Director, Research Job Vacancies at The British Council


Director, Research Job Vacancies at The British Council – The British Council is the world’s driving social relations association and makes open doors for individuals in the UK and worldwide to see each other, to cooperate and gain from each other. We consider this to be urgent to building secure, more prosperous and maintainable prospects for every one of us. We construct trust and comprehension between various nations and societies and create solid global connections that are of advantage to individuals in Britain and whatever is left of the world.

We are enlisting to fill the position underneath:

Director, Research Job Vacancies at The British Council

Job Title: Director, Research

Location: Kano, Nigeria
Pay Band: 8
Duration: Fixed Term of 2 years, renewable by mutual consent
Role Type: Policy, Advisory & Expertise
Reports to: Director Programmes

Role purpose

  • Lead on the delivery of high profile research in support of British Council Nigeria’s country strategy, programme delivery and external role and profile.
  • Represent the British Council externally, positioning the British Council as a thought leader in our three strategic business areas (SBUs): Arts, English, Education and Society; and contributing to business development.
  • Secure research funding
  • Support delivery of high impact programmes through line management of the Monitoring, Evaluation and Results Manager and overview of the corporate results framework in Nigeria; and supporting teams to monitor, evaluate and learn from the projects and programmes they manage.
  • Lead our strategy for supporting the capacity and growth of Nigeria’s early career researchers
  • Be the senior responsible manager for the British Council operation in Kano, providing leadership and guidance to the team, and engaging with key stakeholders for the British Council in Northern Nigeria.
  • When required, commission market research for business growth

Geopolitical/SBU/Function Overview

  • Nigeria is one of the largest economies in Africa. It is also the most populous country with over 170 million citizens. The UK is its largest trading partner. Nigeria holds significant political power in the region and internationally and its society retains a positive attitude to the UK. There are therefore major opportunities for the UK and BC to increase influence, income and, through this, our impact by building on our strong existing relationships with the Nigerian government, institutions and customers/audiences. However, there are complex and substantial risks to this work i.e. security and compliance.
  • In recent years British Council Nigeria has delivered a number of research projects that have contributed to national debate on critical issues notably Next Generation research (2012), Gender in Nigeria (2012) and Gender in Education in Nigeria (2014). As well as these large scale publications we also produce a range of research and action research projects linked to programme activity such as the Gender in Teacher Education project in partnership with the
  • MacArthur Foundation, research on the impact of language in the classroom and action research on teaching employability skills in secondary schools (also with the MacArthur Foundation). A common feature of our own research projects is an element that builds research skills in early career researchers and sector practitioners (such as teachers, Ministry officials and arts audiences) to contribute to the increase in quantity and quality of Nigerian research.
  • This development coincides with the increased use of research by governments and the development sector internationally and the British Council’s corporate decision to enhance its role as a thought leader in the strategic business units (SBUs) of education and society, arts and English.
  • By putting this research capacity in place we also strengthen our own internal monitoring, evaluation and learning systems.
  • This role is central to driving these developments forward.

Main Accountabilities
Accountabilities, responsibilities and main duties:

  • Strategy Development and Implementation
  • Lead the delivery and development of the Nigeria Research strategy working with the wider Nigeria and the regional SBU teams.
  • Ensure that all research projects have robust business plans with agreed targets that reflect the strategic focus
  • Ensure we maintain the capability to deliver research projects and to respond flexibly to changes in the portfolio.
  • Actively contribute to the corporate Research agenda by working with the regional and UK Research and SBU teams and leaders Programme/Project Governance and Compliance
  • Ensure all research activities are delivered in compliance with ethical standards and governance, and all research projects are conducted to the highest standards of integrity.
  • Manage appropriately risk and issues that occur in the portfolio Portfolio Management
  • Act as Research Director for all on-going research and planned research projects across the SBUs, currently
  • British Council language and development research
  • Funding pursuit for British Council Next Generation 2018
  • Lead implementation of the strategy to support the development of early career researchers in Nigeria and the growth of a community of research practice in Nigeria,
  • Participate in international forums to build appreciation and awareness of research generated in Nigeria in the international development community
  • Work closely with the Nigeria Marketing and Communications team to ensure relevant and high impact marketing and communications for each research project.
  • Engage co-operatively with the British Council teams managing large scale development projects under contract in Nigeria to share research, resources, networks and intelligence
  • When required act as Research Director for market research to support growth in the business and the introduction of new commercial products and services
  • Provide effective overview of inputs to the new Results and Evidence Framework, ensuring that Nigeria is well represented at Level 3 (Evidence)
  • Support SBU leads with monitoring, evaluation and learning of all programmes and projects to ensure corporate and partner objectives are met, and to grow our knowledge and expertise.
  • With SBU leads, ensure appropriate dissemination of project evaluation and research projects to stakeholders that supports learning and sustainable benefit Impact, Income, Growth and Business Development
  • Contribute to business development and pursuit of contracts in sectors relevant to British Council in Northern Nigeria, working collaboratively with SBU team leads.
  • Lead the positioning of the British Council Nigeria as a leader in research in our corporate SBUs.
  • Develop and leverage potential for building and growing a high impact, high quality Research portfolio in alignment with country, regional and global strategies
  • Track and pursue funding and partnership opportunities
  • Provide technical content for expressions of interest; tenders and funding applications for research and other contract opportunities
  • Grow and maintain relationships with partner universities and academics; research organisations; development organisations; donors; and other relevant bodies including Federal and State governments and NGOs that support business development.
  • Develop relationships with the UK and Nigerian academic and social research sectors

Team Leadership and Management:

