Job vacancy: Community Researcher and Programme Coordinator - OLS is hiring!

- Bérénice, Emmy, Malvika, Yo

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

OLS is hiring a Community Researcher and Programme Coordinator.

Note: If you like the scope of this job but unsure if your profile fits this role - please apply anyway. We are very happy to be contacted for general queries, please email Due to a high demand for 1:1 meetings to discuss this role, the OLS team has decided to host a webinar to address frequently asked questions and specific queries about this vacancy. A recording from this webinar will be posted on our YouTube channel.

Webinar joining instructions:

Open Life Science (OLS) is hiring an open, empathic, and creative colleague to coordinate our cohort-based training and mentoring programmes and lead a research-based study to understand the long-term impacts of our work.

Open Life Science (OLS, cultivates the next generation of researchers and community leaders through open science training and mentoring. Through 16-week long cohort-based programmes, OLS enables researchers to learn about, reflect on and integrate open science principles in their work. OLS is committed to delivering high-quality training, mentoring and peer-based support to our community members.

Position purpose

This role encompasses two areas of OLS’ work: community management and community research. As a community manager, you will support the leadership team and OLS community in administration and communication tasks essential to smoothly run each cohort and share information openly. As a community researcher, you will help to carry out peer-reviewed research to understand the transformational effects of open research training and mentoring interventions.

Key responsibilities

Essential selection criteria

The position is funded for 18 months to carry out the activities as described in the grant from the Wellcome Trust’s Open Research Fund. We are happy to consider job share applications or part-time applications. Our base contract assumes around 35 hours a week as a full time role, with option to start/end and work at times that are flexible and work for you. You will work remotely for 17.5 (minimum part time) to 35 hours per week (if full time), and the annual salary range is £30,000 to £40,000 with benefits, pro-rata for part time roles (equivalent to £16-£22 per hour).

OLS is committed to providing a nurturing and flexible work environment. This job will be fully remote, and we are happy to consider applicants from any country. Ideally 2 hours or more of your work day should overlap with the OLS leadership team based in the UK and Europe (UTC to UTC+2).

How to apply

Please send a CV and cover letter stating why this opportunity is compelling to you, what you want to achieve in this space, and what you bring to this work to:

Interviews will take place virtually via Zoom. We are happy to arrange technical assistance to participate in the interviews (e.g. a month of high-speed internet, webcam, or headset costs), as well as childcare and access arrangements such as captioning or an interpreter.

Job Closing date: 22 March 2022. We plan to interview candidates within 4 weeks of the closing date.

For more details, please download the full job description

OLS would like to thank Alex Kutschera, Andre Chagas, Anelda van der Walt, Hao Ye, Jez Cope, Julieta Arancio, Mallory Freeberg, Manuel Spitschan and Rowland Mosbergen for their thoughtful contribution to this job description.

Frequently Asked Questions

These questions are curated from personal emails to the OLS team and the Q&A webinar organised for the applicants

I’m from the country (insert your country name here), can I apply?

Yes, please do! OLS is based legally in the UK but dedicated to creating a global network. When we get to the point of being close to offering the job to candidates, we will consult with tax/legal advisors to find out the best way to manage to hire. Most likely, if we select a non-UK applicant, we expect to hire you as a contractor rather than an employee, and it may require changes to the contract deliverables depending on the specifics of the country you are working in. Our one requirement for applying is that you must have the legal right to work in the country you live, or you must be willing to move to a country where you have the right to work. If you have a visa that prevents you from working in the country where you live, we’re unlikely to be able to help.

For the research portion of this role, do I have to design the study?

This is flexible, based on the successful applicant! The OLS team has both hands-on experience in qualitative research, as well as partner organisations that can help. Applicants who would like to design the study and/or have qualitative research experience would be welcome to help design the study, but we can also offer supervision and assistance in designing the study if you prefer.

Details about overlap hours with UK timezone.

OLS core team is working 9 am-6 pm in our respective time zones (GMT/CET) and we do a lot of work asynchronously. So we’re looking for 2 hrs overlap with UK/Central Europe work time

What are the main communication and management systems that the OLS team uses?

Slack, emails, LOT of Zooms ;), Google Docs/Sheets etc. (There is room here to improve!). The main workspaces are GitHub. Google Workspace and Google Groups for cohort coordination.

Do we need to add preference about part-time or full-time in the application or it can be decided later on?

It can be decided later on, but if you already know, it’s helpful to share it earlier on in your application.

What kind of opportunities are there for professional development?

The position is time-bound to 18 months, but we would like to identify future funding to help the successful applicant do what they enjoy. Could reasonably see research and community career paths here.

Can you describe the working culture of the organisation?

(We’re getting embarrassingly sappy <3) We try to be as inclusive and open-minded as possible and recognise we’re all humans. Taking care of personal well being and each other as a team. Mistakes happen, we try to admit them and learn and figure out how we can fix them for next time

Are there opportunities for training and progression within the role/organisation?

Definitely - training, participating in workshops, professional mentoring/coaching training,

What are the long-term expansion/sustainability plans for the OLS programme, organisation and team beyond 2023, and/or is this dependent on research outcomes of the WT and CZI grants?

The person in this position will be involved in helping plan the next steps. They will take on responsibilities from Yo, allowing her to spend more time planning what we do in the sustainability direction.

Is there flexibility in contract working hours, e.g. from 0.5 FTE for X month(s) to 1.0 FTE for the remainder?

Yes, so long as it fits within the 24-month time frame.

Confirm application deadline: on web+social media, closing date is 22-Mar-2022; on PDF job description, this is 20-Mar-2022? (Also slight differences in word number for a cover letter)

It’s 22. Sorry 🙈

How would you act in the case of things not working well for the candidate in this job? And what would be the sign of “not working well”?

People not learning from a mistake! Mistakes happen and we will give feedback and support, but the biggest worry will be lack of communication or repeating the mistakes. We expect all our colleagues to work in alignment with our values.

What are the next steps in the application process after the interviews?

Is social/humanities background a pre-requisite?

Not at all. Some experience in research is important so that they can co-design the study and conduct it in collaboration with the OLS team within the specified time (2022-2023)