The Ernest Cook Trust is an educational charity and one of the UK’s foremost providers and funders of outdoor learning. Our vision is for an environmentally engaged society with stronger connections to nature.

Our important work makes a difference to children, young people, their families and communities throughout the UK, especially those that are disadvantaged. We help to nurture a lifelong journey of learning, appreciation and respect for the countryside. We do this through grant support, direct delivery, research and advocacy.

We have a growing team of people focusing on the delivery of strategic learning projects and are looking for the right person to work with us to strengthen the reporting of the impact of our charity’s educational objectives. You will lead on impact evaluation and knowledge transfer, which forms a crucial part of these programmes. Your research on outdoor learning needs will help shape our future strategy. Overall your work will be vital in improving the effectiveness of our educational delivery and developing an evidence base for our advocacy ambitions. This new role is a great opportunity for someone who wants to make their mark in the charitable sector: you will be pioneering and growing this brand new work stream, which has the potential to make a significant difference within our small charity.

Outdoor Learning

The Ernest Cook Trust provides a wealth of opportunities to help disadvantaged children and young people make meaningful connections with nature and the outdoors. This includes working alongside schools, colleges and a broad spectrum of private and public organisations and creating tailored learning sessions which are delivered by our Outdoor Learning Officers, on our own sites and beyond.

Grant Giving

Each year The Ernest Cook Trust donates around £2 million of funds generated through income from its estates and investments. Grants are made to registered charities and non-profit making organisations (including schools), and grant streams focus on environmental engagement, outdoor learning and learning from the land. Awards are made with a priority criteria to support disadvantaged young people living in deprived areas across the UK. Most of our grant giving programmes are now integrated with our outdoor learning programmes, enabling us to broaden the reach and longevity of our work beyond our own landed estates by supporting schools and other charitable organisations in their own delivery.


As Research & Impact Manager you will work closely with colleagues across the organisation to:

  • Provide expertise in developing our impact and evaluation framework.
  • Develop and implement systems for measuring impact and evaluating outcomes.
  • Lead research for evidence-based decision making on new strategy and programmes.
  • Support monitoring and evaluation across all project areas.


The following description is intended to provide guidance as to duties but is not exhaustive:


  • Ensuring a consistent high quality approach to research across all areas of outdoor learning and embedding an evidence-based approach in our decision making.
  • Assisting in research, monitoring and evaluation of the Trust’s Everything Outdoors strategic theme; including direct delivery and grant giving priorities for the Trust’s Schools, Community and Outdoor Futures programmes.
  • Working with Team Heads and Project Managers to provide research for The Ernest Cook Trust’s current strategic programmes which include: 
    • The OWL Collaboration A £2m+ programme to provide Outdoor Weeks of Learning (OWLs) for disadvantaged children at farm and environmental-based outdoor centres throughout the UK.
    • The Green Influencers Scheme A £3m match-funded programme with the #iwill Fund providing environmental youth social action community project opportunities for young people, with a target age of 10-14 years old.
    • The Learning Estate – A programme of research to develop collaborative learning opportunities on an estate owned by The Ernest Cook Trust.
  • Designing research, data collection and analysis tools and methods that cover all methods of engagement.
  • Supporting staff in research skills and the use of qualitative and quantitative measures.
  • Identifying gaps in the Trust’s evidence base and recommending new research and evaluation projects.
  • Overseeing any Trust-funded third party research and ensuring that the work feeds into our own impact evaluation. 

Impact, Evaluation and Reporting

  • Working with the Trust’s team, with support from external consultants, to scope and develop our Impact Evaluation Framework and Theory of Change.
  • Working with the Head of Learning, developing improved methods for impact and evaluation for the Trust’s direct learning activities.
  • Working with the Head of Grants developing improved procedures for monitoring, reporting and evaluation of grant giving.
  • Establishing and maintaining a robust mechanism for tracking project progress.
  • Leading regular stakeholder evaluation events, workshops and meetings.
  • Preparing and presenting regular evaluation reports for collaborators, Trustees and external organisations including production of metrics and infographics to demonstrate project impact.
  • Working with the Communications team to identify external opportunities for sharing dynamic and informative impact evaluation.

Technical Support

  • Contributing to the upkeep of the Salesforce Information Management System (used for managing bookings, administering grants, collecting data, monitoring reports and communication) and contributing internal technical support, as required.
  • Designing and developing improved online systems for implementing data management and grant giving and evaluation processes.
  • Managing any IT applications to ensure effective impact data tracking. 


  • Ensuring that all work is carried out in line with the Trust’s policies and procedures; including Safeguarding, Due Diligence, Complaints, Health and Safety and GDPR.
  • Providing administrative support and responding to telephone, email and social media enquiries.
  • Undertaking training, education and information courses relevant to the role, to contribute to the better delivery of the Trust’s objectives.
  • Any other general duties as required.


  • Employer pension contribution equating to 10% of gross salary (Employee contribution at 5%).
  • 27 days annual leave plus statutory holidays (pro rata).
  • Life Assurance at 4 x gross salary.
  • Dynamic, creative and welcoming working environment.
  • Training and development opportunities.

Working for us will involve wellies, because we firmly believe that everything is better outdoors!

* As a brand new post, this is fixed term in the first instance. However, we are a rapidly growing organisation and are continuously developing new opportunism for permanent posts.


In the first instance, please download, complete and save the Application Form available via The Ernest Cook Trust website by clicking below.

Upload your completed application form to hr.breathehr.com/v/research-impact-manager-16308

Closing Date: Monday 24 May 2021 at 17:00
1st Interviews: Monday 7 June 2021 via Zoom
2nd Interviews: Monday 14 June 2021 at Fairford, Gloucestershire GL7 4JH 

Find more information about The Ernest Cook Trust on our website at www.ernestcooktrust.org.uk

We look forward to hearing from you!