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  • Vacancy

Associate Research Advisor (Junior Data Scientist)

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is looking for an associate research advisor to join us in the data science team. You will work on a range of projects using data science across different policy areas, including health, social care, and local government.

The role will involve working with the data science and wider research and evaluation team, and report to the Head of Data Science. This role would be suitable for recent or upcoming university graduates. The competencies needed to do this role are roughly equivalent to a Junior Data Scientist in the Civil Service.

There will be opportunities for mentoring from more senior data scientists in the team as well as learning opportunities from working alongside research and evaluation experts, making this an ideal position for someone looking to develop their data science credentials in a public policy environment.

About the Behavioural Insights Team

BIT is a global leader in the application of behavioural science to inform public policy and tackle societal challenges. The then Prime Minister created BIT in 2010 and in February 2014 we became a social purpose company, jointly owned by the Cabinet Office, Nesta (an innovation charity) and our employees.

BIT works with governments around the world in almost every area of policy. Whilst the subject and output of our projects varies considerably, there are common threads: we try to understand the contexts in which people make decisions; we notice small details; we find out what has and hasn’t worked before; we come up with innovative ideas for solving policy problems and we test and measure everything we do as robustly as we can.

As well as displaying professional excellence, BIT selects staff on the basis of our company values: always prioritising social impact; empiricism and humility; fresh thinking, collaboration; and public service.

Roles and Responsibilities

Our Associate Advisors support work that will help shape government policy and influence key strategic policy and operational challenges more widely through the development of innovative interventions that are rigorous and robust.

In this research focused role you will work on the research elements of multiple projects simultaneously, working with a small project team of policymakers, researchers and data scientists. This work generally has two areas of focus: drawing insights from datasets to inform the development of behavioural interventions; and building predictive models and visualisations of outcomes of particular policy interest. You will be expected to analyse large and/or unstructured datasets, and to involve yourself in training and opportunities to develop new empirical expertise.

Skills and experience

The Behavioural Insights Team brings people together with different skill-sets.  You must be able to demonstrate a balance of skills across those listed below, but we do not expect you to be as strong in all areas.

  • Experience in using and analysing data sets for the purposes of evaluation or predictive modelling;
  • A Bachelor’s degree or above in a relevant quantitative field (e.g. economics, mathematics, statistics or data science) or self-taught quantitative skills;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills (and ability to translate academic work to non-academic audiences);
  • A clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different predictive methodologies (e.g. gradient boosting or neural networks or generalised linear models), including those that you are not an expert in; and
  • Experience using software packages for quantitative analysis (typically R or Python).  


Finally, it would be desirable if you have:

  • Experience of working with unstructured data (e.g. text); or
  • A graduate degree in a relevant subject area (mathematics/statistics, computer science, data science or economics); or
  • Some experience with web or other interactive design (such as Shiny); or
  • Reasonable experience with the R programming language.

Please note

This is a permanent role (approx 39 hours per week) however flexible options including part-time working are available. 

Salary offered ranges from £25,840 to £34,960 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.

We want to attract the most talented candidates to this role, and that includes those who don’t work in traditional patterns. If you’d like to discuss the flexible working options that this role offers, please contact

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

Apply now