Research Fellow - Data and Analysis

London (Greater)
£51,174 - £60,221, including London Weighting Allowance.
30 Sep 2023
End of advertisement period
29 Oct 2023
Job Type
Research Related
Contract Type
Full Time

Job description

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.  

In this role, you will be expected to work in a fast-paced and dynamic research environment on high-profile and influential policy research and analysis projects. This includes both academic, consultancy and exploratory projects as well as more media-focused polling.

The successful applicant will help to oversee the Policy Institute’s quantitative research capacity, including leading on projects or workstreams with analytical components, ensuring methodological rigor in the analytical approaches we use, and actively looking for opportunities to innovate in the methods we employ. The successful applicant will have significant experience of analysing survey data, though experience of working with other datatypes would be advantageous.

You will support existing projects, with a particular focus on a major study we are leading – the World Values Survey in the UK (WVS), funded by the ESRC, Cabinet Office, Barrow Cadbury Trust, the British Academy and others. The successful applicant would also be expected to support our ongoing work on topics such as polarisation, culture wars, freedom of expression, trust, democratic innovations, generational change and changing values/attitudes. Knowledge and understanding of theoretical frameworks and research trends in these areas, as well as the broader challenges of working with values and public attitudes data, would therefore be a helpful foundation for this role. 

The Research Fellow would be expected to work effectively on mixed methods studies and to be able to work independently with comparative and longitudinal survey data to produce the following types of outputs:  

  • descriptive analyses using time series data, combining several modes;  
  • regression and other multivariate techniques;  
  • synthetic cohort analysis and APC modelling;  
  • segmentations using latent class analysis; 
  • dimension reduction and scaling methods; 
  • random effects models (eg multi-level modelling); 
  • structural equation modelling.  

A high level of theoretical and applied understanding of statistical techniques is essential for this role, as you will be running analyses independently and advising a quantitative Research Assistant. The successful candidate will also be expected to show a commitment to continued professional development, in learning new skills and methodologies. 

In addition to working on our existing projects, you will also have time to develop your own research in your area of expertise – though ideally related to our research theme Trust, Facts, Democracy. The postholder is expected to develop their own strands of externally funded work, supported by the Policy Institute and wider College, and to build their external profile by publishing and attending conferences.

The Policy Institute also offers unique opportunities for applied and impact-led research, with deep connections into policy communities. Our diverse portfolio of research projects that use quantitative approaches are often high profile, time-critical studies, that feed directly into key policy and political debates, and receive considerable media coverage and policymaker attention. In this role, you will have opportunities for making connections with influential stakeholders via our networks (eg our Visiting Faculty), and ad hoc opportunities to work directly with high-profile policy stakeholders.

The successful applicant would also have opportunities to take on mentoring roles for junior quantitative researchers in Policy Institute team as well as via internships (eg KCL Parliamentary Research Internships, MA in Public Policy, and others).

This grade of this role is one stage beyond a post-doctoral post. This means we expect applicants coming through an academic route to have an established research profile in a relevant field and to be at least two years post-PhD, and/or those coming from a commercial or public sector research role to have at least six years of experience with clear evidence of specialisation and publication track record. In your application, please demonstrate how your experience meets these expectations.

In your covering letter, please also state explicitly how you meet the essential (and, where relevant, desirable) criteria for this role, structuring your letter under these headings.

This post will be offered on an indefinite contract.  

This is a full-time post.

Key responsibilities

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Contribute to the work of the Policy Institute’s Trust, Facts, Democracy research theme 
  • Undertake robust and independent analysis of quantitative data using a range of statistical approaches 
  • Oversee and/or support the analytical work of existing projects, particularly our WVS and culture wars studies 
  • Ensure smooth delivery on time and on budget of project outputs, balancing competing priorities 
  • Write or contribute to publications or disseminating research findings 
  • Develop funding proposals for future work, either as part of larger teams or independently 
  • Proactively engage with policy communities to ensure our work is of relevance and has an impact 
  • Mentor junior quantitative researchers and interns 
  • Identify and explore opportunities for innovation and methods development 

General responsibilities include:

Communication and networking

  • Communicate conceptual and complex ideas to a variety of audiences using appropriate media and methods 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills are necessary, including delivery of a range of document types to ensure clarity and accessibility of complex content (including slide presentations, journal articles, informal and formal policy briefings and reports) 
  • Develop relationships with senior policy makers and practitioners in the UK  

Decision Making, Planning and Problem Solving

  • Ensure smooth delivery on time and on budget of project deadlines 
  • Collaborate with others in the Policy Institute, King’s College London and other institutions, where appropriate, on the delivery and dissemination of project tasks and outputs 
  • Contribute to reporting and communication with project partners
  • Contribute to identification and resolution of project development needs  

Teamwork and project partnership

  • Act as a responsible and supportive team member, helping shape and lead team working and the development of productive working relationship with others 
  • Engage with colleagues and activities in collaborating with institutions as appropriate 
  • Foster interdisciplinary working and promote a collegiate approach to collaborative working 
  • Demonstrate ability and/or willingness to use and learn a variety of different methodologies, particularly quantitative methods and policy engagement tools 

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.      Advanced theoretical and applied understanding of statistical techniques, covering the techniques specified in the job description 

3.      Extensive experience of working with survey data 

4.      Track-record of research related to the Policy Institute’s Trust, Facts, Democracy research theme 

5.      Ability to communicate effectively with both policymakers and academic communities, both in person and in writing  

6.      Supportive and empathetic team member, who can work collaboratively in developing a programme of research, impact and engagement 

7.      Experience of providing research leadership 

Desirable criteria

1.      Experience of conducting policy-relevant research and analysis  

2.      Experience of undertaking policy analysis on short time scales for policy clients 

3.      Experience of mentoring junior researchers 

Further information

  • The postholder is based in a busy office environment
  • Willingness to commit to the Policy Institute values and behaviours in addition to King’s Strategic Vision 2029
  • Ability to operate effectively and efficiently when working remotely
  • The post holder will be expected to be working on campus for 40-60%FTE during the working week (hybrid working)

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