(Senior) Researcher

May 1
Apply now
Posted by
Jan-Willem van Putten
Fellowship Director and Co-Founder

about the job

Start date:
May 1, 2024, (year contract)
Full time / 40 hrs, open to 32
In person in Amsterdam, at least three days a week
EUR 55k-65k gross (full time) based on earlier experience
February 15, 2024 (we'll review applications on an ongoing basis before then)

The School for Moral Ambition (SMA) is a new organisation that will focus on attracting the most talented people to work on the most pressing issues of our time. The activities of SMA fall into the following categories:

  • Book and Branding: Launch of Rutger Bregman’s book on the topic of moral ambition - the idea that people’s talents should be used for working on global challenges. Launch of a corresponding campaign to establish a prestigious brand that attracts talent and sparks a movement around moral ambition.
  • Community Activities: We will organise Moral Ambition Circles and offer the resources to start their own Circle. These circles help morally ambitious people develop a career that matches their ideals.
  • Exclusive Fellowship Programs: Initiation of targeted, highly selective programs in which small groups of fellows (~12 people) will focus on solving one of the most pressing and neglected global problems together.

about the role

You will lead the research on potential topics for the exclusive, international fellowship programs. During these programs fellows are trained and placed within influential organisations in order to maximise their impact potential.

For our exclusive fellowships we are inspired by the legendary Nader's Raiders, an activist group led by the political activist and lawyer Ralph Nader. He and his fellows made history by pushing for massive reforms in consumer protection. Nader established many advocacy groups, like Public Citizen, which – to this day – campaigns for corporate accountability. One historian estimates that the Raiders influenced as many as twenty-five pieces of federal legislation on air and water pollution, energy production, animal welfare, toxic substances and workplace safety. Their fact-finding research, analysis and lobbying can demonstrate to our program fellows what can be achieved by a small SWAT-team of morally ambitious, highly talented professionals.

Some characteristics of the role:

  • The selection process for fellowship topics is a meticulously structured and inclusive procedure.

  • The process begins with a comprehensive list of potential topics, gathering diverse perspectives from different third parties to ensure inclusivity.

  • During the next steps you will use expert opinions and desk research to determine the optimal program topics, following earlier defined criteria.
  • You will have the opportunity to improve the current research process.
  • You will guide the fellowship program managers with your research.

Key responsibilities

What We’re looking for

You might be an especially good fit if
you have:

  • Passion for the concept of Moral Ambition
  • (Applied) Research expertise: We want people with ample applied research experience (10+ years). Research experience can come from a wide background of fields, e.g. academia, think tanks, some roles in government, (management) consulting or even more quantitative roles in corporates.
  • Pragmatic research: We are looking for a pragmatic researcher that is comfortable with a 80/20 approach to research and a mix between quantitative and qualitative approaches.
  • Thinking about impact at scale: We believe that the opportunities to make a significant impact on the largest global problems are often in policy-making and entrepreneurship (or preferably the intersection of the two). Experience in the policy world and/or in entrepreneurship are therefore preferred.
  • Excellent written communication and collaboration skills: Strong written communication skills and the ability to collaborate with the Fellowship Director, program managers and outside stakeholders.

  • Ability to work autonomously: An ability to excel with relatively little supervision almost immediately. We’re excited to find a proactive self-starter to join our team. While you will be able to use research from third parties or even commission some of the research, you must be willing to do plenty of research yourself.
  • Can-do attitude and growth mindset: A commitment to delivering results and an openness to new ideas and approaches. Receptiveness to feedback and commitment to self-improvement.

We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment. We welcome applicants of all races, religions, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, national origins, disabilities, and other diverse backgrounds. Also, if you do not have all of the requirements above we encourage you to apply. At the School for Moral Ambition, we value talent and a can-do attitude above traditional credentials.

What we offer

  • EUR 55k-65k gross salary (full time equivalent) based on earlier (research) experience

  • A nice office with shared lunch

  • 25 days of paid holiday per year

  • Growth opportunities: we are an ambitious team that expects a steep growth trajectory and geographical expansion which means you could grow with us

  • A team that genuinely cares about each other and is exceptionally passionate about improving the world. We are a close-knit team that values having fun together more than most impact-focused organisations

Application process

  • Application form: To get started, please fill out the application form before February 15 2024, 11:59 PM CET
  • Work sample: If you are shortlisted, we’ll invite you to complete a test task (~120 min.) that represents work tasks that would be undertaken in the role.
  • Interview: We’ll invite shortlisted candidates to a 45-60 minute interview with Jan-Willem van Putten, where we’ll ask a combination of situational judgment and experience-based questions, and open up time to discuss the role in more detail
  • Work trial: A ~1-2 day paid work trial

Expected duration of this application process: maximum 6 weeks from job closing date. We will be flexible regarding the procedure for some particularly qualified applicants.