Director, Social Purpose Lab

Ref: 6273

University of the Arts London


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Role Managed by:

Joe Blanch

Research Associate

t: +44 (0)20 7340 6258


Primary Practice Group: Higher Education and Research

Salary & Benefits: Competitive for role

Closing Date: 23/01/2023

Formal Interview Date: Friday 6th February

University of the Arts London (UAL) is a world-leading creative university for teaching and research in art, design, fashion, communication and performing arts. UAL is made up of six renowned colleges: Camberwell College of Arts, Central Saint Martins, Chelsea College of Arts, London College of Communication, London College of Fashion and Wimbledon College of Arts, and is currently undergoing an exciting strategic transformation under the leadership of the President and Vice-Chancellor, James Purnell.

We believe the world needs creativity. That’s why UAL is a social purpose university, dedicated to nurturing creativity and deploying it to help solve the world’s problems. At the core of our new 10-year strategy is a commitment to making the world a better place through our collective creative endeavour, and our Social Purpose Lab will be key to that success.

Part of the University’s new Social Purpose Group, which brings together fundraising, communications and external engagement activities, the Social Purpose Lab will help transform our impact and establish our leadership on issues including climate change, racial and social justice, and the future of the creative industries. Reporting to the Chief Social Purpose Officer, Polly Mackenzie, the role of inaugural Director represents a unique opportunity to build and lead a different kind of team within the university; bringing together three key functions of Values and Measurement, Transformation, and Policy and Campaigns, the Social Purpose Lab will enable UAL to maximise and measure the positive change we bring to the world.

We’re looking for an ambitious leader who’s ready to experiment, innovate, campaign and inspire change, at UAL, in London, in the UK, and across the world. The ideal candidate will have significant experience in a policy, evaluation or strategy role, and leadership experience in sustainability, diversity, or social impact work. You will have track record in designing evaluation or experimental practice as part of a change management process, and of translating strategic objectives into tangible delivery plans. The role calls for an individual with collaborative and contemporary leadership and influencing skills, and the ability to build communities of practice, effectively leveraging the unique creative capacity of the University’s community at every turn.

You will share our values and will possess exceptional communication and relationship-building skills, representing UAL with a wide range of stakeholders. Like us, you believe that equality, diversity and inclusion are integral to thriving organisations and you will share our commitment to creating a university where we can all be ourselves and reach our full potential.

UAL aims to be an equal opportunities employer embracing diversity in all areas of activity and positively welcomes applications from black and minority ethnic and female applicants who are currently underrepresented at this level.

We are working to make UAL an anti-racist university and pledge that 30% of our staff will be people of colour by 2024.

Application is by submission of a full curriculum vitae and a covering letter of application, addressing the job description and person specification and including suitable daytime and evening telephone contact details. For informal inquiries please contact Joe Blanch on

The closing date for applications is 08.00am GMT  Monday 23rd January 2023


UAL is committed to creating diverse and inclusive environments for all staff and students to work and learn – a university where we can be ourselves and reach our full potential. We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, flexible working arrangements and Staff Support Networks. We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds, including race, disability, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion and belief, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, and caring responsibility.

Perrett Laver believes that excellence will be achieved through recognising the value of every individual. A broad range of perspectives, backgrounds and opinions amongst our global community of colleagues is crucial in maintaining our culture of openness, intellectual curiosity, and creativity. We take an active role in supporting under-represented communities and groups in becoming better and more fairly represented in the leadership of all organisations. We also know that diverse and inclusive teams have a positive impact on our ability to identify, engage and secure candidates from these groups.

Our commitment to inclusion across race, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, identity, and experience drives us every day – for clients, for candidate identification and in the recruitment, development and retention of colleagues. 

To ensure inclusion on the basis of age, disability, ethnic or national origin, family circumstance, gender, gender identity, marital status, nationality, political or religious beliefs, race, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, we would like to specifically invite applications from under-represented groups.


For a conversation in confidence or should you require access to these documents in alternative formats, please contact Trinity Willett.

If you have comments that would support us to improve access to documentation, or our application processes more generally, please do not hesitate to contact us via


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