Happier Lives Institute

Head of Operations and Communications

Oxford, UK (preferred)


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Basic info

Salary: £24,000-£38,000 dependent on experience and location.
Location: Oxford, UK (after COVID-19); remote work may be possible for the right candidate.
Hours: Full-time
Applications due: 23rd May
Start-date: As soon as possible from 28th June
Note: HLI is currently a remote team working in timezones between UTC-7 and UTC+1. We are not currently able to sponsor visas, but may be able to later this year or next year.

About us

There are many problems in the world: alleviating poverty, extending lives, enhancing education, and improving mental health, to name a few. If we want to help others much as possible, what should we do?

At the Happier Lives Institute (HLI), our vision is a world where everyone lives their happiest life.  Because we don’t know the best way to get to that world, our mission is to conduct and promote clear, useful, and rigorous research into how best to measure and increase global well-being. More specifically, we focus on using self-reports of happiness and life satisfaction to assess what does the most good. We then communicate our findings to decision-makers, both institutions and individuals. We hope and expect the result of our work will be a substantial, wide-ranging, and long-lasting improvement in global well-being. 

In this position, you’ll be at the heart of this work, helping HLI’s goal of a happier world come to fruition.

The Happier Lives Institute was founded in 2019. Since then, we have:
  • Grown to a team of three staff members, supported by an active board of trustees and a wider network of volunteer researchers and advisors. 
  • Published three working papers - on the philosophy and measurement of well-being, and the impact of cash transfers; estimated the ‘moral weights’ of averting deaths and increasing income; produced a problem area report on pain; and more
  • Given talks at effective altruism conferences, the London School of Economics, the University of Oxford, economics workshops, and to university groups around the world. 
  • Our research has been used or referenced by organisations including Founders Pledge, Charity Entrepreneurship, GiveWell, and 80,000 Hours.  

To hear more about HLI, read our recent update and new research agenda.

The roles

We are looking to hire a generalist who will lead HLI’s operations and communications: 
  • Operations: ensuring the organisation runs smoothly; including finance, compliance, human resources, logistics, and developing internal processes and policies.
  • Communications: effectively connecting our research to key stakeholders through the range of channels: our website, newsletter, social media, other media, events, and meetings. 
We expect that candidates will be stronger in some parts of these areas than others - that’s OK! We are looking for candidates who are conscientious, proactive, and quick-learners - if that’s you, please consider applying. 

Your day-to-day tasks are likely to include:
  • Overseeing the accounts, bookkeeping, and employee contracts
  • Completing HLI’s registration with the UK Charity Commission and ensuring ongoing compliance with their requirements
  • Filling in funding applications and writing grant reports 
  • Working with the Director to determine our quarterly Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) and, more broadly, contributing to HLI’s strategic decisions
  • Coordinating and supporting meetings, assisting with research management, and developing internal systems, such as for shared task management
  • Organising hiring rounds  
  • Stakeholder management and engagement
  • Writing the newsletter, blog posts, and social media posts, and monitoring email correspondence
  • Improving the structure and content of the website. Copy-editing and formatting HLI’s research outputs
  • You will report to Michael Plant, HLI’s Director, and receive strategic communications support from Barry Grimes, a Trustee 

How will your work have an impact? 
  • Your work will enable and streamline HLI’s processes, acting as a multiplier on the organisation's impact. Further, we believe your work in communicating with stakeholders can have an outsized impact by improving decision-making at a large number of institutions. 
  • As a young and growing organisation, you will have the opportunity to shape HLI and its agenda. We welcome innovative and strategic thinking about HLI’s goals and plans; your opportunity for impact will extend beyond the direct work that you will do. ​

What we need from you

  • Passion for HLI’s mission 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent organisation and planning skills. A strong ability to prioritise your tasks and recognise how they tie in with HLI’s wider goals  
  • A proactive, resourceful, and creative problem-solver
  • A ‘systems mindset’ - you are good at stepping back from individual tasks to think about how the whole system could work better to meet its goals
  • A conscientious, quick-learner
  • An orientation to detail 
  • A team player who enjoys coordinating and working with others 
  • Comfort acting under a high degree of self-direction 
  • Willingness to work in a dynamic, start-up environment ​

What we'd love from you

We’re not expecting you to have everything on this list! Plus, we want you to learn new things, like these. If you are on the fence, please err on the side of applying.
  • Experience engaging with stakeholders 
  • An eye for design 
  • Familiarity with HLI’s research agenda and effective altruism concepts
  • Experience working in finance, legal, compliance, or logistics
  • An interest in charity entrepreneurship or startups
  • Intermediate skills working with Google Sheets ​

What we offer

  • A job aiming for high social impact, working on some of the world’s most pressing problems in order to make lives happier
  • A varied, self-directed set of day-to-day tasks 
  • A chance to learn about HLI’s research as part of a close-knit team of like-minded people
  • Connections with a growing network of passionate researchers and wellbeing advocates
  • Experience working at early-stage non-profits or startups
  • Potential for advancement in responsibility as the organization grows
  • A flexible work schedule
  • 33 paid days of annual leave
  • 10% of your time can be spent on personal development, learning or side-projects 
  • Opportunity to travel to meet the team (if remote), for team retreats, and to attend conferences
  • Monthly happiness sessions​

How to apply

  • Applications will close on Sunday 23rd May at the end of the day (in your timezone). 
  • The application process will consist of a series of work tasks and interviews. 
  • Don’t hesitate to contact clare@happierlivesinstitute.org if you have any questions.  
  • We strongly encourage candidates of all backgrounds and identities to apply to this role. HLI is committed to building a diverse, inclusive, and supportive community for you to be happy in and do your best work.

Time commitment: Full time

Applications due: 2021-06-23

  • Category Cause Prioritisation
  • Created by Clare Donaldson
  • Submitted 05 May
  • Last updated 05 May