Senior Evaluation Manager

Education Endowment Foundation

Accountable to: Head of Evaluation

Contract: Full time permanent contract (external secondments may be considered for the period of 18-24 months)

About the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF)

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is an independent grant-making charity dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement. The EEF was founded in 2011 by lead charity The Sutton Trust, in partnership with Impetus Trust (now part of Impetus-PEF), with a £125m grant from the Department for Education; further funding is generated through investment income and fundraising. The EEF and Sutton Trust are, together, the What Works Centre for Education.

Our aim is to invest more than £210 million by 2026 in finding out the most effective ways to raise the attainment of 3-18 year-olds, particularly those facing disadvantage; develop their essential skills; and prepare young people for the world of work and further study.

We do this by generating evidence of what works to improve teaching and learning, funding robust trials of high-potential programmes and approaches which have yet to be tested. We then support schools, as well as early years and post-16 settings, across the country in using evidence so that it has the maximum possible benefit for young people.

Since its launch in 2011, the EEF has committed £89 million to funding 145 projects, involving around 9,400 schools, colleges and nurseries, and reaching 970,000 children and young people. The Teaching and Learning Toolkit, developed by the EEF in collaboration with the Sutton Trust and Durham University, provides an accessible introduction to education research, and is used by two-thirds of senior leaders in English schools to inform their decision making.

Responsibilities

High quality research evaluation is at the heart of the EEF’s work. The EEF looks for projects with evidence that they have potential to raise attainment. The EEF then commissions an evaluation, largely using randomised controlled trials, to build on and extend the existing evidence. EEF’s approach to evaluation is described in more detail here: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/our-work/the-eefs-approach-to-evaluation/.

The Evaluation Manager will work in a small, focussed team responsible for commissioning robust, cost-effective evaluations of EEF-funded projects, and for monitoring and supporting the contracted research groups to ensure that the projects are delivered to a high standard. This will include working closely with grantees, other members of the EEF and the EEF’s panel of evaluators to understand the practical issues involved in delivering evaluations and finding solutions to issues that arise.

Main responsibilities

  • Critically review evaluation proposals to ensure projects are evaluated rigorously and cost-effectively and that the most suitable evaluators are matched with projects.
  • Liaise between project and evaluation teams to ensure the final project evaluation designs are of high quality and set-up effectively.
  • Manage evaluation contracts and budgets.
  • Monitor delivery of evaluation plans and provide support when problems arise.
  • Conduct technical reviews of trial protocols, statistical analysis plans and trial reports.
  • Work closely with the Dissemination and Impact team to ensure that published reports are of high quality and effectively communicate findings to an audience of practitioners, academics, policymakers and the general public.
  • Develop and improve resources to clarify best practice and build the capacity of evaluators to conduct high quality research.
  • Oversee processes put in place to ensure evaluators implement EEF best practice guidance to a high standard and in a timely way.
  • Improve the NPD application process for evaluators.
  • Review individual evaluator panel members’ performance and feed back to them on that performance.
  • Manage the evaluation section of the EEF website.

Other responsibilities

  • Contribute to the operational and strategic development of the EEF.
  • Work in a flexible way to undertake other duties which may from time to time be requested by the Head of Evaluation / Chief Executive / Deputy Chief Executive.
  • Assess and take responsibility for own performance.

Person specification

You will be joining a small and focused team driven by an ambition to deliver real improvements in educational attainment. You will have a solid understanding of evaluation methodology, particularly randomised controlled trials, and are familiar with the UK education system. You will have strong project and relationship management skills.

To apply for this position you must be able to demonstrate:

  • Understanding of evaluation methodologies (randomised controlled trials, quasi-experimental methods, implementation and process evaluation, outcome measurement etc.) and an ability to identify high quality evaluation plans
  • Ability to manage relationships and communicate with practitioners, academics and policy-makers
  • Strong organisational and project management skills
  • An ability to work flexibly and proactively in a small, ambitious organisation
  • A commitment to the aims of the EEF

Essential and desirable skills, competencies and experience include:

  • Essential: Masters level or equivalent relevant experience in social research techniques
  • Essential: Good knowledge of education or related sector
  • Essential: Experience in delivering or commissioning quantitative evaluation projects in education, health, or another related field
  • Essential: Experience of leading a range of research and evaluation projects and conducting relevant statistical analysis
  • Essential: Able to redesign processes as needed, using best methods and technology to meet or exceed organisation’s needs
  • Essential: Experience of working  in  a  busy  environment  with  the  proven  ability  to  work  under pressure
  • Essential: Excellent project management skills and able to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Essential: Organised   and   methodical   in approach   to   task   completion   including   good   planning, prioritisation and time management skills
  • Essential: Able to work independently with strong attention to detail and commitment to fact checking own work
  • Essential: Excellent interpersonal and communication skills with a clear writing style
  • Essential: IT literate (proficient with Excel, PowerPoint & Word)
  • Desirable: Doctoral level or equivalent relevant experience in social research techniques
  • Desirable: 2+ years working in education, health, or another related field
  • Desirable: Good knowledge of statistical software packages (such as Stata).

How to apply

Please send a CV and covering letter to info@eefoundation.org.uk. Your covering letter should be no more than two sides of A4 and should outline why you are interested in this position and how you meet the criteria above, drawing on specific examples. In your letter, please also summarise a research project you have worked on and include a description of the purpose of the research, the tasks you undertook, the challenges of the research and how your role contributed to its success.

The deadline for applications is 9am on Monday 2 October 2017. Initial interviews will be held shortly afterwards.