We are seeking an experienced Customer Insight and Market Research Advisor to report to our Head of University Services. You will be a vital element in our specialist University Services Support Team, joining a group of innovation specialists who help reveal and accelerate innovation opportunities and commercialise the new, often disruptive technologies developed at the University of Sussex.

The ideal candidate for this role will have a keen interest in start-ups, university spinouts and the technology commercialisation space, as well as how technology, ground-breaking research and the development of new solutions can help to solve important issues in society. The role will involve developing your innovation strategy skill-set to tease out customer problems, hypothesize solutions, test, validate and lay the foundations for commercial products.


You are excited by the prospect of supporting innovators to develop products and services that people can’t live without – you bring some experience in commercialisation, and thrive working across diverse projects, research areas and technology sectors.

Your peers would know you to be a team player, adaptive, welcoming challenges and competing priorities, and able to thrive in ambiguity. You not only have a creative and curious mind, but you pride yourself on your comfort with challenging the status quo. You are a people person and find yourself driven to understand what makes people tick, applying a commercial lens to everything you do.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Supporting and delivering market opportunity discovery sessions, including group workshops
  • Helping our clients to discover and explore needs, markets, customer sectors and competitors to uncover interesting problems and opportunities
  • Supporting the planning and facilitation of our enterprise education and incubation programmes for university academics, enterprising students and other Sussex Innovation member companies
  • Providing bespoke support to commercialisation leads on opportunity framing and customer research to inform lean development, intellectual property protection and experimentation

Essential capabilities include:

  • Understanding of, and interest in lean innovation methodologies and tools (e.g. the Market Opportunity Navigator, Business Model Canvas, Value Proposition Canvas and Design Thinking)
  • Strong facilitation and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively with cross-functional teams, university colleagues and external innovation specialists
  • Ability to effectively balance attention to detail with the big picture
  • Experience with Microsoft Office365 products including SharePoint, Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel

Desired capabilities include:

  • Knowledge of, and interest in key emerging technologies, current trends and their potential disruptive impacts
  • Experience in Agile and/or other change management theory
  • Entrepreneurial or start-up experience – designing and launching new business models, products or services
  • Knowledge or experience of technology transfer and university research commercialisation processes
  • Experience with HubSpot CRM and Asana project management software


A great working environment with an organisation that values our teams’ abilities, voices and unique differences. We have an inclusive and open culture driven by our values to support, educate and develop our people – embracing and prioritising diversity of talent, creative thinking and employee wellbeing.

We offer a salary of £40,000-£45,000p.a., depending on experience. We also offer a competitive package of benefits, including flexible working options, generous holidays increasing with service, private health care, life assurance, staff discounts to any of the available on-site services such as Sussex Sport. University campus facilities also include an Ofsted-rated ‘Outstanding’ nursery, Little Pioneers, which is directly opposite the building.

Location: Based at the University of Sussex (close to Brighton), we also have a site in East Croydon, opposite the rail station. Successful candidates must be willing to work across our other sites when required.

Equal opportunities: Sussex Innovation is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will receive equal consideration for employment irrespective of race, origin, colour, disability, age, religion or belief, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, pregnancy or marital status. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. Please note that you will be required to demonstrate your right to work in the UK.


To apply, please send your cover letter and CV to our Head of University Services, Peter Lane.

Deadline for applications: 5pm, Friday 14th October 2022