Impact Labs
For PhD researchers: Learn about impact measurement, and apply your skills to the benefit of local youth sector organisations.
Applications are now closed
Applications are now closed. To be informed about upcoming cohorts, join our Cambridge Hub mailing list here.
Why Impact Labs?
Impact measurement is essential for charities to be able to prove the value of their work, but also to improve the services they deliver and ensure they deliver the best possible outcomes. However, charities often lack the capacity to devote time to this area of work. Our new Impact Labs programme trains teams of University of Cambridge PhD researchers in key impact measurement skills, so that they can support local organisations to achieve their goals. The programme currently focuses on youth sector providers in Cambridge, and especially targets PhD researchers in Arts, Humanities and the Social Sciences, but all PhDs are welcome to apply.
What can I expect?
Based on their motivation, skills and experience, teams of 3 or 4 PhD researchers are built and matched with youth sector organisations in Cambridge and work on a specific brief. The project brief provides information about the next steps the organisation is hoping to take in their impact measurement journey. Projects could include:
  • Helping an organisation develop their theory of change.
  • Evaluating a specific intervention, ensuring that it delivers the impact that it is meant to have.
  • Developing the tools to help an organisation collect relevant data for their programmes.
  • Bringing together an impact report for an organisation that has already collected a lot of data.
We are running two cohorts of this programme, one during Lent Term, and one over the Easter Break. You can apply to either programme or both (though of course you can only participate on one!).
The programme requires an average of 3-4 hours per week. This time commitment is in addition to 3 hours of pre-bootcamp preparation, which you will complete in your own time using materials we will provide you with, a training bootcamp of 4 hours and a presentation and evaluation evening of 2 hours.
In order to participate in the programme in 2018, PhD researchers need to be able to commit to the following timeline:
Cohort 2: 19th March to 8th May
  • Submit your online application by 7th March, 9am.
  • Attend an interview. We will be in touch with 20 minute slot options so that you can choose a convenient time.
  • Prepare for the programme launch. If your application is successful, you will receive some background reading about your placement and impact measurement.
  • Attend the bootcamp training at Cambridge Hub on 19th March (1-5pm). We'll be in touch with preparation and a location.
  • Together with your team, meet with your community partner during the week commencing 19th March. Together, discuss the brief, work through any queries, agree on a project timeline and the level of communication you will maintain with the organisation for the duration of the programme.
  • Work with your team to undertake your impact measurement project between 20th March and 8th May. Ongoing support will be provided from Cambridge Hub and your community partner as appropriate - we recommend a weekly meeting with your community partner (face to face / phone call / Skype meeting).
  • Attend a presentation and evaluation evening on 8th May (6-8pm) with all PhD researchers involved with Impact Labs. As part of your team, you will present the results and recommendations arising from the project. We will also take this opportunity to collect your feedback on the programme.
  • With your team, meet with your community partner to present your results and recommendations in the form of a presentation.
Get involved
Applications are open until Monday, 7th March, 9am.
You can apply to the programme via the Apply button at the top of this page. To participate, you must currently be a University of Cambridge PhD researcher. We are especially targeting researchers in Arts, Humanities and the Social Sciences, but all PhDs are welcome to apply.
We are an inclusive organisation and can make reasonable adjustments to application processes, interviews, training sessions and other activities on a case-by-case basis. We also provide ongoing support for the PhD researchers we work with, so if you have particular accessibility needs, please do get in touch at
Information for local youth sector organisations
If you are a youth sector charity or other social impact organisation based in Cambridge, and would like to host a group of PhD researcher consultants for this programme, write to
Impact Labs is a partnership between the University of Cambridge Careers Service and Cambridge Hub. Alt text
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© Cambridge Hub is a branch of Student Hubs, a registered charity in England and Wales, number 1122328.