Candidate Specification DIRECTOR Health Lab Salary: £60

Candidate Specification
Health Lab
£60-85K plus benefits
Chancery Lane, London
Full-time, Part-time or flexible
Nesta is looking for an outstanding individual to lead our practical work in the Nesta Health Lab.
Health Lab is a new initiative from Nesta that brings together our practical work on health and ageing to achieve
more impact. We want to build on our work on people powered health over the past six years and take it
We are looking for a Director to join our high performing team and lead our growing portfolio of health and
ageing work. You’ll be responsible for delivering major existing programmes as well as helping to lead Health
Lab as a new unit within Nesta.
Health Lab is committed to creating a people powered health system which is for people, by people and with
people. This means providing healthcare for people when they need it, enabling people to manage their health
in everyday life, and connecting people into networks that help support one another.
Working with a wide range of partners we have developed a strong portfolio of work that tests and scales
effective models of people powered health on the ground – for example peer support networks, high impact
volunteering and patient communities using smartphones to manage day-to-day.
You’ll oversee our work on making the case for people powered health. This includes our partnership with NHS
England on the Realising the Value programme, which we are co-leading with The Health Foundation. You will
be responsible for overseeing the programme as well as developing plans for how we continue to strengthen
the evidence and practice underpinning people powered health.
Working with partners across different sectors, you will develop our work on mobilizing communities to work
alongside public services. We have a strong existing portfolio through the Centre for Social Action Innovation
Fund, including £6m of grants to charities, social enterprises, hospitals and local government. You will ensure we
generate impact from this existing work as well as develop new practical work that develops and tests ways to
mobilise communities, drawing on lessons from social movements.
You will also support the Executive Director in developing and leading Health Lab overall - building our profile
externally, managing internal processes and developing a strong pipeline of work. This will include supporting
the Executive Director to develop our growing digital health portfolio and our People Powered Results work on
transforming complex systems.
Health Lab builds on Nesta’s work on health and ageing over the past six years. Overall, we have led over £10m
of practical innovation programmes; designed and run challenge prizes, including the Longitude Prize on
antibiotic resistance; published more than twenty health and ageing reports; and established a £17m impact
investment fund with a focus on ageing. We have also co-founded the Coalition for Collaborative Care and
actively supported the development of what works centres, including the Centre for Ageing Better. This role will
support the Executive Director to coordinate and create value across the full range of Nesta’s work including
policy, research and investments.
We are looking for someone who has experience of working at a senior level and who has successfully led
complex, practical programmes. Experience of health and ageing policy and delivery is highly desirable.
However, most important is a drive to deliver exceptional results, an entrepreneurial approach and a natural
collaborator able to lead and manage a motivated team.
The role
Lead Nesta Health Lab’s work on health and ageing, including its management and development and
working with the Executive Director on overall strategy.
To build effective relationships with potential partners, including innovative businesses, government and
health sector bodies, non-profits and others to identify new programme opportunities and to secure cofunding relationships.
To manage and deliver a portfolio of programmes to support and create innovations, including effective
design, high quality implementation, compelling communications and strong evaluation strategies that
demonstrate impact.
Manage resources and oversee delivery to ensure that programmes are able to meet their objectives,
including supporting and managing staff, contractors and external partners.
To work with Nesta’s Policy & Research teams to identify opportunities for research and policy in the
promotion of people powered health in the UK and internationally.
Work with colleagues to build a body of knowledge throughout the lifetime of your programmes, including
learning from the most promising innovations from across the world and generating new knowledge,
services, ventures and products through the activities of the programme.
Contribute to Nesta’s strategic direction and other programmes as required.
The person
Experience working at a senior level leading complex programmes, with a reputation for having led
Good understanding and commitment to health and ageing innovation and to working towards a people
powered health system.
Experience of having designed, developed and delivered practical innovation programmes.
Entrepreneurial, with experience of supporting or creating new initiatives.
A natural collaborator, with a history of developing strategic and funding partnerships across a wide range
of organisations.
Excellent programme management skills, capable of managing budgets, processes, suppliers and staff to
deliver results.
An excellent professional reputation and a strong network of contacts.
Good knowledge of research and evaluation methods, with experience of having used practical action to
influence policy.
About Nesta
Nesta is the UK’s innovation foundation. We help people and organisations bring great ideas to life. We do this
by providing investments and grants and mobilising research, networks and skills. We are an independent
charity (registered with charity number 1144091) and our work is enabled by an endowment from the National
We aim to be:
Recognised by innovators, entrepreneurs, academics, policy makers, and funders as a leading centre of
knowledge and practice in innovation for the public good.
Providing early stage finance and practical assistance to organisations that innovate in the fields in
which we work, achieving good financial returns on our investments, demonstrable social impact, and
successful scaling up of innovations.
Effective at influencing the policy environment to improve the conditions for innovators, with tangible
successes at local, national and international levels.
Spreading knowledge and expertise about how to manage innovation to a substantial community of
innovators in start-ups, civil society and the public sector.
Recognised for our own excellence and expertise but also great at collaboration, with Nesta at the heart
of a network of like-minded institutions.
Linked into, and influencing, the very best innovation thinking and practice across the world.
How to apply
To apply for this role please send an up to date CV and cover letter to [email protected] by 9am Monday 7th
First stage interviews will take place on 14th September
Second stage interviews will take place on 21st September