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Senior Research Advisor

Are you looking for a new challenge and want to join a successful and rapidly growing organisation? Do you have a passion for exploring new ways to change people’s lives at a national scale through government policy? Do you have experience in conducting evaluations? If so, we want to hear from you.

What does a Senior Research Advisor do?

This role is in our Evaluations team, which sits within our Research, Evaluation and Experiments Cluster.

Every BIT project involves research and evaluation to some degree. As specialists in the application of behavioural science, we use a mixture of research methods to diagnose the drivers of poor outcomes in public sector settings, devise evidence-informed solutions, and test those solutions as robustly as possible to find out what works. Staff across our organisation are well versed in our core methods, especially randomised controlled trials, and are supported by the research and evaluation team.You will shape and deliver plans and programmes of work to deliver social impact; secure financial sustainability; ensure work is of high quality and cutting edge; and support staff wellbeing, engagement and development.

Your work will help to answer questions such as:

  • How can we improve educational outcomes for children who have been excluded from school?
  • How can we address the gender imbalance in computing education?
  • How can trusted relationships be leveraged to improve outcomes for children at risk of exploitation?

If you want to answer these kinds of questions, why not apply for this role?

As a senior research advisor you will:

  • Lead a portfolio of work comprised primarily of standalone mixed-methods evaluations. Initially, the work will be focused in the education sector, but will expand to include other topics affecting youths (e.g. youth employment and youth crime);
  • Refine and execute a strategy for this portfolio, reporting into the Head of Evaluation;
  • Provide advice to policy-team colleagues on the more difficult technical problems encountered in the course of BIT’s day-to-day research and evaluation activities;
  • Quality assure work according to BIT standards so that we can produce the best quality interventions and evidence possible given project circumstances; and
  • Whilst the role does not currently include direct line-management responsibility, you will be expected to mentor more junior staff across the organisation and develop their technical skills, as well as manage junior staff working on your projects.

What makes a great Senior Research Advisor at BIT?

We are looking for people who understand what we do, share our values and are keen to learn and develop their expertise. We are looking for candidates with the skills listed below. We expect to provide training and development support in some of the areas.

  • Experience and a strong theoretical and practical knowledge of running evaluations. It is essential that you have a strong technical understanding of quantitative research methods and their applications as well as the pragmatism required to generate high quality evidence at speed in policy settings. In particular, expertise in randomised controlled trials is essential. You should have previous research experience. Experience conducting qualitative research is also desirable.
  • Experience successfully managing research projects with multiple work streams. You should be able to develop and monitor a project plan, delegate tasks appropriately, manage a budget, and monitor for risks and develop mitigation strategies.
  • Ability to code in R, Stata or both. You should have enough programming experience to be able to quality-assure the code of your fellow researchers and help them when they encounter difficulties.
  • Be able to advise clients and coworkers on evaluation topics. This includes being able to communicate complex concepts in accessible ways to audiences who may not have any experience of rigorous evaluation.
  • Ability to collaborate with others, including clients, and especially those who may have different immediate interests and complementary skills to you.
  • Excellent writing skills. The role will require writing outputs of varying lengths and technicality — pithy slide decks, detailed trial protocols and statistical analysis plans, practitioner-friendly research summaries, and lengthy evaluation reports.
  • A keen interest in behavioural science. We do not expect you to have prior experience in this area, but the interventions you will be working with will be behavioural in nature.

Who are we and what can we offer you?

The Behavioural Insights Team is the world leader in applying behavioural science to public policy challenges in order to strengthen communities and improve lives.

We design and rigorously test new ideas across a range of areas such as health, crime and education, to establish what works and what doesn’t. We have helped tuberculosis patients take their medicine; reduced police susceptibility to cyberattacks; and helped organisations close their gender pay gap.

We are looking for a passionate and imaginative individual who understands behavioural science and shares our thirst for evidence-based solutions to join our dynamic and growing team.

BIT really is a great place to work:

  • We encourage flexible working and have a culture which enables this; for example flexible start and finish times and an IT set up which allows for easy working from home options
  • Employees have part ownership of the company through membership of the Employee Benefits Trust.
  • We have a flexible benefits programme which currently includes things like gym memberships, cycle to work schemes and the ability to buy extra annual leave at the start of the year.
  • We have regular team lunches with inspirational guest speakers.
  • We’re a social bunch and have a variety of interest groups including Film Club, BIT Kids for our parents & 5-a-side team to name a few. We have even kept most of our activities going virtually!
  • We have a great office in Westminster (which we aren’t using too much at the moment), but it has an amazing coffee machine and fridges stocked full of soft drinks!

How to apply

We use a great platform called Applied to reduce bias in the recruitment process. You will need to answer a few work-based questions which will be anonymously marked by members of our team. Our selection is based on performance in these questions, rather than looking at your CV.

Candidates with the top scoring answers will be invited to a structured interview where you get to meet some of the team. At the interview stage you will be asked questions that reflect the role and also to complete a work-based task, so you have the chance to demonstrate your skills. It’s at this stage we first see your CV. We always give all applicants feedback, no matter what stage your application reaches.

Start your BIT journey here and apply now!

Please note:

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.

Some of the personal data you provide to Applied when you apply for a role with The Behavioural Insights Team will be passed on to The Behavioural Insights Team for the purposes of (a) reviewing your application; (b) inviting you for interview; and/or (c) offering you a job and getting you set up as an employee/contractor. For full details on how BIT collects and uses your personal data please visit our global recruitment privacy notice.

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

Apply now

Interested?