Home Current Job Vacancies Head of Research, Knowledge and Policy

Head of Research, Knowledge and Policy

* Closing date extended to Tuesday 8th May, 5pm *



Overall Job Purpose

This is a senior management role which will translate research into policy and advocacy in order to drive the mission of the organisation. The role-holder will work collaboratively across all aspects of the organisation to ensure that the programmes and messages of the organisation are driven by the best available evidence. They will coordinate a Routine Data project to build a better quantitative picture of death, dying and bereavement in Ireland. They will drive a growing volume of research-related activity, including dissemination of relevant international research, as well as stimulating relevant and necessary research within the Irish Health System. They will also manage the Advocacy function of the organisation, particularly in relation to creating policy content within this work.

Duties and responsibilities

Overseeing strategy on research, knowledge, policy and advocacy
1. Interpreting and translating both national and international research to drive advocacy and policy work
2. Finalising a knowledge translation and research strategy for the IHF which speaks to the relevant issues
3. Working, as a member of the Senior Management Team (SMT), with all elements of the organisation to identify the impact of the projects and programmes
4. Advising project managers on appropriate evaluation processes and, where applicable, commissioning and managing external evaluations of organisation projects or programmes
5. Contributing a research perspective to the strategies of the organisation, including the digital strategy and communications strategy and the annual business plan
6. Identifying and engaging in applications for multi-partner projects, e.g. European projects, as well as engaging with a national research community with a common interest in improvement of end of life care
Overseeing knowledge and research activity
1. Developing IHF research function as a two-way mechanism – exploring how research informs IHF activities, and how we use our own research to influence the external world
2. Developing mechanisms to shape, inform and generate policy positions of the IHF through research evidence – building research briefs, communiques and other tools
3. Overseeing the development of robust content for our advocacy work and growing and developing this role, in partnership with the Advocacy Manager
4. Working with key officials, data custodians and analysts of existing routine datasets in order to build a comprehensive data picture of death, dying and bereavement in Ireland
5. Developing reports, digests, infographics and other communications of relevant research and finding
6. Liaising with the All Ireland Institute for Hospice and Palliative Care (AIIHPC) and the broader research sector in order to ensure that current research can inform the work of the organisation
7. Securing, in partnership with the IHF fundraising team, external financial support for projects with a knowledge or research component
Managing staff and other duties
1. Managing any staff or contractors appointed related to this area (currently the Advocacy Manager
2. Providing technical assistance, training and coordination to staff commissioning or devising projects with a research element
3. Conducting or overseeing appropriate research as required, convening advisory groups and policy committee
4. Carrying out other roles or duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the post, as requested by the CEO


  • Third-level qualification in a relevant discipline, ideally at Masters level or above
  • Track record in translating research into policy and/or practice
  • Ability to relate research and research methodologies to the strategic needs of the organisation and the broader policy environment
  • Experience of data analysis, data management or commissioning data-dependent projects
  • Staff management skills and experience of managing and developing a team as well as working collaboratively across an organisation
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in order to engage with both specialist and general stakeholders
  • Confident, effective decision-making with strong analytical skills
  • Experience of engaging in or applying for multi-partner projects, e.g. European projects
  • Experience in the management of both research and public affairs
  • Strong reputation in the field of health or social research
  • Strong diplomatic and negotiation skills
  • Strategic outlook on the future of the organisation


Ideally, the successful applicant will have the following attributes:
  • Committed to the vision and mission of the organisation
  • Resilient and robust with a positive outlook
  • Capable of managing uncertainty with an ability to be agile
  • Energetic with a high degree of personal drive and initiative


The salary scale for the post will be commensurate with experience and will reflect the senior management position within the organisation.


Applications should be submitted, by 5.00pm on Tuesday 8th May.
By post to:
Head of Research, Knowledge & Policy Post
 c/o Mary Cleary
 Irish Hospice Foundation
 Morrison Chambers (4th Floor)
 32 Nassau Street
 Dublin 2
 D02 YE06
By email to:
mary.cleary@hospicefoundation.ie and titled Head of Research, Knowledge & Policy Post.
  • Any electronic documents should be saved as PDFs.
  • Each applicant should submit a covering letter outlining the reasons why they believe they are suitable for this role along with a CV, outlining relevant experience. The letter plus the CV together should not exceed five A4 pages in total. Applicants will be short-listed on the basis of information supplied.
  • Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  • Should the person recommended for appointment decline, or having accepted it, relinquish it or if an additional vacancy arises IHF may, at its discretion, select and recommend another person for appointment on the results of this selection process.
For full job description, click here.
Back to the Top