We’re Hiring: Policy & Research Manager

Position: Policy & Research Manager
Hours: Full -time (37 hours per week)
Start date: ASAP
Duration: 1 year
Reports to: CEO
Location: Coleraine House, Coleraine Street, Dublin 7.
[Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and subject to Government restrictions, the successful candidate may also be required to work remotely.]

Position Summary

This position manages the policy and research unit and is a key member of the senior leadership team. The role has overall responsibility for shaping and delivering Mental Health Reform (MHR)’s policy influencing strategy, building the organisation’s evidence base, producing high quality submissions, developing and ensuring strong stakeholder engagement, and assisting MHR to deliver on its overall strategic goals.

About Mental Health Reform:

Mental Health Reform is Ireland’s leading national coalition on mental health. Our vision is of an Ireland where everyone can access the support they need in their community, to achieve their best possible mental health. In line with this vision, we drive the progressive reform of mental health services and supports, through coordination and policy development, research and innovation, accountability and collective advocacy.

Together with our 77 member organisations and thousands of individual supporters, MHR provides a unified voice to Government, its agencies, the Oireachtas and the general public on mental health issues.
See more here.

Main Responsibilities:

Developing and implementing MHR’s policy reform agenda

  • Provide strategic direction, oversight and coordination of MHR’s policy reform agenda
  • Plan and organise our policy and advocacy work by overseeing objectives, key results, and action plans, and ensure that we deliver on those plans
  • Lead the deepening and strengthening of MHR’s influencing and advocacy agendas and approaches
  • Oversee and assist the policy team in developing and coordinating lobbying strategies to deliver positive policy change
  • Ensure policy positions are coherent with the views and experiences of mental health service users and family members through regular consultations
  • Proactively monitor relevant developments in Irish and international mental health policy, practice and law
  • Ensure MHR is producing high quality policy submissions, briefings etc.
  • Conduct regular consultation with MHR’s member organisations, advisory groups and international and national experts
  • Collaborate with the communications team to deliver advocacy campaigns

Building Mental Health Reform’s evidence base

  • Provide strategic direction, oversight and coordination of MHR’s research agenda
  • Proactively develop and maintain relationships with key academic institutions, identifying opportunities to work jointly
  • Oversee and contribute to the design of research
  • Oversee and conduct desk and empirical research as necessary
  • Ensure robustness and rigour in MHR’s research and policy work including regular engagement with the Research Advisory Committee (RAC)
  • Oversee and project manage the external commissioning of research
  • Identifying funding opportunities and making research grant applications

Developing and strengthening partnerships

  • Develop and maintain a network of contacts to inform and increase the impact of our work
  • Consult regularly with members, people with lived experiences, peer organisations, allies and other relevant actors in order to stay current with trends and to ensure that MHR’s research, policy and advocacy agendas are responsive to these trends
  • Represent MHR in cross-departmental consultative forums and at public events

Assisting MHR to deliver on its overall strategic goals

  • Work within the framework of the overall objectives and the policies and practices of MHR
  • Ensure all work undertaken complies with data protection and GDPR rules
  • Contribute to the promotion of equality of opportunity, anti-discriminatory practice, diversity, individual rights and choice in all aspects of work
  • Update MHR’s contacts database
  • Carry out other administrative duties as required
  • Lead, manage and coach staff within the MHR performance management system
  • Supervise staff, interns and/or volunteers as required
  • Participate in relevant training and development courses as agreed with the CEO
  • Undertake such other duties as might be reasonably assigned from time to time by the CEO
  • Be vigilant to any Health, Safety and Welfare risks in the workplace and bring any concerns to the attention of the CEO or Health & Safety Representative

The Person:

Skills, knowledge and experience required

  • A third-level qualification in a relevant discipline
  • Satisfactory relevant experience in a senior policy role
  • Experience managing several projects simultaneously, as well as effective relationship management and influencing skills are essential
  • Considerable proven experience in leading the production of policy and research outputs
  • Demonstrated ability to research, analyse and distil complex policy issues
  • Experience in managing staff to achieve deliverables
  • Excellent organisational skills with the ability to manage tight deadlines
  • Fluent speaker and writer of English
  • Proven exceptional communication and interpersonal skills, both verbal and written
  • Demonstrated ability to build and maintain high-quality and productive working relationships with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders
  • An ability to work with initiative and autonomy and take responsibility for a functional role within a small team


  • Experience in and familiarity with community and voluntary sector in Ireland
  • Familiarity with the mental health policy landscape in Ireland


The salary range for Managers is €50,000 – €60,000 and will be commensurate with skills & experience.

Mental Health Reform operates the following benefits for its employees:

  • Defined contribution pension scheme
  • Annual leave 24 days, exclusive of public holidays, 1 company day and 1 wellbeing day per year
  • Access to an Employee Assistance Programme

Additional Notes:

This job description is not a definitive list of tasks; rather it is designed to give an overview of the job. It is envisaged that the post-holder will use their own initiative and develop the job under guidance so that the organisations aims are achieved. It should be noted that the organisation is dynamic and fast paced and it may be necessary to step beyond the areas outlined above to support others from time to time.

This is a one-year position with the possibility of extending. Flexibility is required regarding hours as some weekend and evening work will be necessary. Travel and out of office work will also be a feature of the role. Mental health Reform is an Equal Opportunities Employer. All documentation received by Mental Health Reform will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Acts, 1988 and 2003 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR; 2018). The information will only be used by Mental Health Reform in the processing of job applications and for ongoing administrative purposes with job candidates.

Application Process:

Please email your CV and cover letter to info@mentalhealthreform.ie

Requests for additional information can be sent to info@mentalhealthreform.ie

Closing date for the submission of applications is Thursday November 18th at 5:00 PM


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