We are looking for two Quantitative (Associate) Research Advisors to join our team in London in our Research, Evaluation and Experiments Team. This role is ideal for applied microeconomists and other quantitative social researchers interested in applying rigorous causal methods to important policy problems. It will involve evaluating interventions developed by our internal teams as well as those developed externally by government and other organisations.
In general, we would expect an Advisor to have relevant work experience, preferably in a research organisation, or demonstrated expertise through e.g. a PhD. Associate Advisors are likely to be earlier in their career in social science research.
This team supports projects across all BIT’s policy areas. This can include working on projects across education, health, financial decision-making, crime and social inclusion.
Working hours: You can do this job full-time (39 hours a week) if that works for you. If you would prefer to work 3-4 days a week instead, we can make that work. Working hours can be flexible.
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
As a Associate Research Advisor or Research Advisor, you will be responsible for:
- Conducting research for multiple trials or evaluations simultaneously, working with other researchers and policymakers across BIT. You will be supported by BIT’s in-house team of methods and analysis experts.
- The design of RCTs or quasi-experimental evaluations, cleaning and analysis of outcome data (including coding) and report writing.
- Additionally, as a Research Advisor you would be responsible for managing small- to medium-scale research projects, sometimes in a client-facing role.
Skills and experience
The Behavioural Insights Team brings people together with different skill-sets. While we expect the applicant to have strong quantitative research skills in general, it is only necessary to demonstrate a balance of skills across the below specific criteria. We do not expect applicants to be equally strong in all areas, e.g. they may need development in coding skills or specific knowledge of randomised controlled trials.
- A degree in a relevant quantitative subject (such as economics, econometrics or statistics), or relevant work experience that demonstrates a similar level of understanding.
- A working knowledge of causal inference, such that you can design experiments which will provide a causal estimate of the effectiveness of a particular intervention and you can assess whether existing research produces causal estimates or not.
- Knowledge of theory and practice of the following statistical concepts: linear and logistic regressions, hypothesis testing, clustered standard errors, statistical power calculations and stratification. We would not necessarily expect candidates to be able to do power calculations for all designs, but they should know the conceptual basis behind them and the factors that affect power.
- Knowledge of the theory and practice of the following research designs: randomised controlled trials, clustered trials, matching and difference-in-difference.
- Experience with Stata or R at more than a basic level — this will be tested. At a minimum, you should be able to merge and clean data, run regressions, produce visualisations and use for-loops.
- Relevant experience managing and analysing data (using large datasets is a plus).
- Ability to manage a workload of several projects and to deliver to a high standard on deadline.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to communicate to non-technical audiences.
Finally, it would be desirable if you have:
- A Masters or PhD in a relevant subject area (especially applied econometrics or applied microeconomics),
- Experience conducting economic evaluations,
- Experience managing field data collection,
- Experience developing and piloting surveys.
Assessment task: There will be a 1 hour technical task that will need to be completed remotely on Monday 13th July (we are flexible with times) using either Stata or R
1st round interviews will take place: Week commencing Monday 13th July via google hangouts
2nd round interviews will take place: Week commencing Monday 20th July via google hangouts
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.
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If your application is not successful, any personal data provided to us by Applied (including any personal data relating to equal opportunities monitoring as set out above) will be retained by The Behavioural Insights Team for no longer than 6 months after the application deadline has passed (other than in exceptional circumstances where we may need to retain your personal data for longer), at which point your personal data will be securely deleted. We only keep your information for that period in order to allow us to comply with relevant legal obligations.