Research Associate at the Policy Institute

London (Central), London (Greater) (GB)
£38,826 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
26 Nov 2021
End of advertisement period
04 Jan 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be a key member of an ESRC funded research project ‘The impact of impact: How research value is created and assessed in the UK, US and Australia’. The project will investigate national research evaluation policies and institutional practices around the assessment of research impact. 


The Postdoctoral Research Associate will conduct research using impact evidence collected from the three national evaluation frameworks, offering comparative insights into the inputs, outputs and outcomes of research that are deemed impactful and valuable across three countries. The role will deliver high-quality research and analysis related to research impact, with the aim to help countries develop better research systems.


The Postdoctoral Research Associate will collect and analyse a large volume of primarily qualitative data. Knowledge of data science and mixed methods approaches (e.g. content analysis, topic modelling) are strongly desired. The Postdoctoral Research Associate will also lead on publication and dissemination. Genuine interest in understanding the processes of research evaluation, and a broader passion for policy relevant academic work is essential.

Working with a research team that brings together sociology, research evaluation and public policy, the Postdoctoral Research Associate will be able to utilise a variety of different methodologies and disciplinary traditions to develop a research program that makes a valuable academic contribution but also has strong potential to influence the policies that determine how impact is measured and how publicly funded research is governed.


This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 12 months.

This is a post is a  100% full time equivalent role/ flexible working hours will be considered.


Key responsibilities

•       Conduct mixed methods research and analysis for a project on research impact

•       Produce high quality academic publications and outputs (e.g. journal articles, blogs, conference presentations)

•       Contribute to the shaping of research policy through wider dissemination of ideas and analysis


Analysis & Research:

•       Use a mixture of social scientific methods relevant to the project, including rapid literature reviews and mixed-method analyses of publicly available impact case data

•       Write or contribute to publications and disseminate research findings

•       Conduct individual or collaborative research on projects, within in a team setting but requiring a high degree of academic independence


Communication & Networking:

•       Excellent written and oral communication skills are necessary, including delivery of a range of outputs to ensure clarity and accessibility of complex content (e.g., journal articles, conference presentations, policy recommendations)

•       Excellent ability to engage with project stakeholders and participants (including researchers, research funders, experts and policymakers)


Decision Making, Planning and Problem Solving:

•       Contribute to the identification and resolution of project development needs

•       Collaborate with others in the research team on the design, delivery and dissemination of research and analysis

•       Collaborate with colleagues at King’s and other institutions where appropriate

•       Work with a range of stakeholders including academics, experts, policymakers

•       Contribute to reporting and communication with project partners


 Team Work and project partnership:

•       Act as a responsible team member, helping shape and lead team working and the development of productive working relationship with others

•       Engage with colleagues and activities in collaborating institutions as appropriate

•       Engage with colleagues in King’s to ensure cross-partnership links


Sensory/Physical Demands & Work Environment:

•       Balance the pressures of working on a large-scale international project, research, engagement and administrative demands and competing deadlines


The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.

Skills, knowledge and experience 

Essential criteria 


1.       PhD in a relevant subject, or equivalent experience



2.       Experience of working on social science research, with experience in research policy, sociology of evaluation, data science or similar desirable

3.       The ability to communicate effectively with academics, experts and policymakers, both in person and in writing

4.       Enthusiasm for working across boundaries in a large international project



5.       Experience of undertaking mixed methods analysis and data collection

6.       Experience using analysis software, with R and qualitative software (e.g. Atlas.ti, Nvivo) desirable

7.       Experience writing up literature reviews, data analysis and results for publication in academic outlets


Other requirements

8.       Willingness to engage actively with team members and other potential collaborators in developing a programme of research, impact and engagement

9.       Ability to work independently and apply initiative in day-to-day work


Desirable criteria



1.       In depth knowledge of research and analysis on research impact, research policy or similar



2.       Experience of highly independent individual work within a broader research team

3.       Experience of conducting research and analysis that crosses sector and academic boundaries

4.       Experience of preparing a range of academic and wider outputs, including journal articles, blogs, presentations

5.       Experience of grant or project management

Further information

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion are core values at the Policy Institute. We strive to create a workplace that reflects the communities we serve and where everyone feels empowered and comfortable in the workplace.

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