Skip to content
  • Vacancy

Senior Research Advisor, Sydney

We’re looking for someone passionate about using qualitative and quantitative research to make policy better for everyone. If you have over 5 years experience doing policy relevant research, then this could be the role for you.

Why apply for this role?

You will work with the Behavioural Insights Team, also known as the nudge unit, a world leading organisation and the first organisation dedicated to applying behavioural science to policy.

You’ll get to work on a huge range of interesting projects across policy areas.

You’ll be working with a bunch of talented individuals with expertise across economics, psychology, neuroscience, political science and anthropology.

About us

The Behavioural Insights Team is a social purpose company that applies behavioural science to real-world problems. We believe in evidence-based approaches to policy.  In this role, you will get to work predominantly with governments, not-for-profit and philanthropic organisations around the world and in almost every area of public policy. While the subjects of our projects vary considerably, there are common threads:

we try to understand the contexts in which people make decisions;

  • we notice small details;
  • we use and create evidence about what works;
  • we come up with innovative ideas for solving policy problems; and,
  • we measure everything we do as robustly as we can.

We work in a fast-paced and exciting environment in the Sydney CBD, but we enjoy an inclusive, supportive and relaxed team culture. We support the well-being of our team through a number of initiatives, including flexible working. You can learn more about the team’s work here and more about our Sydney office here. We take pride in our values of social impact, empiricism and humility, fresh thinking, collaboration, and public service.

The role

The Senior Research Advisor has three complementary sets of responsibilities: 1) managing people, 2) managing projects and 3) developing technical research &  evaluation skills across the team.

You will deliver and provide oversight on research projects, including:

  • Designing randomised controlled trials, including implementation and communication plans
  • Qualitative research, such as developing & delivering interview guides, surveys and participant observation protocols
  • Data analysis, including data cleaning and statistical inference
  • Designing tools to help other members of the team conduct research

You will be responsible for

  • Expanding our research & evaluation capability across the wider team of policy and behavioural science experts in Australia, New Zealand & Singapore
  • Communicating technical results to non-technical and policy audiences
  • Managing relationships with senior government officials across all levels of government in Australia, as well as other partners and clients
  • Leading and developing junior staff
  • Managing client projects
  • Ensuring that deliverables are produced to a high standard and delivered on time
  • Identifying new business opportunities

Skills required

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 5 years experience in designing,  implementing and managing rigorous mixed methods evaluations. This could include: working with large administrative datasets, undertaking qualitative research or designing surveys. We work predominantly with government clients, so experience working in a project-based environment is a key prerequisite. Policy experience is beneficial but not a requirement.

Research & evaluation experience

  • Experience in designing and implementing rigorous evaluations using Randomised Controlled Trials. Good theoretical and practical knowledge of quasi-experimental approaches is also required;
  • An understanding of different qualitative techniques;
  • Experience in using large data sets (such as administrative data) for the purposes of evaluation is ideal;
  • Experience conducting original, policy relevant research in economics, psychology, sociology or anthropology;
  • A Bachelor, Masters or PhD in a relevant subject area (including, but not limited to: economics, psychology, statistics, anthropology, sociology, public health, design thinking, research methods).

Behavioural science expertise

  • Interest in behavioural science and how it can be applied to help solve complex real-life policy problems;
  • Ability to quickly assimilate complex issues across multiple policy areas and distil insights into practical solutions;

Stakeholder management and business development skills

  • Excellent written and verbal communication for a wide range of audiences (e.g. will be able to translate academic work to non-academic audiences);
  • Demonstrated ability to prospect and generate new business;
  • Excellent organisational & project management skills.

Leadership and management experience

  • Strong leadership and teamwork skills, with the ability to exercise good judgement in a rapidly changing and ambiguous environment;
  • Demonstrated excellence in people management and coaching skills, particularly in small teams;
  • 5+ years’ experience designing or implementing rigorous evaluations in government, academia, or for a consulting firm.

Application notes

The application process has 4 stages:

  1. An online application
  2. A statistics test – (to be completed between 26 & 27 October 2019 – approx 2-3 hours)
  3. First Interview (Tues 12 November 2019)
  4. Second interview (Wed 20 November 2019)
  • Only applicants successful at each stage will progress to the next stage.
  • Further information about each stage will be provided if you progress to that stage.
  • We will only accept applicants who already have the right to live and work in Australia.

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