Work with us
Chair of our Board (voluntary role)
We are seeking to recruit a new Chair of our Board of Directors for the What Works Centre for Wellbeing (the Centre), the UK’s premier organisation committed to creating a robust evidence base for improving wellbeing in society. You will take the reins when our current Chair steps down in April 2021 after six years in the role and guide the organisation in the next phase of its journey.
You will lead a well-motivated and balanced Board that sets the strategic direction for the Centre and ensures effective governance. You will engage with academics from a wide range of disciplines and you will have the opportunity to influence policy makers in government, business and the voluntary sector. You will exercise your existing intellectual and persuasive skills but you will also learn a great deal in an environment where happiness is a fundamental goal.
If you care about the future direction of our society and want to make a difference to the lives of our fellow citizens then we want to hear from you. Inclusion is a core value for the Centre and we welcome applications that represent a variety of backgrounds and perspectives.
How to apply and timetable
- Download the candidate briefing pack to read the job description and more information about this role.
Applicants should prepare a short statement setting out their reasons for wishing to be considered for the role and the skills/qualities they would bring to the organisation. Statements should not exceed two pages in length and must be accompanied by a curriculum vitae. Applications should be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the start of Monday 9 November 2020.
Please also contact email@example.com if you would like to arrange a conversation with our outgoing chair Dr Paul Litchfield.
Interviews will be held virtually in the last week in November.
It is anticipated that this appointment will be confirmed in early December to allow for a handover period between the outgoing and incoming chairs across the first three months of 2021.
INVITATION TO TENDER: Researcher(s) for the project: Understanding and modelling the relationship between individual and place-based community wellbeing.
The What Works Centre for Wellbeing is an evidence centre, part of the UK’s What Works network. We believe that improving wellbeing is the ultimate goal of policy and community action. We are an independent collaborating centre that develops and shares robust and accessible wellbeing evidence to improve decision making that is used by Governments, Businesses and civil society organisations. Our team works closely with partners to answer key questions on what works to improve wellbeing and identify the gaps in the research to be filled.
Wellbeing is ‘how we are doing’ as individuals and communities, now and in the future. It’s about:
- The external conditions, environmental factors and experiences that affect our lives (drivers)
- Our personal capacity and response in terms of resources, feelings and emotions (psychological wellbeing)
- Collective and shared wellbeing of communities (social capital, social networks, social infrastructure, sustainability)
- Creating a shared vision for measuring progress and success
Individual wellbeing, which can be measured using subjective wellbeing questions asked to individuals, is distinct from wellbeing at the collective, or community level. Wellbeing at the community level is about more than just the sum and the distribution of the wellbeing of the individuals within a community. It is also about the networks and relationships that bind and exclude people, the places and the power relationships between and within communities and how that power is distributed.
Building on this distinction, the project jointly developed and designed by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, Centre for Aging Better and Spirit of 2012, will draw on existing qualitative and quantitative data to explore how the wellbeing of individuals influence the wellbeing of a community and in turn how the quality and conditions of a community affect different individuals’ wellbeing. This is a collaborative effort to answer research questions of mutual interest and importance to the project partners.
It will have a strong focus on inequalities within communities. It will explore how community wellbeing can have a different relationship with individual wellbeing, based on factors including age, disability, gender, ethnicity, wealth and income, employment status, carer status, health, geographic variations, socially isolation, and/or digital exclusion.
In particular, this research will focus on the mechanism of relationships, exploring how the quality and quantity of social connections within a community and a sense of belonging to a community can connect individual and community wellbeing outcomes.
This research will focus on place-based communities, to inform policy makers and practitioners engaged in place and asset-based interventions. This also allows the research to make the most of community wellbeing data available at the place based (local) level.
Figure 1: The project will explore the relationship between community wellbeing and the wellbeing of individuals in that community with different characteristics.
- Phase 1 of this project will draw on existing evidence to develop a theoretical model that describes the relationship between different individuals and groups and wellbeing at the community level.
- Phase 2 will and test this model using existing quantitative secondary data
- Phase 3 will explore how the relationship between individual and community wellbeing manifests differently in different contexts, providing insights into enablers, barriers and trade-offs that can help inform projects to operate in ‘virtuous circle’ space (see figure 2).
What we are looking for
The researcher(s) will be responsible for delivering the core research outputs for this project whilst working collaboratively with:
- The What Works Centre for Wellbeing, who will lead and manage this project,
- Project funders the Centre for Ageing better and Spirit of 2012.
- The project consultation group, established at the start of the project to help shape and refine the research questions, process and outputs, to ensure that they are relevant and useful for different audiences and that they appropriately build on research to date on individual and community wellbeing concepts and measures.
- What Works Centre for Wellbeing Advisory Panel members, who will review and quality assure the project outputs.
The researcher(s) will draw on both qualitative and quantitative research skills and an strong understanding of wellbeing definitions, frameworks and measures, to answer the following three research questions, using the methodology suggested below:
Phase 1: Research Question #1 – What is the relationship between community wellbeing and the wellbeing of different individuals and identified groups within that community (place)?