  • Line manage the Monitoring, Evaluation and Results Manager
  • Model appropriate leadership styles and British Council behaviours and values at all times
  • Actively support equality and diversity and work to the British Council’s EDI policy at all times
  • As the most senior member of staff in Kano, provide leadership to the small team of exams, projects and business support staff that supports them to perform their roles effectively.
  • Maintain oversight of the customer service, programmes and exams services delivered in Kano to customers and stakeholders
  • Represent British Council at the highest levels with policy and decision makers, as the most senior member of staff in Kano and as Director Research:
  • As a member of the senior leadership team (SLT), contribute actively on country level strategy, leadership, policy and decision making drawing on analysis from research undertaken, issues affecting the sectors we work in; and insight from Kano and northern Nigeria
  • Contribute to ensuring the programmes and projects of the BC are relevant, having impact and delivered with integrity.
  • Maintain close working relationships with all SLT colleagues and exploit collaborative working opportunities

Continuous Professional Development:

  • Keep abreast of latest debates and discourse in the international research sector
  • Write for media, marketing and communications and publication
  • Drive continuous learning and improvement across the research portfolio and proactively share best practice and learning across the wider organisation.

Resource Management:

  • Delegated budgets from other projects and programmes
  • Income and expenditure account for Research projects
  • Staffs time allocated to programmes/projects.
  • External Stakeholders & Key Relationships:
  • Existing and former partners in funding and implementation
  • Nigerian and UK Universities
  • Development projects
  • Early career researchers
  • Development organisations, NGOs
  • Organisations engaged in the international development research sector
  • Funding and Donor organisations
  • UK HMG, public and private sector organisations with interest or programmes in Nigeria
  • Nigerian and UK education & skills institutions
  • Management teams and consultants working on donor funded education & skills and governance programmes in Nigeria

Key Relationships

  • BC Nigeria and regional leadership teams
  • Global and regional E&S SBU teams


  • Large scale BC managed contracts in Nigeria

Role Requirements
Threshold requirements: Assessment stage
Passport requirements/ Right to work in country:

  • Right to live and work in Nigeria Shortlisting

Direct contact or managing staff working with children?

  • No

Person Specification
Assessment stage:

Language requirements
Minimum/Essential Desirable Assessment Stage:

  • Fluency in written and spoken English – Shortlisted candidates will either demonstrate they have met the required standard through presentation of an agreed English language certificate, or will be required to take IELTS.


  • Minimum/Essential Desirable Assessment Stage Doctorate of Research in a field relevant to British Council – preferably Development; Evaluation; or Education: Shortlisting

Role Specific Knowledge & Experience
Minimum/Essential Desirable Assessment Stage:

  • Track record of producing high quality research publications and managing research teams
  • Track record of securing funding for undertaking research projects
  • Experience of working with partner or client funds
  • Experience of gender analysis
  • Experience with theory-based evaluation and a range of evaluation methods
  • Shortlisting and/or interview
  • British Council Core Skills/Knowledge Desirable Assessment Stage Specialist Knowledge (from doctorate qualification) in subject relevant to British Council, supported by publications and references
  • Research active within the past 5 years Evidence of strong critical appraisal skills Working knowledge of the international research discourse and the research discourse in Nigeria
  • Working knowledge of sources of funding for research
  • Working knowledge of Nigerian education system and research capacity.
  • Working knowledge of key development themes in Nigeria
  • Network of contacts in the academic and social research sectors in Nigeria Network of contacts in Kano and Northern Nigeria in sectors relevant to British Council

Business Development:

  • Able to plan and deliver business development activities for a major and/or new market category which is significant for the British Council.

Communication skills:

  • Displays good listening, writing and speaking skills, setting out logical arguments clearly and adapting language and form of communication to meet the needs of different people/audiences.

Planning and organising:

  • Organises own work over weeks and months, or plans ahead for others, taking account of priorities and the impact on other people.
  • Develops and reviews the implementation of annual plans for a work group or function, taking account of business and customer requirements and reconciling competing demands.

Managing Projects:

  • Analyses requirements with the sponsor/stakeholders, defining the specification, planning, revising, implementing and evaluating on mediumto-large scale and/or high risk projects.

Managing People:

  • Coordinates a diverse team with awareness of equality and diversity impact as part of the project specifications and handles changes in specification or plan to meet unexpected circumstance.
  • Managing finance and resources Monitors and controls an agreed budget within a defined area, producing reports and analyses and contributing to planning.

British Council Behaviours Assessment Stage

  • Connecting with others: (most demanding)
  • Working together: (most demanding)
  • Being accountable: (most demanding)
  • Making it happen: (most demanding)
  • Other behaviours needed for the job but not evaluated at interview
  • Shaping the future (more demanding)
  • Creating a shared purpose (more demanding)

29th December, 2017.

Application Method
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online

Click here to download job details (Pdf)

Click here to download BC Behaviour (pdf)

Click here to download BC Core skills (pdf)


  • Other important features or requirements of the job E.g. travel, unsocial/evening hours, restrictions on employment etc.
  • As the senior responsible manager for the British Council in Kano, the post holder should be indigenous to Kano or Northern Nigeria and be a fluent Hausa language user
  • Operational work requires occasional work outside conditioned hours, for example in the evenings or at weekends. TOIL should be agreed with the line manager in advance to maintain an adequate work-life balance.
  • The post-holder may also be required to travel to various project activity locations and international
  • The post-holder may also be required to travel to various project activity locations and internationally on British Council business and should therefore hold valid travel documents.
  • Training may be required for certain aspects of the job such as using SAP.

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