Research Assistant (Qualitative) in the Policy Institute at King's
The Policy Institute at King’s College London works to solve society’s challenges with evidence and expertise. We combine the rigour of academia with the agility of a consultancy and the connectedness of a think tank.
The successful applicant will work on very high profile and influential research, analysis and policy projects. For example, over the last year or two we have produced high quality outputs on the culture wars in the UK, changing perceptions of inequality as part of the IFS/Deaton Review of Inequalities, a series of studies on the impact of COVID that have fed directly into government responses, the UK’s relations with China, the future of the Mental Health Act, the impact of arts education on the young – among many more. We regularly work directly with senior politicians, policymakers and practitioners, as well as the media and commentators. It is an exciting, fast-moving environment for policy researchers.
The Policy Institute’s research covers a wide range of policy areas and draws on many disciplines and methods, making use of the skills, expertise and resources of not only the institute, but the university and its wider network too. Our research is complemented by extensive communications, impact and engagement activities.
The Research Assistant will deliver high-quality qualitative research and policy analysis across the broad range of topics on which the Policy Institute works. They will work across multiple projects in a fast-paced environment, with the opportunity to both apply existing research and analysis skills and develop new ones. Working with a range of colleagues and collaborators from across King’s and other partner organisations, researchers in the Policy Institute apply a variety of different methodologies and approaches, both in person and online, including depth interviews, group discussions, workshops, deliberative methods, ethnography, participatory approaches, evidence reviews, qualitative social and economic analyses, and a range of stakeholder engagement approaches that cut across both academic disciplines and policy domains. The post-holder, while not required to be expert in all areas, should be interested in and have an awareness of a broad range of policy analysis methods and approaches. Additionally, an appreciation of quantitative methods would also be advantageous.
This post will be offered on a full-time, fixed term contract for 3 years.
- Conduct qualitative research and analysis for a range of policy related projects in a variety of disciplines and sectors
- Support the smooth delivery on time and on budget of multiple projects, including some with tight deadlines
- Contribute to reporting and communication around our research activities
- Contribute to bid and proposal writing, and help to bring in new funding sources
- Assist in promoting the work of the Policy Institute, and KCL more generally, ensuring our work has a high profile and broad reach
- Build strong networks with funders and other stakeholders – both internally and externally
- Be a collegial team member, contributing to the institute’s strong team culture and developing productive working relationships with others.
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
1. Masters-level qualification or equivalent experience in a relevant area
2. Strong demonstrable qualitative research skills
3. A recognition of and passion for the role that qualitative evidence can play in addressing societal challenges and improving outcomes, and a commitment to embedding the participant voice and lived experience in what we do
4. A willingness and proven ability to learn new skills, including new, innovative research methods
5. The ability to communicate effectively with policymakers, academic communities and the general public both in person and in writing
6. Excellent written and oral communication, including the ability to adapt for different audiences
7. Competence with qualitative data analysis software (e.g., Nvivo) in addition to PowerPoint, Word
8. Ability to work effectively and build networks with people from a wide range of backgrounds
9. Ability to work independently and use initiative as appropriate
10. Excellent organizational skills and ability to manage time effectively in order to work across multiple projects at any one time.
1. Previous experience in a policy-related role
2. Experience of or interest in deliberative and ethnographic research methods
3. An appreciation of quantitative research methods
If selected for interview, candidates will be required to provide an example of their written work (ideally a short summary document running to no more than five pages) in advance for review by the panel.
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.