Zinc Mission 3 Research Fellowship


Zinc Mission 3 Research Fellowship


Fellowship Details:

  • Duration: 12-18 months (subject to discussion) from June 2019

  • Salary range: £30,000 - £40,000

  • Location: Central London (some remote working feasible, subject to discussion)

  • Deadline for applications: April 15th, 2019.


About Zinc

Zinc builds new companies that tackle the biggest social problems in the developed world. We  do this through a 9-month, full-time programme for 50 creative, entrepreneurial individuals who come together at Zinc to start a new business from scratch. They build scalable products and services that target millions of customers, based on the best social science research, exponential technologies and creative design.

Each programme has a specific 'mission'; the first one focused on improving women's and girls' mental and emotional health, and the second, which is currently underway, focuses on unlocking opportunities for people in places that have been hard-hit by globalisation and automation.

Zinc’s third mission is to add five more years of high quality to later life. More details, including why we’ve chosen this mission and 10 key opportunity areas for new businesses, can be found here.  


Science in Zinc

A core priority for Zinc is to improve the impact of academic research on big social challenges. We embed science and research throughout our missions by:

  1. Identifying and prioritising issues and opportunity areas

  2. Building a biopsychosocial understanding of the issues

  3. Developing appropriate solutions that have a clear theory of change

  4. Testing and researching with users

  5. Determining how outcomes will be measured

  6. Disseminating learning

  7. Identifying gaps for future research

We also facilitate partnerships between our emerging businesses and academic individuals/groups/institutions. We are formally supported in this by a consortium of leading universities (details here), and work closely with a range of other institutions and partners.


The Zinc Mission 3 Programme

Zinc’s next programme, beginning September 30th, 2019 in London, will bring together 50 entrepreneurial individuals from around the world to:

  • explore opportunities that can add five more years of high quality to later life

  • design, test and build innovative solutions that are loved by users

  • find their Co-Founder and create their new business

  • access investors and partners to back their vision


Details of the Mission

We are looking for a Research Fellow to join Zinc for our Mission 3 programme. This is a full-time role for 12-18 months (beginning summer 2019); however, where individuals are unable to commit to a full-time role, we welcome discussions about other options. We envisage that the researcher may maintain an ongoing relationship with their existing/previous research organisation.

Note: We may be able to increase the number of Research Fellowships where researchers have financial support from their existing organisations (e.g. for university researchers, this could be through Impact Acceleration Accounts).

The role(s) will involve:

  • Months 1-3 (pre-programme): Translating published research about the mission into digestible summaries for the entrepreneurs, mobilising and gathering input from experts (e.g. through roundtable discussions, calls & meetings), and identifying pressing questions & priority areas, based on expert consultation and research.

  • Months 3-12 (during the programme): Working hands-on with entrepreneurs and emerging businesses to ground their thinking in scientific insight, holding expert review panels, opening up new user research channels, and building partnerships with academics & universities to facilitate collaboration with new businesses.

  • Months 12-18 (post-programme): Disseminating learning from the mission through publications and reports (open-access), identifying gaps & priorities for new research, and building on university collaborations by helping to support with funding co-bids, etc.


Role Requirements

This role would suit an early career researcher, with a PhD (or equivalent experience).

We are looking for candidates who have research expertise in:  

  • Ageing research (e.g. in one or more of the ten opportunity areas we have outlined here, including gerontology, general medicine, financial services, transport/mobility, social work, behavioural medicine, assistive technologies, etc.), and/or

  • Social/behavioural sciences (e.g. Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Economics, Human Geography, etc.), and/or

  • Human-centred design (e.g. product/service design, human computer interaction, engineering, etc.).

We are looking for someone with the following skills/attributes:

  • Passion for the mission: You are passionate about the impact research can have on adding five more years of high quality to later life.

  • Proven ability to plan and execute high-quality research: You have experience facilitating the design and implementation of a variety of research projects, in applied (ideally commercial) settings;

  • Comfort with ambiguity: You can plan and execute research in a fast-paced, agile environment, working to tight and often-changing timelines;

  • Team player: You can work with the Zinc team and emerging businesses on the programme in a proactive and constructive way;

  • Effective organiser and ‘do-er’: You are organised and hands-on, and able to use initiative to make decisions.


What we offer

  • A different way to do research: You will have the opportunity to apply and generate research in new and innovative ways (e.g. building data collection methods into the technology being developed by the entrepreneurs);

  • A different way to have impact: You will get the chance to work with a range of early-stage businesses, helping to define their research goals and implement novel projects that will meaningfully shape their direction in a way that can have meaningful impact;

  • Exposure to a creative environment: You will be part of an exciting, creative environment and will have the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people;

  •  Access to network & content: You will have access to the range of talks and workshops that we run during the programme, covering technology, entrepreneurship, innovation, design, research, and business development.