Democratic society (Europe) – Research Manager Democratic Practice

Employeur : Democratic society

Date souhaitée de début du contrat : 31/05/2021

Lieu : Bruxelles ou Berlin

Type de contrat : cdi


The Research Manager will work within the Design and Research team at Democratic Society to support thefurtherdevelopment and delivery of our Research Strategy and support the way in which the organisation does research and learning to develop better democratic practice. This role will operate across different Programmes within the organisation to provideupdated knowledge and theory from the field of democratic innovation that can inform our work. The role will also support the translation ofknowledge from the organisation’s democratic practice into thinking and developing better democratic design solutions to complex challenges.

Although we have a strong preference for the role to be based in Brussels or Berlin (where our offices arebased) wewill consider applications from other places in Europe. Applicants will have to be based in a Country where Democratic Society has already staff (Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Austriaand the UK) and will work closely to all offices across Europe,contributingto wider projects across the organisation. The applicant will have to have the right to work and travel in the EU.Equality, access and diversityDemocratic Society is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes all suitably skilled persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, faith, sexual orientation, education or age. We are a multilingual and multicultural organisation, working internationally and actively working to ensure our team reflects the communities and places we serve. As a mission driven organisation, we seek people who are aligned with our core values of openness, democracy, and internationalism.

Job description

The role will report to the Head of Research and Design and will work closely with a range of partners, stakeholders and colleagues across the Democratic Society. The role willbe expected to provide support on knowledge development and management, report writing and research governance.More specifically, therole’sresponsibilitieswill focuson the following fourkey areas:

1.Democratic Research

  • Leading the design of research plans (including the identification of lines of enquiry, research methods and tools, data analysis and dissemination) in line with the Research Strategy and the organisational Theory of Change.
  • Developing literature review and analysis on key topics of interest for different programmes and projects, and on the field of democratic innovation and democratic design.
  • Writing of research pieces and notes for the purpose of disseminating learning internally and externally in the organisation and for achieving policy impact.

2.Research Governance

  • Supporting the Head of Design and Research with the planning and execution of research projects across the organisation.
  • Ensuring researchprojects are delivered at the high level of qualityand in an ethical and inclusive way.
  • Liaising with partner organisations and stakeholder groups to ensure our researchisinformed by best practice in a manner that is open, nonextractive and inclusive.
  • Developing and leading specialist training and coaching on research ethics, research skills and quality in qualitative research (with a particular focus on innovative and participatory research methods).

3.Thought Leadership

  • Supporting the work of the Head of Design and Research to deliver Democratic Society’sResearch Strategyand establish the thought leadership of the organisation.
  • Representing Democratic Society at conferences or public speaking events in coordination with the Head of Design and Research.
  • Establishing and maintaining strong partnerships with a wide range of actors in the field of democratic innovation and fostering relationships with key external organisations.

4.Learning and Impact

  • Supporting the organisation in becoming a learning organisationand developing a research practice that will support the advancement of our democratic practiceand impact.
  • Writing and sharing our learning for a range of audiences, including practitioners, academia, civil society, funders and democratic institutions.
  • Linking with a range of organisations, bodies and networks to learn and share with others; ensuring we are recognised in our communities of practice.


The ideal applicant will be an inspiring colleague with strong research skills and highly adaptive to work in a fastpaced environment.The successful candidate must have the knowledge and enthusiasm for doing research in a participatory way and experience of working with action research approaches. Skills and experience in the policy field would be highly advantageous.

Qualifications and Experience

  • A minimum of 5 yearsexperience in research management and ideally policy work in nonforprofit, government,philanthropy,or academic sector
  • Good knowledge of the field of democratic innovation and the theory and literature inthis field
  • Master or equivalent expertise in democratic innovation research, political theory,or public policy (a PhD in this field would be highly desirable but not essential)
  • Direct experience of managing large and smallscale research projects would be necessary, dealing with diverse topics and working in complex and creative environments
  • Teaching and training expertise to support others to do high quality research work, data collection and analysis
  • Experience of working with governments and in the field of democratic innovation is highly desirable but not essential however, the successful applicant must have a highly developed understanding of the publicsector, policy making cycles and the democratic practitioner field.


  • Strong policy analysis and/or researchskills, with a high preference for participatory research methods and action research
  • Excellent communication skills to share learning and impact with others internally and externally Excellent writing and editorial skills to communicate with multiple audiences in academic and policy circles as well
  • Intellectually curios and enthusiasticabout learning new things, with a passion for inclusion and participatory research and design
  • Strong projectand research management and organisational skills. Previous experience working with dispersed and multicultural teams would be beneficial
  • Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Officeand other specific research management and data analysis software (e.g. MS Office, Airtable, Miro, Zotero, Mendeleyor others) in order to carry out research, analysis, and produce reports and presentations.


  • 49,01152,686 Euros depending on experience
  • English. Knowledge of other European languages would be desirable


Please send your application (CV, a 1page Cover letterand an example of your writing e.g. reflective blog piece, a policy or academic paper) to

We are planning to hold interviews on 6th and 7thMay, 2021and we would appreciate it if the successful candidate could start the position as soon as possible.