University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Director of Research Strategy

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is a globally influential institute, working with leaders to build a sustainable economy. Through focused collaboration between business, government and finance institutions, we believe the economy can be 'rewired' to deliver positive outcomes for people and the environment - in short to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

We further this mission in the following ways:

  • Building the leadership capacity of individuals;
  • Developing the capability of whole organisations;
  • Facilitating collaboration and dialogue across conventional boundaries;
  • Catalysing innovation and solutions;
  • Building the evidence base for action.

The Director of Research Strategy will lead a brand new business unit in CISL known as the Research Catalyst. This role will provide research design, management, commissioning, governance, communication, and funding services to the whole organisation. The role holder will develop the Research Catalyst from scratch into a thriving team that will develop CISL's reputation as a global pioneer in transdisciplinary research on sustainability. This will be accomplished by drawing on the breadth of Cambridge research through partnerships, and in some cases co-location, with aligned projects and research groups.

In particular, the role holder will grow CISL's reputation as a leading centre for the study of sustainable business, achieved through the establishment of a Prince of Wales Global Sustainability Fellowship Programme supported by progressive companies and influencing the decisions of business, government and financial institutions.

Applicants must be committed to the values that underpin CISL's work and will be expected to demonstrate the following essential qualifications, experience and skills:

  • Hold a doctorate and be professionally qualified with a relevant degree.
  • Respected research in one or more of CISL's research themes.
  • Senior management experience in a complex organisation with academic and business stakeholders.
  • Academic or industrial research development, including management of researchers, project and programme management, financial management, and contract negotiation.
  • Management of major, complex portfolios of research projects with organisational-wide impact.
  • Successful research fundraising from public, private and commercial sources.
  • Experience of management, supervision and growth of research teams.
  • Commercially astute, with financial and budget management experience and skills.
  • Ability to plan work and adapt to rapidly changing priorities, structures, pressures, and opportunities.
  • Maturity and gravitas, with excellent relationship building skills.
  • Diplomatic and skilled communicator with ability to tailor approach to diverse audiences.
  • Articulate and persuasive, with ability to marshal evidence behind arguments and cases.
  • Ability to manage tensions with strong mediation skills.

This post is full-time and located in Cambridge. Additional information about the role, CISL, and the University of Cambridge is available in the Further Information document below.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Informal enquiries may be made to the CISL Human Resources team,

Please quote reference EN15862 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online