Policy and Research Officer - OFFA (2 years fixed-term)

Higher Education Funding Council for England - HEFCE - OFFA

Wanted: someone with a passion for qualitative analysis and evidence-led policy making to help us change lives by improving access to higher education for disadvantaged people.

We are the independent public body that regulates fair access to higher education in England. In practice, that means that English universities and colleges must gain our approval for their plans to improve access for people from under-represented groups, and show us that they are meeting the commitments they've made.

We want those universities and colleges to be working in the most effective ways, so we need to understand more about which approaches have most impact. That's where you'll come in. In this newly created role, you'll code and analyse qualitative data, leading the development of our own systems and processes and producing topic-based resources to support universities and colleges.

Your role will also include providing direct support and guidance to universities and colleges as they go through our regulatory processes: looking at what they are doing, deciding if that meets our expectations and advising them (or negotiating) if we need them to work differently. Much of this is subjective so we'll expect you, with support from the team, to make sound judgements around complex, nuanced issues.

And, because OFFA is a small organisation, you'll work across multiple areas and at a range of levels: for example, you might be discussing policy priorities with senior managers in the morning and then dealing with the nitty-gritty of data returns in the afternoon.

You'll need to have experience of using computer-assisted qualitative analysis software and be comfortable presenting the results of your analysis both verbally and in writing.

You'll have a confident and positive approach, and be able to contribute to discussions, inform policy decisions, and represent OFFA externally in presentations and meetings.

You'll also know how to build and maintain effective relationships, and have some experience, knowledge of, or interest in English higher education.

In return, you'll be supported to develop your career and build on your strengths, working within a friendly, close-knit team.

Benefits include 25 days' annual leave (pro rata), a comprehensive staff development programme, and the opportunity to join the Civil Service Pension scheme.

OFFA is supported through a service level agreement with the Higher Education Funding Council for England and staff are covered by the same pay, conditions and human resourcing policies.

For further information including job description and person specification, and to apply (CVs will not be accepted), please visit HEFCE Careers site. Please note that OFFA uses HEFCE's recruitment systems as part of our shared services agreement with them.

Closing date: 1st November 2016

Interviewing date: 16th November 2016