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Head of Research – Transparency International – Defence & Security (TI-DS)

Head of Research – Transparency International – Defence & Security (TI-DS)

  • Full-time: 35 hours per week, open to flexible working
  • Contract type: Permanent
  • Reporting to: TI-DS Director
  • Salary: £45,400 – £50,000
  • Location: London UK (with overseas travel)


Corruption undermines government legitimacy, weakens the business climate, stalls economic and human development, and increases fragility and instability.  The defence and security sector is fertile ground for corruption as it often accounts for large portions of national budgets, is highly technical, and has only a relatively small number of providers bidding for large contracts.  It is therefore often deeply politicised and relies on data that is rarely open for public scrutiny and oversight.

Transparency International’s global Defence and Security  (TI DS) vision is of a world with open governments served by transparent defence institutions that are accountable to ordinary people and whose primary purpose is the protection of all citizens.  The defence industry supporting these institutions should provide capability based on clear national defence strategies in a fair and open market.  They should be held to account through effective and independent oversight mechanisms rooted in functioning civil societies and efficient government procurement.  We believe that peace and stability will only be secured when people are able to realise their ambitions under accountable institutions, and when citizens’ interests drive national policies and the decisions of their leaders.  Our two flagship indices – the Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index and Defence Companies Index are respected around the world as key indicators for corruption in both military institutions as well as industry.

Following a restructuring exercise, we are now recruiting key positions to bolster a new and expanded management team to help further develop TI-DS’s work.  The Head of Research is one of three new senior management roles and presents an exciting opportunity for an ambitious candidate to help influence, expand and accelerate the work of Transparency International’s renowned global Defence and Security initiative.



The Head of Research leads the design and delivery of TI-DS’s global research agenda producing compelling evidence used to influence stakeholders to tackle the most pressing issues related to corruption in the defence and security sectors globally.  S/he will ensure the TI-DS research team presents high-quality and robust findings, in a clear and coherent manner in line with the overall TI-DS strategy.

Producing research of the highest quality able to withstand in-depth external scrutiny is a key part of this role.  Therefore the Head of Research will internally lead appropriate research methods and, in line with the research agenda, design and commission external research that contributes to achieving TI-DS’s objectives.

The Head of Research may represent TI-DS at conferences or in academic forums and will proactively build relationships with relevant potential partners or donors.


The ideal candidate will manage a team of 7 responsible for producing TI-DS research outputs. With the TI-DS team s/he will design a research agenda to produce policy-relevant learning and evidence on corruption/anti-corruption in the defence and security sector.

S/he will have a professional research background and have experience in leading a full research agenda, managing an internal team and external consultants ensuring all work is of a high-quality through introduction and implementation of clear research commissioning tools and practices

Significantly, the Head of Research will lead delivery of our two flagship indices, the Government Defence Anti-Corruption Index (the “GI”) and the Defence Companies Index (DCI), ensuring that they are delivered on time and on budget.  Therefore, the ideal candidate will understand the research methodolgies associated with index-led work.

As TI-DS has established a matrix structure, the Head of Research will provide oversight and expertise to team members in Global Delivery of TI-DS and ensure that any research questions and products conceived and delivered by Global Delivery contribute to the overarching research agenda and are based on sound methodology.




  • Masters or PHD level research qualification
  • Substantial professional research experience in socio-political and/or political economy research at least some gained in a non-academic environment
  • Experience in governance, anti-corruption, the defence and security sectors, or a related field
  • Experience of mixed methods research, qualitative data collection (e.g. interviews, desk research, content analysis) and analysis, applying quantitative analysis to qualitative data;
  • Proven leadership and team management experience within the research field
  • Knowledge and experience working with index-based research methods
  • Previous experience working with external experts and researchers
  • Experience of broader programme management skills (including finance and project management)
  • Willingness and ability to travel overseas (including in medium security risk countries)
  • Demonstrated high levels of energy and drive and the ability to lead with enthusiasm
  • A commitment to Transparency International’s core values: Transparency, Accountability, Integrity, Solidarity, Courage, Justice and Democracy


  • Knowledge or experience within defence and security, governance or anti-corruption sectors
  • International experience working within the development sector with low/middle income countries or fragile states
  • Have led a team within a matrix management structure
  • French, Spanish or Arabic language skills
  • Experience in fundraising or writing fundraising proposals


  • An exciting role leading a team in a high-profile internationally focused environment
  • Flexible open and supportive workplace
  • Opportunities for personal and professional development
  • Competitive package including 25 days annual leave (plus bank holidays), season ticket loan and up-to 5% contributory pension



Applicants should send the following two items (preferably in pdf format) with your name and the role in the subject line to jobs@transparency.org.uk

1) Cover letter explaining how you meet the requirements of the role and why you are applying (1 page max)

2) CV (2 pages max), with details of relevant experience

Closing date: midnight 30th June 2019

Please note that due to the very high volume of applications we receive, we greatly regret that we are unable to send personalised acknowledgements or give feedback on applications. Only applications with both a CV and cover letter will be considered.

Transparency International UK is an equal opportunity employer.


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