As part of the GIIN’s mission to accelerate the scale and effectiveness of impact investing, we publish job openings from members of the GIIN Investors’ Council and other impact investing leaders.

Director of Research & Communications

at Gearbox International Foundation in Remote

About the Job

View the original posting here:

The Gearbox International Foundation
We provide impact driven and hardware-focused incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, makerspaces, and fab labs in emerging markets with a suite of technical, management, and financial support services to help them build powerful and financially sustainable facilities and programs. We were founded by the team behind Gearbox Kenya. Read our story at

The best way to get to know what we’re about is to read these three posts:

Why Hardware for Development?

Making an Impact with Hardware is all about CAPITAL.

Development Finance for Hardware Innovation Hubs

We’re looking for a Director of Research & Communications to start in early 2019 as we prepare to scale our model globally. Next year, we will be launching several new financial support programs — including grants, bonds, and a revolving loan fund — and will begin the process of identifying our second major grantee.

The DR&C will be tasked with gathering data to evaluate our approach, positioning our work within the global knowledge base surrounding product design, manufacturing, entrepreneurship, international development, and social impact, and sharing our work both to further our mission and to encourage others to replicate and adapt our innovative and unique model for building impact driven manufacturing ecosystems.

We aim to become the international development and impact investing community’s first source of information when it comes to supporting hardware entrepreneurs in emerging markets, and the Director of Research & Communications will play a critical role both in monitoring, evaluating, and communicating our current work, and in shaping our community and programs far into the future.

What You’ll Get to Do
The job will require a tremendous amount of creativity, flexibility, drive, and commitment. You will have a lot of scope to define the role, but some of your responsibilities will include:

Research/Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Develop an evaluation framework for all Gearbox Foundation programs and grantees
  • Regularly collect high quality quantitative and qualitative data to support the evaluation of our programs
  • Maintain the integrity of our data and apply the highest standards in research ethics
  • Publish internal and external facing reports on program activities, outputs, and outcomes
  • Provide regular insight and feedback to our grantees, management, board, investors and donors to enable data driven decision making
  • Stay at the forefront of research in the fields of product design, hardware entrepreneurship, manufacturing, international development, and social impact
  • Investigate and share stories of hardware entrepreneurship and economic development/social impact from all corners of the globe


  • Write in a variety of formats and styles ranging from academic/professional reports to popular publications, blogs, and social media
  • Collect, create, edit, and distribute a variety of media (photography, video, audio) through various channels (web, social media, traditional press)
  • Make updates to the GBF website (using Squarespace) as needed
  • Represent GBF in public, in the media, at conferences and events
  • Communicate directly with grantees, donors, investors, and board members


  • Work closely with our partners to help them build internal capacity to conduct their own research and publish their own media
  • Build a broad community of potential future partners/grantees
  • Help design and implement an investment analysis/diligence process for identifying new grantees
  • Take the initiative to introduce your own ideas to improve our programs, operations, communications, and the sustainability of the Foundation and our partners

Skills and Requirements
You will need to have most, if not necessarily all, of the following to be successful in this role:

  • 5–8 years relevant experience
  • At least two years conducting primary research in low and middle income countries (Africa strongly preferred)
  • An advanced degree in sociology, economics, international development, social anthropology, social entrepreneurship, or other relevant field; OR additional experience to match
  • Very strong writing and analytical skills
  • Evaluation and research design experience
  • Storytelling/popular writing/social media skills
  • Light web and graphic design (using Squarespace, Keynote, and Adobe CC tools)
  • Humility, coupled with strong in-person and cross-cultural communications skills
  • Proven research background in product design, manufacturing, hardware entrepreneurship, economic development, and social impact

It would be an added bonus if you also have:

  • Insatiable curiosity
  • Basic video and audio production skills
  • Experience building connections with diverse communities
  • Experience conducting capacity building and training

Location and Travel
The Gearbox International Foundation is a distributed organization with a small, three person team. You can be based wherever you choose, but you will need to be able to travel up to 25% of the year. Destinations will mostly be in Africa and the US, but may include the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America.

Candidates from and/or based in low and middle income countries are STRONGLY encouraged to apply.

What We’re Offering
The starting salary will be between $60,000 and $80,000 for the first year, with room to grow to the $100,000 — $150,000 range depending on the financial performance of the organization. Benefits include insurance and the freedom to work when, how, and where you like.

As a nonprofit, when we can’t compete on salary alone, we try and make up for it with flexibility and unique opportunities for learning, challenge, and growth. As a startup, candidates should recognize that the role WILL change over time.

To apply

Send your CV and cover letter to paul [at] gearboxfoundation [dot] org. Please ensure your email references the job title. Be prepared to share a portfolio of writing samples (both professional/academic and popular/blog or social media styles), as well as examples of graphic, web, audio, and video design if requested.

If you’re interested in learning more, but not quite ready to apply, feel free to send me an email.

Important Note
This advertisement is for a position contingent on programmatic funding, and start dates may need to be adjusted depending on where we are in the grant cycle. We will do our best to accommodate a strong candidate.