Research Fellow

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Website VentureESG

About the job

Three-month project, part-time (1.5 day per week)

Salary: £1000 per month

Start date: immediate (ideally 1st July 2024)

Location: hybrid (with flexible in-person days in London)


About VentureESG:

VentureESG is a non-profit organisation driving forward the integration of ESG in the Venture Capital industry globally. Founded by a team of two London-based VCs (Mercuri & Houghton Street Ventures) and a Cambridge academic, VentureESG launched in July 2021 to help the VC sector recognise the importance of ESG and to provide concrete and fit-for-purpose resources, peer-support and training to make ESG a standard part of due diligence, portfolio management and internal fund management.

We have grown to a VC community of 500+ funds across early and growth stages, sectors and geographies. In parallel, we have developed a community of 100+ institutional Limited Partners (pension funds, state funds, fund of funds, foundations, endowments) to harmonise ESG across the ecosystem. In our decision-making, we are supported by a very active VC Steering Committee and LP Working Group.

We are an organisation with strong research foundations and publish thought-leadership and practical tools on a regular basis (you can find recent examples here). For more information on our activities, follow us on Medium or sign up to our newsletter.


Background research project:

Integration of ESG and responsible technology considerations across the startup and VC value chain has become common practice in recent years, driven by value- and impact-focused VCs, founders, regulation, LP requirements and the increasingly clear ‘ESG business case’. VCs are weaving ESG into screening and due diligence processes, including it in memos and ICs, adding ESG clauses to term sheets, and building out robust ESG portfolio support practices, yet one missing piece of the puzzle remains: the integration of ESG at a board level.

The regularity of board meetings and the decision-making ability of board members, presents a unique opportunity to raise the ESG conversation and drive forward material ESG action points and accountability. Board meetings are the perfect moment to surface ESG concerns, set and track progress on ESG goals and coordinate among fellow board members, c-suite team and investors.

Funded by VentureESG steering committee member Balderton Capital, this project will build on existing industry startup board guides, and go one step further in specifically tackling the subject of ESG in that context. Through a review existing practice and interviews with ecosystem participants (VC and independent board members, Heads of ESG as well as early-late stage founders & c-suite), we will produce a ‘pack’ for VCs, founders/c-suite and independent board members that is complimentary to existing board guides with a specific focus on ESG integration.


About the role:

We are looking for a pro-active, organised and curious person, who has experience in the startup, scale-up or VC sector and an interest in ESG and responsible investment. The role is part-time, as one of our regular research fellows. You will be working directly with Dr Johannes Lenhard and Hannah Leach on this project.


Daily tasks will include:

1) Research: Desk research and interviews:

  • Review the existing industry literature, toolkits on startup board governance
  • Conduct ~20-30 primary interviews with ecosystem participants
  • Organise and analyse the interviews, research and findings to prepare the tool


2) Tool and guide development:

  • Based on the research findings (and industry tools), develop a suitable format for a useful tool (for VC investors and their portfolio companies)
  • Work with our designer to draft a preliminary tool
  • Collect feedback from the interviewees to finalise the tool


3)I White paper and launch:

  • Draft contextualising white paper (~3-5 pages) to accompany the tool launch
  • Develop presentation and present at the launch (likely in-person/hybrid in London)


Role requirements:

  • You have at least 5 years of experience with VCs, startups or scale-ups and a demonstrable interest in ESG / responsible investment / sustainable finance
  • You have (qualitative) research experience, ideally working with (VC) investors
  • You’re willing to work with a high level of autonomy, like to take initiative and feel confident in proactively engaging our community and stakeholders
  • Your English-language communication skills – written and verbal – are strong
  • You have the right to work in the UK



Apply Now

To apply for this job please visit

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