research methodologies. This is a full-time role, based in London. The role will form part of a core Research and Innovation team, focused on scaling Zinc’s R&D activities. The successful applicant will work closely with the Zinc team to:
- Lead Zinc’s user research agenda, streamlining research operations and ensuring that the Zinc team and its ventures have the access to tools, methods and governance processes to run research effectively and ethically
- Collaborate with and coordinate researchers working in and with our ventures (working with researchers across disciplines, sectors and geographies), streamlining and synthesising research projects and operations
- Source and implement innovative evaluation methodologies, drawing on newer, rapid research designs
- Build an internal library of research resources for our entrepreneurs and ventures
- Design and implement end-to-end research studies and disseminate the findings to senior stakeholders.
- Work closely with the rest of Zinc’s R&D team to ensure Zinc ventures are developing engaging, effective and user-centred products and services
This role would suit an individual with a background in research, strong operational skills, and experience of leading research projects in non-academic settings. We are looking for someone with the following skills/experience/attributes:
- Experience implementing research projects in applied settings, ideally within startups;
- Ability to translate user research findings into design recommendations and product adaptations;
- Passionate about innovative co-creation, design, and evaluation methodologies;
- Experience setting up research functions, operations and processes from scratch;
- Comfortable working with people from a range of disciplinary backgrounds (e.g. design, UX research, engineering, data science, etc.);
- Motivated to contribute to areas beyond specialist responsibilities and comfortable with variety in your day-to-day role;
- Comfortable with ambiguity: You can plan and execute work in a fast-paced, agile environment, working to tight and often-changing timelines;
- Team player: You can work with the Zinc team and our ecosystem in a proactive and constructive way;
- Effective organiser and proactive ‘do-er’: You are organised and hands-on, and able to use initiative to make decisions;
- Passion for Zinc’s mission: You are passionate about Zinc’s approach to tackling important societal problems through entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and accelerating research impact.
This is an exciting opportunity for an experienced individual to work in a dynamic, fast-paced and growing team. Read more about our R&D plans here: https://medium.com/@rachel_80142/building-mission-driven-science-rich-startups-53a46aa63bc9