We are recruiting an Advisor to join BIT UK’s Data Science team in Westminster, London as an econometrician or data analyst. This is a position suitable for an economist with experience in applied microeconomics, or to a data analyst with experience in analysis of observational data. We encourage applications from candidates seeking to work flexibly or part-time.
We expect candidates for this role to be able to demonstrate that they can independently work on and lead workstreams of a larger research project.
About the Behavioural Insights Team
BIT is a global leader in the application of behavioural science and data to inform public policy and tackle societal challenges. We are a social purpose company, jointly owned by the Cabinet Office, Nesta (an innovation charity) and our employees. We come from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds and walks of life, and encourage applicants to apply from non-traditional career routes.
BIT works with governments around the world in almost every area of policy. As well as displaying research excellence, BIT selects staff on the basis of our company values: always prioritising social impact; empiricism and humility; fresh thinking, collaboration; and public service.
As well as applying behavioural science to public policy, we are at the forefront of evidence- based policy. We also scale solutions by developing tech products through our Ventures team and undertake a variety of innovative predictive analytics and applied microeconometric work in our Data Science function.
About the Data Science Team
Whilst BIT is well-known for designing behavioural interventions to enable people to make better choices for themselves, we are increasingly able to access large and complex datasets which are able to inform this process. The data science team draws out the patterns in these datasets in order to illustrate patterns of behaviour that can be targeted by a successful intervention.
The data science team works across all policy areas. In the 2½ years that the data science team has been up and running, they have analysed datasets on gambling addiction, road traffic collisions, children’s social care, education, health and many other subjects. For more examples of the kind of work the team has produced, see this following link.
The data science team sits within BIT’s research cluster, which supports the rest of the company with its research expertise, and also interacts closely with BI ventures in designing and developing new products.
We are increasingly working on projects using econometric techniques, including:
- Analysing the influence of university open days on applications using an instrumental variables approach
- Measuring the long-run effects of foster care placement instability on school results using a partial identification approach
- Evaluating the performance of machine learning algorithms in practice using randomised controlled trials
- Explaining the determinants of the gender pay gap, using multilevel and panel data models
- Conducting cost-benefit analysis of government policy programmes, including educational interventions
Roles and Responsibilities
- Conduct and eventually lead on quantitative research projects using a variety of observational datasets to contribute to government policy recommendations, conduct evaluations and predict outcomes.
- Contribute to the capacity building of the wider research team,
- Present results in an accessible manner to government policymakers, third-sector clients and the wider public,
- Report to the Head of Data Science and be a member of BIT’s research team, which is well-known for its quantitative expertise.
Skills and experience
We expect the successful candidate to be someone who is passionate about making a social impact through innovative uses of data, and with an educational or work background that has allowed them to put this into practice.
The general skills and experience we would require are (recognising that some candidates may have different balances of these):
- Strong knowledge of the R programming language — this will be tested. We will consider candidates who can programme in Python (or other languages) if they are willing and able to learn R upon assuming the role.
- Ability to present statistical results in an accessible format, including to lay people.
- An interest in public policy, preferably with some knowledge of at least one major policy area the team works in (social care, health, education, consumer welfare or financial markets).
- Strong understanding of causal inference and techniques to produce causal estimates of policy effectiveness. Understanding of alternatives when this is not possible.
- Some experience managing or independently working on quantitative research projects, preferably on observational data.
- A graduate degree in economics, mathematics, statistics, or a reasonably quantitative social science or equivalent professional experience.
In addition, you should have good knowledge of at least two of the following techniques for analysis of observational data:
- Causal inference methods, e.g. instrumental variables and difference-in-differences,
- Multilevel models,
- Panel data models,
- Cost-benefit analysis,
- Partial identification methods,
- Bayesian statistics.
(We do not expect candidates to have any of these, and you should not be dissuaded from applying if you lack any or all of them.)
- Previous experience in a research organisation,
- Public speaking experience,
- Knowledge of machine learning techniques,
- Experience using large-scale UK administrative datasets such as the NPD, ILR, Police National Computer etc.
BIT offers flexible working opportunities including compressed hours and part-time work. If you would like to discuss the level or kinds of flexibility possible with this role please contact email@example.com.
Salary offered ranges from £33,915 to £45,885 per annum, plus benefits, however starting salaries are typically offered towards the beginning of the salary band.
If you do not already hold the right to work in the UK and/or require sponsorship in order to continue working here, you should think carefully before applying. This is because we will be unable to sponsor you unless there is no other suitably qualified settled worker available to fill the role or your current immigration status means that the resident labour market test will not apply in your case.
The Behavioural Insights Team is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and is determined to ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, age, disability, religion, belief, sexual orientation, marital status, or race, or is disadvantaged by conditions or requirements which cannot be shown to be justifiable.