Research Fellow at the Policy Institute at King's

London (Greater) (GB)
£48,737 - £57,353 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
27 Sep 2022
End of advertisement period
11 Oct 2022
Academic Discipline
Social Sciences, Sociology
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

Job description

We are seeking a Research Fellow to join the Experimental Government Team (XGT), within the Policy Institute. The Policy Institute addresses complex policy and practice challenges with rigorous research, academic expertise and analysis focused on improving outcomes.  


This is a new team, with an exciting programme of work ahead of it. You will be one of the first new members of the team, and be able to develop and shape our work over the coming years.


Our ongoing research includes establishing randomised controlled trials within British Cohort studies - something that has never been done before; a trial testing giving unconditional cash transfers for care leavers around England; and helping test a new training programme that hopes to reduce the use of force by the Police.


As part of the team, you will work across a small number of projects that together aim to;

●        Increase social mobility and reduce inequality, whether that be across incomes, race, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity or disability

●        Apply behavioural sciences to practical policy problems

●        Achieve a step change in the quality and use of evidence-based policy


This role is an exciting opportunity to work with a new team in a fast-paced research environment, to deliver research projects with real-world impacts. We seek to appoint a Research Fellow to lead a small number of projects working closely with the director to help shape this new team’s future direction.  


The research fellow will work on projects that aim to increase social mobility and reducing inequality for the most vulnerable people in society. They will work collaboratively with a wide range of partners to help design and test interventions, build an evidence base, and achieve real world impact through our research. They will be an experienced researcher with excellent project management skills and a passion for making a difference.  


Our team works with a number of methods, including randomised controlled trials and quasi-experimental evaluations. The team has a particular focus to applying these methodologies where they haven’t been widely used before, including a ground-breaking project building randomised trial methodologies into cohort studies.  


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 research 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

  • Managing 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.       PhD or equivalent experience

3.       Experience of a relevant policy domain (e.g. inclusion, homelessness) as researcher or practitioner

4.       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, Discontinuity Designs or similar),

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

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

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

8.       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 qualitative research with people in vulnerable groups, such as minors, young people at risk of violence, or people experiencing homelessness

2.       Experience bidding for projects in a competitive environment

3.       Experience in or around the UK government’s What Works Network.  

4.       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