Location: Oxford / Remote (UK) / Hybrid 

Reporting to: Commercial Director 



The Smith Institute is a team of consultants who use advanced mathematics, analytics and AI to help customers achieve impactful goals – like preparing the electricity grid to meet net zero targets, optimising satellites’ use of bandwidth, and making sure your favourite shop stocks enough cold drinks on a hot summer’s day.  

We are growing and are looking for a discovery-focused Product Manager to help us build and grow the innovation arm of our company.  

As Product Manager, you will take on a pivotal role, working closely with our CEO, Board, and Senior Leadership Team to establish our innovation function and structure. You will identify and understand common customer problems and lead a cross-functional team to help us test ideas and business models to assess their desirability, plausibility, feasibility, and viability.  


In this role, you will help us build a cross-functional team that draws from the right mix of mathematics, data science, software development, marketing, and other skills to turns ideas into real-world solutions that meet market needs. You will:  

  • Use discovery techniques to develop a deep understanding our key markets and customer problems and track emerging areas of opportunity.   
  • Work with our technical team to understand our existing IP and technical opportunities. 
  • Establish the structure of our innovation program.  
  • Manage our innovation ideas backlog, weighing up key criteria to help us understand what to prioritise next. 
  • Nurture solutions from the initial discovery stages through to delivery. 
  • Build an effective process of ideation, experimentation, and validation to evaluate assumptions, pivot quickly, and strive for product/market fit at lowest cost.  
  • Turn ideas into business cases and proof of concepts quickly to measure success and fail fast. 
  • Evaluate ROI and manage our business investment in innovation activities. 
  • Use evidence to assess risks of desirability, plausibility, feasibility and viability. 
  • Define KPIs/outcomes for each solution and ensure they are measured, tracked, communicated, and acted upon. 
  • Support the creation of positioning and go-to market materials and the success of early sales activities. 
  • Use excellent writing and presentation skills to communicate with key stakeholders.  
  • Uphold our goals of purpose, profit, and innovation throughout the innovation cycle. 

Required Skills/Qualifications 

  • BSc, MSc, or PhD in relevant technical subject  
  • 2+ years experience as a Product Manager developing and delivering technical solutions to clients   
  • Familiarity with the business model canvas and designing experiments to test business ideas  
  • Experience using an agile and incremental approach to take products from early-stage discovery to successful delivery 
  • Strong understanding of software product development practices 
  • Understanding of key market research, customer development and marketing techniques 
  • Experience building mock-ups and prototypes using required tools  
  • Strong commercial acumen and understanding of business drivers 
  • Strong writing, communication, and collaboration skills 
  • Growth mindset and bias towards action 

Preferred Skills/Qualifications 

  • Experience working with C-suite stakeholders with ability to evidence success  
  • Experience in Energy, Transport, FMCG, Pharma, Telecommunications, or Security/Defence 
  • Experience working with data science, mathematical optimisation, machine learning, AI, cloud or data platforms, or other analytical solutions  
  • Experience working within a professional services, SaaS, or PaaS organisation 
  • Relevant certifications (e.g. product manager certification, Scrum master, etc.) 

Why work at the Smith Institute? 

  • Purpose and profit – We’re a company limited by guarantee. We reinvest our profits in growth and focus on the double bottom line. 
  • Flexible working – Work your contracted hours at times that best suit you and our customers, at home, in the office or as a mixture of both. 
  • Social events – Join our ongoing activities and get to know your colleagues. 
  • Mentoring – Grow your career with mentoring from colleagues and leading academics. 
  • Generous pension scheme – Secure your future with generous employer contribution and income protection. 

To apply please send a full CV, including the details of two referees, to careers@smithinst.co.uk.  Applications may be held for up to 6 months. You may request deletion of your application sooner by emailing datacontroller@smithinst.co.uk.

We operate an Equal Opportunities Policy. We currently have a rolling recruitment programme so applications will be reviewed as they are received, with a view to interviewing selected candidates when sufficient number are shortlisted. 

Please note that the Smith Institute is not in a position to sponsor visa applications for foreign nationals.