- Rapid Evidence Assessment of the literature that connects individual to community level wellbeing outcomes. Draw on literature that goes beyond community of place, to include communities of interest, identity, practice, workplaces and so on, to identify the mechanisms that can be transferable to place-based communities. Mechanisms to explore will focus on aspects of relationships – to include the role of belonging, trust, inclusion, and connection
- Draft a theoretical model, taking into account differences between individuals based on characteristics and their intersectionality and refine this with 2 iterative stakeholder workshops, that include academic advisors, policy makers and practitioners with a community wellbeing interest and an understanding of the practical context for place based community wellbeing investments.
Phase 2: Research Question #2 – How can this relationship be modelled quantitatively using measures of community, individual wellbeing and measures for the quantity and quality of relationships and sense of belonging to a place?
- Map individual and community wellbeing outcome measures onto the theoretical model developed for RQ#1.
- Test the empirical relationship between these outcome measures using existing quantitative data sets (Understanding Society, Community Life Survey, ONS4 and ONS Social Capital measures and others), including Covid-related datasets (Understanding Society Covid module, UCL Social Survey, NatCen and Ipsos Mori surveys commissioned by CfAB, ONS OPN data),
- Highlighting where the relationship is different for different individuals and groups within a place (at Local Authority level and smaller units if data permits), and over time (likely at regional or country level, due to smaller sample sizes of rapid response Covid surveys).
- Model and test the how measures of relationships, connections and belonging help to explain this relationship.
Phase 3: Research Question #3 – What are the barriers and enablers (context and social infrastructure) to achieving a virtuous circle of positive outcomes for individuals and communities and addressing any trade-offs or risks of negative outcomes for different individuals/groups?
- Identify qualitative and practice-based evidence that was included in phase 1 that provides detail and insights on the context for achieving community and individual wellbeing, through the mechanisms of relationships, social connections and belonging. We will prioritise evidence to draw on here that includes the voice and perspectives of individuals and communities to provide a perspective from lived experiences in places, generating nuanced narrative and stories of the relationship between individual and community wellbeing
- Draw insights from the contextual evidence that identify barriers and enablers to achieving improvements in both individual and community wellbeing, through the strengthening of relationships and connections.
- Draw insights from the contextual evidence on where negative outcomes were identified and how trade-offs (e.g. where a net improvement of wellbeing may be achieved by an improvement in the wellbeing of some individuals, which more than offsets a fall in the wellbeing of others) can be understood and tackled.
- This evidence to be supplemented by Key Informant Interviews from funders of community-based interventions and local government and community projects.
- Test this analysis with policy makers and practitioners to develop guidance for contextual considerations and place-based investments for community wellbeing interventions.
- Providing detailed narrative answers, substantiated with evidence to three research questions
- Presenting a model of the theoretical framework
- Including details of methodology used
- Quality Assured by WWCW advisory panel
- fully referenced (Harvard style)
- STATA (or other) data files and syntax used for quantitative analysis
- Results tables in accessible format (eg Excel)
Insights, review and contributions to the project’s final outputs developed by the centre including
- Presentations of findings to the project consultation group at three key stages of the project
- Provide summary ‘implications’ document, based on findings, for review and adaptation
- Participation in the project’s final round table event with stakeholders
- Review toolkits and workshop content developed by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing
|19/10/2020||Invitation to tender issued|
|06/11/2020||Deadline for receipt of proposals (5pm)|
|12/11/2020||Short-listed candidate interviews|
|30/11/2020||Work to commence|
|Phase 1: November 2020- January 2021
● Consultation group established and research questions and approach confirmed
● Rapid Evidence Review
● Develop theoretical model
● Stakeholder consultation to review model
Phase 2: February – April 2021
● Quantitative research: mapping and modelling individual and community wellbeing indicators
● Findings from the quantitative research phase reviewed at second consultation group meeting.
Phase 3: May – July 2021
● Qualitative review of contextual evidence
● Key Informant Interviews
Phase 4: August – October 2021
● Final consultation group meeting to discuss findings and how they can be disseminated to maximise impact
● Full report publication and policy round table (webinar)
How to apply
If you would like to be considered to undertake the research project please detail your expression of interest and a short research proposal in no more than 2000 words (excluding tables and references) to cover:
- Your understanding of the brief and proposed methodology for defining the thematic scope, breadth and depth of the analysis;
- Your proposal will outline the data sources you intend to use and specifically how you will access this data (in light of covid-19 restrictions for accessing data secure labs etc),
- Your ability to carry out the proposed work, including relevant skills and demonstrable thematic and technical expertise.
- A Project Plan with key activities and deliverables, including number of days expected for each task;
- A Budget, including a full breakdown of your proposed fees, identifying the day rate and seniority of member(s) of staff assigned to each role. The proposed budget should be between £40,000-£50,000, including all expenses and including VAT.
- An example (and link, if possible) of related work carried out that demonstrates your ability to deliver similar assignments.
Please send your proposal with the subject line Submission for tender Community and Individual Wellbeing to: firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5pm 6 November.
Our criteria for assessing the tenders includes quality and price and is set out below:
Understanding of the requirements for this Tender and alignment with the values of the Centre
|Proposed approach and methodology
Clear, relevant and appropriate approach to the proposed work
|Knowledge & Expertise
Demonstrable thematic and technical knowledge, skills and experience to meet the Tender’s requirements.
|Value for money
Day rates, number or days and balance of seniority levels in relation to proposed work
If you have any questions, or would like to discuss this tender invitation please email email@example.com with the subject line: Question regarding the tender.