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The UK's only independent think tank devoted to higher education.


HEPI Director of Policy and Advocacy

Following the promotion of Rachel Hewitt to become the Chief Executive of MillionPlus, HEPI is seeking a full-time Director of Policy and Advocacy to work as a core member of the HEPI team on developing our programme of research and increasing our impact.

HEPI is the UK’s only think tank devoted exclusively to higher education. Established in 2002, we aim to shape the higher education policy debate through evidence. We are UK-wide, independent and non-partisan.

Most UK universities are members of our University Partnership programme and we have close relationships with a number of other organisations committed to the long-term success of UK higher education.

We have a busy events programme, which ranges from small private seminars to large set-piece conferences (all delivered online during the current crisis), and we produce over 20 diverse pieces of research each year on key issues facing the sector.

As a small organisation, with just five members of staff, it is critical that all of HEPI’s staff work co-operatively and flexibly but also that they can take full ownership of individual projects.

HEPI is a registered charity and the HEPI staff are accountable to Trustees, currently chaired by Professor Sir Ivor Crewe, as well as an Advisory Board, which is made up of people with experience at a senior level in higher education.

Key Responsibilities

  • Working closely with HEPI’s Director to develop the programme of research and policy analysis, including writing, commissioning and overseeing new HEPI output.
  • Working closely with the Partnerships and Fundraising Manager and the Events and Publications Manager on engagement with our Partners, including searching out new opportunities for generating income and collaborating with others.
  • Playing a leading role in disseminating HEPI’s research and policy analysis, through speaking engagements, working with the press (print and broadcast) and making use of social media.
  • Overseeing temporary members of the HEPI team, such as student interns.

Person Specification

The successful candidate is likely to display:

  • extensive knowledge of the higher education sector;
  • an understanding of policymaking;
  • the ability to present information confidently to a range of audiences;
  • a capacity to work independently and flexibly;
  • evidence of clear writing, appropriate for diverse audiences;
  • a track record in seeing projects through;
  • a willingness to travel to higher education institutions and events;
  • an aptitude for seeking out new sources of funding;
  • some experience of working with the media;
  • knowledge of IT and social media;
  • some data-handling skills; and
  • experience of working in a team.

Having expertise in one particular area of higher education policy, such as technology, access or research, is desirable but not essential.


–Salary is in the £45,000 to £50,000 bracket, with 8% employer’s pension contribution (to NEST) on top


–Permanent contract, with an initial probationary period of nine months

–We support flexible working but the role counts as an office-based one and we would expect the successful candidate to be present at the HEPI office in north Oxford each week

–A laptop and a mobile phone will be provided as necessary

How to apply

Please email an application letter, a CV and a sample of your writing, to by Friday, 30 July 2021.

Interviews are expected to be in Oxford on Wednesday, 11 August 2021. If COVID-restrictions make it necessary, then the interviews will be conducted over Zoom. References will be taken as part of the appointing process.