Research Fellow (Evaluation) at the Policy Institute at King's

London (Greater) (GB)
£46,934 - £55,299 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
19 May 2022
End of advertisement period
09 Jun 2022
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

We are seeking a Research Fellow to join the Evidence Development and Incubation Team (EDIT), within the Policy Institute. The Policy Institute addresses complex policy and practice challenges with rigorous research, academic expertise and analysis focused on improving outcomes. EDIT focuses on designing robust, pragmatic evaluations of complex social programmes, combining academic rigour with agility and pragmatism. 


This role is an exciting opportunity to work with a high-performing team in a fast-past research environment, to deliver evaluations with real-world impacts. and is seeking to appoint a Research Fellow to lead on evaluations of programmes relating to education and youth, homelessness, social justice and inclusion, and to build their own portfolio of research and evaluation projects that contribute to the team’s mission.  


We deliver mixed methods evaluations, combining quantitative and quasi-experimental analysis, Randomised Controlled Trials, online and phone surveying, interviews, focus groups, and cost analysis. We also conduct some capacity-building work, helping organisations develop their own evaluation approach. The successful candidate will need to be a strong and confident researcher in one or more of these domains, with an ongoing interest in developing their research skills.  


As a small team, we work flexibly across projects, depending on the policy area and methodological requirements, so the Research Fellow will provide guidance and supervision to junior colleagues to ensure projects are delivered to the required standard of quality and timeliness. The Research Fellow will also be expected to develop their own portfolio of evaluation projects in future, and will work with the Director and colleagues to successfully compete for sole source and competitive opportunities for this work. They will have expertise or interest in social policy issues, particularly the subfields listed above, be a skilled project manager, and a strong written and verbal communicator with a demonstrated commitment to evidence-based policy and conducting research with real world impacts. 


This post will be offered on a fixed-term contract for 2 years.

This is a full-time post, but part time arrangements may be considered.


Key responsibilities

  • Acting as Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on evaluation and research projects, including establishing and maintaining the project plan, liaising with funders and other partners, developing the research approach, monitoring for implementation risks, ensuring the evaluation is delivered on time and to the required standard, and liaising as required with other King’s functions (Post-Award, Information Security, Research Ethics) to ensure that King’s processes and procedures are adhered to.  
  • Developing a portfolio of projects, by monitoring for opportunities and bidding for competitive tenders that are appropriate and winnable, cultivating reputation with potential funders, seeking inclusion on relevant evaluation frameworks, and contributing to the overall project bidding activities of the team and the wider Policy Institute. 
  • Develop strong relationships with key stakeholders within relevant policy domains, including government agencies, charitable organisations and funders. 
  • Continuously investing in strengthening the research skills of the team, and knowledge of literature in relevant policy domains.  
  • Line management of junior colleagues. 

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.     Master’s degree in a relevant field (such as social policy or research methods), or equivalent experience

2.     Experience of a relevant policy domain (e.g. education and youth, inclusion, homelessness) as researcher or practitioner

3.     Demonstrated skills in one or more of the following areas:

•       Econometrics or advanced statistical analysis (using the R software package preferable),

•       Design and analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials and/or quasi-experimental designs (Such as Difference-in-Differences, or Discontinuity Designs),

•       Survey design, administration and validation, particularly in real-world settings (i.e. schools, difficult-to-reach participants, etc),

•       Conducting and analysing interviews, focus groups and other qualitative approaches using thematic analysis or other appropriate techniques.

4.     Excellent writing and communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively with funders, delivery partners and collaborators, both in person and in writing

5.     Ability to work on own initiative and develop and implement project plans for complex projects with many moving parts

6.     Ability to work flexibly on emerging priorities, across multiple projects, to tight deadlines

7.     Motivation to engage actively with opportunities for funding, including preparing competitive or sole supplier bids and working with colleagues and (prospective) funders to land projects


Desirable criteria

1.     Experience working or conducting research with people in vulnerable groups, such as minors, young people at risk of violence, or people experiencing homelessness

2.     Experience bidding for research or consultancy projects in a competitive environment

3.     Experience conducting workshops or training, particularly in research skills or evaluation design (e.g. Theories of Change)


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

This post is subject to Disclosure and Barring Service clearance.