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Research Associate (Evaluation)

Employer
KINGS COLLEGE LONDON
Location
London (Central), London (Greater)
Salary
£43,205 - £50,585 per annum, including London Weighting Allowance
Closing date
21 Apr 2024

Job Details

We are seeking a Research Associate 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-paced research environment, to deliver evaluations with real-world impacts. We are seeking to appoint a Research Associate to contribute to existing projects in areas such as skills and education, and violence reduction. We are also seeking someone to focus on bidding for new projects and to develop our ability to deliver excellent, timely bids. 

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. We are seeking to strengthen our ability to work with programmes to understand their theory of change and the way they operate, and to help them establish their own evaluation activities.

As a small team, we work flexibly across projects, depending on the policy area and methodological requirements, so the Research Associate will work across a range of projects. The Research Associate will also have the opportunity to develop their own portfolio of evaluation projects, with the support of the Director and colleagues. 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, building evaluation capacity in organisations, and conducting research with real world impacts. 
 

This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract until April 2027

This is a full-time post.

Key responsibilities

Managing evaluation projects, including:  

  • establishing and maintaining the project plan,  
  • liaising with funders and other partners,  
  • delivering programme theory workshops and writing up Theories of Change and Logic Models, 
  • coordinating the development and documentation of the research approach in an Evaluation Plan or Trial Protocol, 
  • developing training documentation and delivering evaluation training, 
  • monitoring for risks,  
  • ensuring projects are 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. 
  • Delivering research activities, including: 
  • Determining the most appropriate research methods, 
  • Establishing topic guides, survey instruments and/or analysis plans, depending on methodological expertise, 
  • Conducting and/or coordinating fieldwork, including recruitment, consent, data collection, transcription and storage, 
  • Robustly and carefully analysing data in line with academic best practice, 
  • Engaging in quality assurance and peer review of research activities carried out by colleagues, 
  • Working with colleagues to write up research findings in a holistic and coherent manner across research strands. 
  • Contributing to the development of EDIT’s portfolio of projects, by monitoring for opportunities and bidding for competitive tenders that are appropriate and winnable, leading on the bid development process where required, and providing input to bids and proposals. 
  • Developing strong relationships with key stakeholders within relevant policy domains, including government agencies, charitable organisations and funders. 
  • Maintaining expertise in evaluation training and capacity building, keeping abreast of new tools or techniques, and training both colleagues and partners as required 
  • 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. Doctorate in a relevant field (such as social policy, psychology or research methods), or equivalent work experience (at least three years). 
  2. Experience of a relevant policy domain (e.g. school, further, higher or adult education, youth employment, violence reduction, homelessness, or other social policy areas) as a researcher or practitioner. 
  3. Demonstrated skills in managing a research/evaluation project through multiple stages including inception, delivery, analysis and reporting. 
  4. Demonstrated skills in conducting/managing research/evaluation activities in one or more of the following areas: schools, further education colleges and adult learning settings, higher education providers, youth support initiatives, homelessness support initiatives. 
  5. Strong skills and experience conducting empirical research using one or more of the following methods: randomised controlled trials, quasi-experimental designs, surveys, interviews and focus groups, participatory research designs. 
  6. Experience working with organisations to understand their programme theory; e.g. by developing and delivering Theory of Change/Logic Model workshops; 
  7. Excellent writing and communication skills and the ability to communicate effectively with funders, delivery partners and collaborators, both in person and in writing. 
  8. Ability to work on own initiative and develop and implement plans for complex projects with many moving parts. 
  9. Ability to work flexibly on emerging priorities, across multiple projects, to tight deadlines. 
  10. Experience drafting or assessing competitive bids for evaluation projects. 

Further Information

We pride ourselves on being inclusive and welcoming. We embrace diversity and want everyone to feel that they belong and are connected to others in our community.

We are committed to working with our staff and unions on these and other issues, to continue to support our people and to develop a diverse and inclusive culture at King's. We ask all candidates to submit a copy of their CV, and a supporting statement, detailing how they meet the essential criteria listed in the advert. If we receive a strong field of candidates, we may use the desirable criteria to choose our final shortlist, so please include your evidence against these where possible.

To find out how our managers will review your application, please take a look at our ‘How we Recruit’ pages.

We are not able to offer sponsorship for candidates who do not currently possess the right to work in the UK.

Company

King's College London is one of the top 20 universities in the world and among the oldest in England. King's has more than 27,600 students (of whom nearly 10,500 are graduate students) from some 150 countries worldwide, and some 6,800 staff.

King's has an outstanding reputation for world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) King’s was ranked 6th nationally in the ‘power’ ranking, which takes into account both the quality and quantity of research activity, and 7th for quality according to Times Higher Education rankings. Eighty-four per cent of research at King’s was deemed ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ (3* and 4*). The university is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of more than £684 million.

King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar.

King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org.

King’s £600 million campaign, World questions|KING’s answers, has delivered huge global impact in areas where King’s has particular expertise. Philanthropic support has funded new research to save young lives at Evelina London Children’s Hospital; established the King’s Dickson Poon School of Law as a worldwide leader in transnational law; built a new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital; allowed unique collaboration between leading neuroscientists to fast-track new treatments for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, motor neurone disease, depression and schizophrenia at the new Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute; created the Cicely Saunders Institute: the first academic institution in the world dedicated to palliative care, and supported the King’s Sierra Leone Partnership in the Ebola crisis. Donations provide over 300 of the most promising students with scholarships and bursaries each year. More information about the campaign is available at www.kcl.ac.uk/kingsanswers.

Company info
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KINGS COLLEGE LONDON
Telephone
+(44)02078365454
Location
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LONDON
WC2R 2LS
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