Director of research

We have an exciting opportunity for a director of research to join the British Lung Foundation as a pivotal member of our six-strong senior management team. 

Location: London, EC1V 
Salary: Competitive  
Closing date: 10am, 21 June 2019
Interview dates: w/c 22 July 2019

One person in five in the UK is affected by lung disease. As the only UK charity for people affected by all lung and respiratory diseases – from mild asthma through to lung cancer – the British Lung Foundation (BLF) is here for every one of them. We provide support, fund vital research, and campaign for better prevention, treatment and care.

As one of the biggest non-industry funders of respiratory research in the UK, we have over the years invested over £35m in research, but lung disease is still one of the most underfunded areas of research and remains an enormous contributor to health inequalities.

Research is at the heart of all we do and we’re now looking for an exceptional individual to help us continue to shape and deliver a truly life-changing research programme. As our Research Director, you will be a pivotal member of our six-strong Senior Management Team and the ‘go to’ person for medical input and advice for the whole organisation. We need someone who has a wealth of experience in doing and/or managing biomedical research, from bench to early clinical, in respiratory or a related area such as inflammation, ageing or oncology. You will understand research in academic, third sector and commercial settings and will be familiar with evaluating research outcomes and making go/no-go decisions. You will be used to managing tight budgets and, of course, will have led and managed a team of high-performing professionals.

Our new research strategy embraces innovation, entrepreneurship and collaboration; it aims to strengthen our relationships with academia and industry and to increase research spend by tapping into new philanthropic and other funding streams and this role requires someone with outstanding relationship building and influencing skills to engage and influence right across our organisation, contributing to our wider fundraising and communications strategy, meeting major donors and engaging with the media as well as support our committed staff and dedicated Board of Trustees and Research Committee. A confident and empathetic communicator, you will connect immediately with people affected by lung disease, as well as dedicated volunteers and support groups. You will be as motivated as we are to make a real difference and will share our commitment to excellence, empathy and empowering others.

Not only are we the only UK charity looking after the nation’s lungs but also a fantastic employer. We have recently been nationally recognised as a fantastic place to work after earning a place in The Sunday Times Best 100 Not for Profit Organisations. This is a great achievement as only the organisations with the highest level of employee engagements qualify for the list. 

As well as a competitive salary you can enjoy a range of benefits including our cycle to-work scheme, option to work flexibly (including working from home, compressed hours and flexi-time), interest-free annual season travelcard loan, 30 days annual leave plus bank holidays (pro-rata for part-time employees), pension scheme and much more.

This is a fantastic opportunity to contribute to an organisation committed to supporting everyone whose lives are changed by lung disease. 

Download the candidate information pack (PDF, 1.72KB)

How to apply

Applications for this role will be submitted via Please follow the link below to find out more about this role and how to apply.

For an informal, confidential discussion about the role, please contact Joanna Thornton or Rebecca O’Connor at GatenbySanderson on 0207 426 3373.

Apply for the role