Researcher - Circular Jobs Initiative

  • Amsterdam, Netherlands

Researcher - Circular Jobs Initiative

Job description

At Circle Economy, we believe it is time for a new economic approach: the circular economy. We are a social enterprise with an international team that develops practical and scalable solutions to accelerate the adoption of the circular economy. We are growing rapidly both in the Netherlands and around the world through strategic partnerships with governments, cities, and businesses. We offer Circle Scans to businesses, cities and nations, drawing on deep expertise, including in the areas of textiles, the built environment, finance, circular design, and on jobs and skills in the circular economy; the Circular Jobs Initiative.

The Circular Jobs Initiative is a knowledge centre that aims to ensure the transition to the circular economy is positive for work and workers. It was launched early 2020 and finds itself central to Circle Economy’s ambition to create a positive social impact with the circular economy. In the past year, the initiative has developed into an international thought leader on the topic of jobs and skills in the circular economy, and attracted collaborations with internationally leading public and multilateral organisations.

The ambitious mission of the Circular Jobs Initiative is approached through three focus areas: inclusive job opportunities, the quality of work and skills. The wide range of active projects include mapping skills needs, analysing employment effects and developing metrics in research and advisory tracks, as well as engaging with a community that comprises civil society, research and education, private sector employers and the public sector. On top of that, the Circular Jobs Initiative aims to drive knowledge development and the public debate around jobs and skills in the circular economy by publishing and curating content on its online platforms.

Your role in the Circle Economy team

As Circular Jobs Researcher, you will help to drive the content and community of the Circular Jobs Initiative. You will manage projects, conduct qualitative research yourself and produce high-quality and engaging outputs. You will ensure insights developed by the Circular Jobs Initiative meet the needs of our multi-stakeholder community, working closely with the communications team. You will excellently manage both internal and external relationships, helping to secure a place for an increasingly timely topic on the global agenda. You will also work in close collaboration with teams across the organisation to help cities, nations and businesses understand the impact of circular strategies on jobs and skills requirements.

Who You Are

We are looking for a highly motivated and effective researcher who can be a key player in a dedicated team advocating for an extremely relevant topic. You are a natural communicator and can translate complex issues into clear and engaging insights, enjoy conducting new and innovative research, and can ensure projects are delivered on time to the highest standards.

On the content level, you have a clear understanding of and affinity with labour market issues and related public policy, particularly in the context of the circular economy and environmental sustainability more widely. You have a track record of working in international environments in applied research and analysis, advocacy or public administration.

You are practical, knowledgeable and skillful, and looking for a challenge to make an impact. You are passionate about environmental sustainability and social justice, and eager to be part of a team conducting cutting-edge research, advisory and advocacy work. You want to get your hands dirty to create practical interventions to ensure a positive transition to the circular economy for work and workers.


Key Responsibilities and Duties

Research and analysis

  • Carrying out and contributing to research on the labour market implications of the circular economy;
  • Analysing policy and relevant data in relation to skills and national and international trends;
  • Keeping up to date with emerging research in the field;
  • Helping to develop and implement new and cutting-edge qualitative methodologies;
  • Writing and contributing to publications and other high quality reports.


  • Develop, manage and implement the outreach strategy for the Circular Jobs Initiative;
  • Develop communications, including webinars, blogs and other advocacy materials as part of the outreach strategy and other Circular Jobs Initiative projects;
  • Manage and coordinate relations with Circular Jobs Initiative Advisory Board;

Project management

  • Initiate and project manage research projects as part of the Circular Jobs Initiative;
  • Manage the contribution of the Circular Jobs Initiative to Circle Scans for businesses, cities and nations;
  • Collect and organise stakeholder feedback and learning from projects as to inform the continuous development of the Circular Jobs Initiative’s strategy;
  • Support in business development for the Circular Jobs Initiative through proposal development.

Skills and Competencies


  • You have 3+ years experience in social sciences, public administration or public economics research;
  • You are a trained researcher, and are eager to further develop these skills, while directly applying and valorising the knowledge in practice with programme stakeholders;
  • You have strong qualitative research skills;
  • You are comfortable working on and interpreting statistical analysis if required;
  • You have drafted publications before, non-academic or academic;
  • You are an excellent communicator, with experience working in international environments;
  • You are comfortable building relationships with external partners and stakeholders;
  • You have excellent written and spoken communication skills in English, an additional language is a plus;
  • You are knowledgeable and have an active interest in the circular economy, and environmental sustainability more widely, and would love to contribute your skills and knowledge to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable future;
  • You have a hands-on mentality; the success of this programme lies in its impact.


  • You have worked with mixed methods approaches;
  • You are comfortable with qualitative analytical tools (such as Nvivo or Atlas);
  • Experienced moderator and facilitator, on and offline;
  • Demonstrated public speaking skills, in international contexts;
  • You have written and spoken communication skills in Dutch.

Our Culture

We are a team of 45+ driven and ambitious professionals, coming from diverse backgrounds and from more than 20 different countries, sharing the belief that the circular economy creates prosperity for all. We work in a lively and dynamic atmosphere in our open office space right in the heart of Amsterdam. At Circle Economy, we have a culture of getting things done while having fun, and apart from friendly and open team dynamics, you can expect a drink in your hand every other Friday by 4pm.

Our Values

As a team we have guiding principles that define our mindsets and are inherent in the way we work each day, especially in the way we treat each other and others. Our values are a compass to guide our culture internally and shape our impact externally, they further our greater mission and don’t impose ideology but enable ideas.

  • Focus on Impact - Time is short, boundaries set, efforts need to be focused, brave and relentless. We are actively at work to make a positive difference, bringing benefit to others, doing good and doing it well, each one of us in their own function
  • Resources Consciousness - The potential of our people is unlimited, but resources should be safeguarded. We make the most of others’ time, money, energy and spirit, with efficiency and effectiveness, without abusing these valuable resources
  • Diversity - We need it, to pursue a world of richness, where potential can be expressed to its fullest, and in complete fairness, by all. We embrace diversity, with openness, fairness, and the enthusiasm of knowing that diversity is where jewels hide
  • Safety - collaborating where vulnerability, mistakes, and even tough confrontation, are openly accepted and embraced, without compromising safe relationships, safe boundaries and a safe job
  • Collaboration - Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success: we want to be there for others, in good and bad times, working together, hand in hand, beyond role and bias, to get the work done
  • Recognition - Sometimes we have to recognise great successes, other times great efforts followed by great failures. Recognition helps us move up the line from good intentions to good results.
  • Support - Relationships, when created on the basis of respect and trust, allow us to thrive. When we are encouraged and our actions championed by another, this kind of support ensures choices and decisions are made without consequences as a condition. We foster an environment of encouragement and a trusting place to return to in more difficult moments.

What we offer you

For this role, we are offering an initial 1-year contract for 36 to 40 hours per week. We offer an awesome challenge for a passionate person that loves to learn continuously and take up responsibilities in a vibrant and talented team. Salary is competitive, keeping in mind we are a non-­profit, start­up organisation, based in Amsterdam.

To apply please respond with your CV, a motivation letter and your answer to the three supporting questions enclosed. Applications will be closed at midnight on Wednesday 3rd February 2021.