Director of Research, Education and Policy
Sands was founded in 1978 by a small group of bereaved parents devastated by the death of their babies, and by the total lack of acknowledgement and understanding of the significance and impact of their loss. Since then, Sands has played a key role in raising public awareness of baby death across the UK, supported thousands of parents whose babies have died, worked closely with healthcare professionals to improve the care bereaved parents receive and funded much social and medical research to help better understand why babies die and to prevent such tragedies.
Sands are seeking to appoint a new Director of Research, Education and Policy, who, as part of the Senior Leadership Group, will play a key role in ensuring the success of the charity.
The key areas of responsibility will be to:
- Develop and implement strategies to enable Sands to:
- contribute to the understanding of why babies die and to support robust translation of research into practice and prevention.
- ensure that the bereavement care offered after the death of a baby is evidence-based, comprehensive, available when needed and offered by all healthcare professionals.
- obtain widespread commitment, from national to individual level, in reducing the number of babies dying and improving bereavement care.
- Ensure that the ‘Research and Prevention’, ‘Improving Bereavement Care’, and ‘Policy and Campaigning’ teams are structured to enable them to effectively and confidently work to an excellent standard, supporting the strategic aims of Sands.
- Manage the teams in the Prevention, Improvement and Policy Directorate to achieve the effective delivery of the strategy and business plans.
- As a member of the Senior Leadership Group contribute to the development and implementation of Sands’ organisational strategy, ensuring a holistic approach to the delivery of the objectives and that best use is made of the strengths of staff and local groups.
We are looking for someone with relevant experience in a leadership role in leading a research, policy and/or education function, ideally obtained in a people or service focused charity, health organisation, membership organisation or a similar field. The ideal candidate will have demonstrable success in developing and driving policy change, ideally including experience of developing and delivering successful campaigns for change at a national level.
You must also be able to demonstrate:
- A Honours Degree (postgraduate qualification is desirable).
- A thorough and applied understanding of the relationship between research, policy and practice and of broader developments in health policy and research methods.
- Experience of developing, delivering and/or managing adult education programmes.
- Ability to read, understand and evaluate medical research papers, assess their quality and summarise key findings into accessible formats for the benefit of colleagues and stakeholders.
- Experience of introducing and/or improving impact reporting and/or quality assurance mechanisms.
- Experience of creating a strong external profile with stakeholders and ensuring presence on key advisory groups.
- Proven experience of developing and sustaining relationships with key stakeholders including MP’s, healthcare professionals, external policy advisers and service users.
- Strong communication skills with the ability to produce concise and persuasive written information as well as to speak powerfully to diverse audiences.
- Track record of developing and implementing strategies, budgets and operational plans.
- Excellent organisation and project management skills.
- Excellent understanding and championing of diversity issues.
The person appointed will have strong leadership qualities, be a strategic thinker and bring energy and an innovative approach to the role. We are looking for someone who has a broad understanding and appreciation of research, policy and education and the impact of that to raise awareness and drive change. Above all, we are looking for someone who believes in the importance of the work that Sands does, who feels real empathy for those who are affected by the death of a baby but has a determination to reduce the number of babies dying and to improve the care and support that parents receive.
For more information on this role please download the Candidate Information Pack.
Closing date for applications is Monday 3rd April.