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Research Associate, Alserkal Advisory

Closing date
Job ID
Saturday 15 October 2022
Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Essential Functions & Objectives

This is a unique opportunity to work at the crossroads of culture and consulting, further consolidating Alserkal Advisory’s position as a strategic partner to our clients. The position focuses on developing and sharpening arguments for proposals, shaping client presentation decks, and leading all research projects with both internal and external outcomes. The Alserkal Advisory Research Associate is responsible for ensuring standards of clarity and rigour in all presentations.

This full-time position reports directly to the Director of Strategy.

Key Responsibilities:

Proposal Development

  • Work closely with the Advisory team to write responses to RFPs, single source briefs, and proactive initiatives
  • Interpret structures of presentations (e.g. outlines, arguments, strategies) and create presentations from them
    - Grasp and enhance the logic, supporting suggestions with further evidence or research
    - Visually interpret the points developed in the argument, using the Alserkal photo archive, or other image sources
  • Strengthen the argument by suggesting alternative flows or structures
  • Build presentations from scratch following a brief and conforming to internal templates
  • Tailor pre-existing presentations to specific client needs
  • Work closely with the Director of Strategy to identify research sources and collate content from different internal and external sources for inclusion in presentations
  • Work closely with the design team to oversee flawless execution of all decks, for both internal and external use
  • Sense check, fact check and proofread all content for presentations, for both internal and external use

Research + Development

  • Research, create and contribute content for Alerkal Advisory proposals and projects, including but not limited to market research and sectoral information, strategy, cultural production, exhibition-making, commissions, conferences, design collaborations, multi-disciplinary initiatives and more
  • Investigate, shortlist, and maintain contacts with research agencies capable of collaborating on thought leadership initiatives and/or research presentations with Alserkal Advisory
  • Identify opportunities for Alserkal Advisory thought leadership based on sector-based business development strategies, competence-driven business promotion initiatives, or regional/international culture sector trends
  • Initiate, lead, and oversee research initiatives
  • Provide regular updates on trends within the culture sector including activities/achievements of Alserkal Advisory competitors and noteworthy sector developments capable of impacting Alserkal Advisory business

Administration + Archive Management

  • Manage and update the archive of all internal and external proposals
  • Create a system of ‘modules’ within proposals to facilitate development of highly used presentations types, e.g. Advisory credentials, Advisory team meetings, general team meetings, collaborator outreach decks, etc. Responsible for creating a library of standard information, slide-types, and section structures for all proposals
  • Handle daily administrative tasks associated to the smooth running of Alserkal Advisory operations including budget processing, portal management, reporting and general admin
  • Create and update case studies for use in proposals and on Alserkal Advisory owned media channels.
  • Oversee and update all Advisory-related content for and other owned media channels; work closely with the marketing team and copywriter to guarantee precision and rigour or all Advisory-related content.

Required skills + experience

  • 2+ years’ experience in a fast-paced, high-volume environment in a related field
  • An in-depth understanding and appreciation of the current public engagement and positioning of Alserkal Avenue
  • A demonstrable understanding of, and commitment to arts and culture
  • Familiarity with research methodologies and leading multi-stakeholder research projects
  • Attention to detail and efficient problem solving
  • Educated to a Bachelor’s degree level or equivalent and holding relevant professional qualifications
  • Excellent organisational and administrative skills
  • Excellent reporting skills
  • Excellent level of writing, argument development, analytical capabilities, and communication skills
  • Work experience in the GCC or wider region desirable
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively as part of a team
  • Ability to develop positive, cooperative relationships across functional boundaries.
  • Self-motivated, with the ability to work within an ambiguous constantly changing environment

Position type and expected hours of work

This is a full-time position. Days and hours of work are Monday through Friday, from 10am to 6pm. Saturdays and overtime might be required during intense periods and/or during special projects and events.

This job description summarises the main key responsibilities of your role but there may be other reasonable requests made and other responsibilities included from time to time.


About Alserkal

Alserkal is a socially responsible and forward-thinking cultural enterprise dedicated to developing sustainable models for homegrown initiatives with a commitment to nurturing alternative ideas and impactful research with regional relevance. Founded in 2007 by Emirati businessman and patron Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, Alserkal is renowned for its ground-breaking artistic productions, experimental approach and for the creation of culturally meaningful spaces that inspire and shape communities. Alserkal has three primary areas of activity: cultivating a creative economy in Dubai and building a collaborative network of civic-cultural institutions through its renowned cultural district, Alserkal Avenue; providing advisory services to public and private sector entities; and, supporting public artist commissions, residencies, research grants and educational programmes through its non-profit, Alserkal Arts Foundation.

Alserkal has transformed the cultural landscape of Dubai and the UAE through the creation of a thriving, region-specific community of over 70 contemporary art galleries, visual and performing arts organisations, designers and entrepreneur-led businesses at Alserkal Avenue, providing an essential platform for the development of creative industries in the region.

Alserkal utilises its collective expertise in arts initiatives and cultural production, heritage creation, community building and engagement, as well as urbanism and planning for creative industries, to guide public and private sector entities in developing sustainable and responsive business models.

About Alserkal Advisory

We are a multidisciplinary practice comprised of Alserkal’s founding team in addition to thinkers, researchers, and specialists in diverse fields from multiple geographies. Our advisory practice helps develop cultural production and establish spaces for polyphonic voices. We challenge conventional business practices, embracing a conscious approach to reimagining cultural destinations and crafting audience-specific public programmes that resonate with our communities, while also assessing our impact on society, the environment, and local economies.

Our work is collaborative and process-based, enabling a shared authority for cultural ideation through critical thinking and social agency. Our intellectual labour is grounded in an ethos of care and long-term cooperation with our artists, writers, practitioners, partners, and clients. While we seek to innovate and re-imagine artistic interventions, we are also mindful of the importance of developing strategies that ensure their longevity and sustenance.

As an independent and privately owned practice, proudly born in Dubai, we work unhindered by agendas. While working to achieve our partners’ cultural ambitions, we remain culturally sensitive to the traditions and histories of our region and beyond. This lived understanding of regional and local dynamics constitutes a cornerstone of our research-driven, context-sensitive approach to any project we pursue. We select projects diligently, ensuring our expertise and clients’ expectations align to produce meaningful, history-making outcomes that reflect our thinking, values and ethos.