Impact Labs - Potential Partners

Become one of our Impact Labs partners and let your organisation benefit from a team of PhD researcher consultants for 6-7 weeks!

Informaton icon Become one of our Impact Labs partners and let your organisation benefit from a team of PhD researcher consultants for 6-7 weeks!

Location icon Cambridgeshire

Clock icon January-March and April-June each year

In light of COVID-19 we will be making adjustments to the programme so that it can go ahead virtually!

About Impact Labs

Impact measurement is essential for youth sector organisations and projects 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, these organisations and projects often lack the capacity to devote time to this area of work. Our Impact Labs programme trains teams of University of Cambridge PhD researchers in key impact measurement skills, so that they can support youth sector providers in Cambridge to achieve their goals.

We have two rounds per year: January-March and April-June (specific timings vary to fit University of Cambridge term dates)

The next round takes place from April to June 2020.

What could the PhD researchers work on?

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

Why should you get involved?

The increased pressure on youth sector organisations to improve their efficiency and demonstrate their impact at a time of reduced funding has been problematic for many. PhD researchers are in an excellent position to support these organisations by adding capacity to existing projects and providing extra resources to spur new initiatives. They can benefit your organisation through bringing a unique perspective and by using their specific skills in impact measurement and evaluation. PhD researchers, selected and trained by Cambridge Hub, work in small teams to fulfil their given brief, and produce a report at the end of the process to highlight their findings. This takes place over a 6 week period, with PhD researchers volunteering their time for 3-4 hours per week. Throughout the project, PhD researchers will be supported by staff at Cambridge Hub and through regular check ins with their community partner.

Minimum commitment guidelines

We run a rigorous recruitment process for PhD researchers and provide ongoing training to ensure that the advice and support that you receive is high-quality and relevant to your needs. PhD researcher teams will also be provided with ongoing support from Cambridge Hub staff to minimise the support needed from your organisation.

We have minimum standards for our partners to ensure both PhD researchers and partners gain a valuable experience taking part in Impact Labs. These guidelines are below.

Impact Labs partners will:

  • Meet with your team virtually at the start of the programme to introduce yourself, the staff team and organisation
  • Keep in regular contact with your team (via a weekly phone call/Skype meetings)
  • Attend a virtual presentation meeting with your PhD researcher team where findings and suggested next steps are discussed
  • Provide your PhD researcher team with feedback after the programme ends
  • Provide feedback through our monitoring and evaluation scheme in the aftermath of the programme, and let us know how Impact Labs helps your organisation to grow and flourish

If you have any questions about the guidelines please write to: [email protected]


Step 1: Youth sector organisations application. Cambridge Hub supports you to write your application.

Step 2: PhD researcher recruitment and training. PhD researchers must undergo a rigorous selection process in order to ensure their commitment to the scheme. They will then receive training sessions to cover key skills before the programme starts.

Step 3: Project launch. We ask that you commit to a face-to-face meeting with your PhD researcher team at the beginning so that they can ask any questions and get a grasp on the project and your expectations. You and the team will then agree on a working timeline and the level of communication you will maintain.

Step 4: Weekly meetings. Throughout the programme, you keep in regular contact with your team (via a weekly face to face/phone call/Skype meeting).

Step 5: Presentation and evaluation. The team will present you their results and recommendations in the form of a presentation. Afterwards, we ask you for feedback on the programme to allow us to ensure that Impact Labs continues to have as positive an impact as possible.

An example of key Dates from last year 28 January - 14 March 2019

Wednesday 5 December 2018: Deadline for draft application

Monday 7 January 2019, 10am: Deadline for final application

During the week commencing Mon, 28 January: Individual project launch meeting between PhD researcher teams and community partners

Between Mon, 28 January and Friday 8 March: Regular meetings between PhD researcher teams and community partners

14 March 2019, 5-7pm: Presentation evening between PhD researcher teams and community partners

Want to Get Involved?

To apply, please send an email to Isobel at [email protected] We will then send you a short personalised online application and support you in writing your application.


If you have questions or if you like to discuss your ideas for a consultancy project before applying, please get in touch with Isobel at [email protected]

Impact Labs is a partnership between the University of Cambridge Careers Service and Cambridge Hub. Alt text

Strategic Partner

Strategic Partner