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Director of Data and Engineering, Oxford Languages

Education changes lives forever. It broadens horizons, breaks down barriers, and fires imaginations. Like the University of Oxford of which we are a part, we are committed to uncompromising standards, freedom of expression, and the enrichment of lives through education. This is our motivation, our purpose, and our mission.  

About the Role

The main purpose of this role is to provide vision and leadership through the language data and engineering function, developing a strategy for how OL can technically achieve its NLP and AI objectives and overseeing a team of data specialists and engineers to build and manage language data assets and NLP/AI products in response to both immediate business requirements and longer-term strategic goals.  The role is accountable for language data activities and assets within OUP Academic, working closely with the heads of adjacent functions to drive the growth and success of Oxford Languages. 

Accountabilities and key result areas:

  • Lead strategic planning and facilitate strategy-to-action activities for language data development architecture, delivery, and analysis, to enable key departmental strategic goals and objectives relating to language data. 
  • Drive development and implementation of policies and ways of working that are efficient, effective, and aligned with industry standard practices, ensuring that recommendations and decisions are delegated to specialist data and engineering teams and individuals as appropriate.
  • Guide on prioritization and allocation of the team’s work to ensure that OL and ELT business imperatives are achieved, while innovation initiatives are balanced appropriately alongside optimization and long-term sustainability.
  • Leverage the team’s knowledge and insights to solve new customer and user problems prioritized by the product function and deliver solutions. 
  • Responsible for technical partner and vendor strategy, identifying and managing these relationships at a strategic level
  • Ensure that the team has access to the expertise and resources needed to complete projects effectively, either within the team or externally. 
  • Line management of 4-5 direct reports, with a total team of approximately 20-25. Responsible for building and developing the entire team (including those who are not direct reports). 

About You

Our ideal person would be someone who has been at a language service provider - leading a large department, technology function or engineering department. We would like someone who has good connections with vendors and suppliers, and has the ability to bring strategy to life. Someone in the language, data or services space would be ideal. 

Knowledge and experience:

  • At least 5-10 years of leadership experience, including the management of a technical team, in the language data and services sector.
  • Working experience representing a technical team as part of wider leadership function within a business, guiding the overall strategy from a data and engineering foundation.
  • Experience of developing and embedding processes and procedures.
  • Experience of working with structured data, such as XML and JSON and related technologies.
  • Knowledge of building, maintaining and running data transformation pipelines.
  • Knowledge of QA methodologies and frameworks.
  • (Desirable) Experience of working with lexical data or systems.
  • Must have excellent knowledge of capabilities of team members so as to ensure work is allocated properly; should have a good understanding of work, but not necessarily as good as that of some individuals.


We care about work/life balance here at OUP. With this in mind we offer 25 days’ holiday that rises with service, plus bank holidays and Christmas closure (3-days) and a 35-hour working week. We are open to discussing flexibility in respect to working patterns, dependent on role. We also have a great variety of active employee networks and societies. 

We help make your money go further by contributing to your pension up to 12%, offering loans and savings schemes through our partnership with Salary Finance, in addition to travel to work schemes and access to a wide range of local discounts. 

This role comes with the added benefit of private medical insurance, a car/allowance, and a management bonus.

Please see our Rewards and Recognition page for more information.


Please contact with any queries relating to this role. 

We are committed to supporting diversity in our workforce, and ensuring an inclusive environment where all individuals can thrive. We seek to employ a workforce representative of the markets that we serve and encourage applications from all.

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OUP UK - Oxford
Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire, UK, OX2 6DP
  • Division:
  • Department:
    GA Dictionaries
  • Closing Date:
    23 July 2024
  • Salary:
    Dependent on skills and experience
  • Location:
    OUP UK - Oxford
  • Postcode:
    OX2 6DP
  • Full Time / Part Time:
    Full Time
  • Ref:

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