Principal – Online Safety Market Intelligence

This job posting expired and applications are no longer accepted.
London, Manchester, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Job Type
Hybrid Working Opportunity

Location: London, Manchester, Edinburgh

Closing Date: 30/05/2024

Group: Strategy and Research Group

Management Level: Principal

Job Type: Permanent


Job Description:

Please note that this role will close at 00:01 on Thursday 30th May, and therefore we advise getting your application in no later than midnight on Wednesday 29th May.


How to Apply

When applying, please submit a covering letter of no more than two pages in length outlining your suitability and experience for the role. You are able to upload the covering letter at the same point as your CV.


Team overview

Ofcom’s mission is to make communications work for everyone. We regulate broadband and mobile services, postal services, TV and radio, and the airwaves over which wireless devices operate. Under the 2023 Online Safety Act we took on duties as the UK’s online safety regulator.

The Research and Intelligence (R&I) team is responsible for providing a deep understanding of market developments and the outcomes for consumers and citizens in the markets we regulate. We collect the evidence base that underpins Ofcom's decisions and informs Ofcom’s policy work. The team includes industry analysts, market researchers and data specialists. R&I has been growing as we build the evidence base for the new Online Safety regime, and we are investing in variety of data sources and methodological approaches to build an effective picture of online harms and online safety.

Our culture is clear - we live by Ofcom’s values: Empowerment, Excellence, Collaboration, Agility and Respect. These define how we work to deliver our purpose, now and in the future.


Purpose of the role

This is a leadership role within the online hub in the Research & Intelligence team. Working with five other Research & Intelligence Principals, the postholder will help to lead a large team of analysts and researchers dedicated to building an evidence base for online safety regulation.

This is a key role in Ofcom’s evidence-led approach to regulation. The successful applicant will design and oversee programmes of work to collect and analyse data from and about the newly regulated online industry. The postholder will lead and support a team of market intelligence experts, as well as working closely with cross-disciplinary colleagues from policy, legal, economics and enforcement teams.

The postholder will represent Ofcom externally, including in engagement with regulated services and with third-party data and research experts. Internally, they will represent the Research & Intelligence team in senior-level engagement.
Key responsibilities

The role will lead key programmes of work in the team:

  • Leadership of the online hub’s work collecting and analysing third-party data to inform a range of our projects, including our evaluation of online safety regulation and monitoring risks in the regulated sectors.
  • Leadership of other key programmes in the online hub, which might include oversight of programmes of work such as the categorisation of regulated services, formal information-gathering from online services, platform transparency reporting and assessing evidence via the online safety triage process.
  • Co-leadership of the online hub’s work to support the new online safety supervision function, which will include the design of new formats and processes for generating insights about the largest and riskiest online services.
  • Working with other principals in the team to set up and design new research projects when required, including setting up project teams, setting direction and supporting projects through governance processes or to publication.

Key leadership responsibilities include:

  • Providing expertise to colleagues across the organisation on online industry data and research.
  • Working with policy colleagues to identify new projects to fill evidence gaps about the regulated online industry, its constituent businesses and the safety risks that they generate.
  • Being an active contributor to the wider online safety team, including contributing to strategy and planning work for the wider programme.
  • Directing and coordinating the publication of research produced by the team.
  • Developing the online hub as we move from set-up to operational phase as the online safety regulator. This will involve identifying the resources and skills needed at different stage of our work, building the business case for new roles and managing recruitment.


Key management responsibilities include: 

  • Career and performance management of Senior Associates and Associates including leading, coaching, motivating, and developing colleagues and building individual and team capabilities.
  • Co-leading the online hub in the Research and Intelligence team (~40 people), including setting the team’s strategy, managing its resources and supporting and empowering the team to excel.
  • Contributing to the ongoing development of the team and Ofcom as an excellent place to work.
  • Work as part of the Research & Intelligence management team to provide team-wide leadership and strategic direction, as well as developing processes for working seamlessly between various hubs and teams to deliver Ofcom’s priorities.


As the online safety regime is focused on assessing services’ systems and processes, rather than adjudicating on individual pieces of content, we do not anticipate that colleagues working in this role will be routinely exposed to harmful or distressing online content. At the same time, due to the nature of the harms covered by the online safety regime, some exposure to distressing content or themes may be unavoidable from time to time. We will offer support to colleagues to manage any such exposure, but candidates should be aware of this aspect of the role, alongside the need to ensure the right support is in place for their team.


Skills, knowledge and experience

Essential skills

  • People management, including coaching – experience of leading and inspiring a team, and managing the performance and development of team members through coaching.
  • Programme management and organisational skills – experience of planning and overseeing major multiple work programmes, including oversight of budgets, timelines and project objectives.
  • The ability to contribute to collective leadership, working with peers to take decisions based on a variety of perspectives and priorities.
  • Ability to effectively prioritise and delegate workload and react to changing priorities.
  • Excellent written communication skills, with significant experience in overseeing production of large and complex publications, ensuring clear and coherent narrative flows.
  • Excellent oral presentation skills: able to communicate clearly and persuasively to multiple audiences and experience in presenting to large audience and senior stakeholders.
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills for both internal and external engagement.
  • Strategic analytical skills – experience of using critical thinking, data analysis and strategic tools to solve problems; experience of setting objectives and developing a strategy to deliver those objectives.


Essential knowledge

  • Knowledge of the online landscape: a broad and deep understanding of the business models and strategies of the large online platforms, including how they collect and use data
  • Understanding of online safety regulation: a good understanding of the regulatory environment for online services in the UK.
  • Good knowledge of online research methodologies, including an understanding of the pros and cons of various methodological approaches.


Essential experience

  • Experience in complex reporting of information or data about multiple stakeholders or topics, in an accessible, concise, and robust way.
  • Experience in setting and implementing programme-level strategy and delivery action plans, in line with broader organisational strategic priorities.
  • Experience of directing broad, complex projects, delivering the implementation through others, and working collaboratively with colleagues at all levels and across cross-functional teams.
  • Experience of leading or managing others, setting direction, and helping colleagues develop.
  • Experience working in ambiguity, proactively identifying challenges, and creating or improving processes.
  • Experience using quantitative evidence to support policy and strategy work.


Desirable experience:

  • Practical experience in online safety subject matter expertise and/or substantial experience in market intelligence functions for other industries.
  • Experience of assessing companies’ systems, processes, governance, and compliance with key regulatory requirements.



Degree or equivalent higher qualification, or equivalent workplace experience.

Ofcom has a clear mission: to make communications work for everyone.  To be able to deliver on this, we want our organisation to reflect the diversity of background, experience, upbringing and thought that exists across the UK.  We aim to recruit from the widest pool of candidates possible – no matter your social background, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender or disability.

Where positions are listed as full-time, we remain open to reduced hours, part-time arrangements, job shares, and other flexible working options. From day one, we champion flexible work arrangements to accommodate individual needs.

We also warmly welcome applicants who are returning to the workforce after a break – for whatever reason. If you have taken time away and are ready to rejoin, we look forward to reviewing your application.

Our recruitment processes prioritise accessibility and inclusivity. If you need information in an alternative format or have specific preferences, please contact our recruitment team at or call 0330 912 1378.

As a Disability Confident employer, we offer interviews to disabled applicants who meet essential criteria for advertised roles. Learn more about this scheme here.


We are proud supporters of Women in Data®.  Connect, engage and belong to the largest free female data community in the UK – visit: to join our community.


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