Research Director / Senior Researcher

NatCen Social Research

About the job

We are recruiting an exceptional research professional to fill a unique, senior role – at either Research Director or Senior Researcher level – with our ScotCen team in Edinburgh.  The role will be predominantly associated with our high profile, flagship Scottish surveys. Our surveys are at the heart of evidence-based policy making in Scotland across a range of subject areas including health, crime and justice, social attitudes and children, young people and families. 

There will also be opportunities for involvement in qualitative and mixed method projects at ScotCen as well as the wider survey, analytical and methodological work of the Survey and Policy Research Centres and NatCen as a whole. 

The successful candidate will be passionate about social research and its impact on policy and society. Essential attributes include good communication and team-working, an understanding of quantitative and qualitative methods appropriate for the level of the post, and an interest in policy relating to a range of substantive issues, including public health, children and families or crime and justice. It would be desirable for applicants to have a social sciences degree with a research component, and undergraduate or postgraduate research experience would be an advantage for this post.

You will work on different research projects at the same time. It is often a fast paced, quick response, ever-changing environment focussing on specific substantive and policy issues.  Our portfolio of research is varied – there is potential to work in the areas of health, children and families, social attitudes and crime and justice. We use the whole range of different research methods and your work will touch on all stages and tasks of the research process. You will work alongside passionate and knowledgeable colleagues across all your projects. You must share our objective of delivering our clients fascinating, ethical, rigorous research that contributes to social and policy issues that matter - on time and within budget.

For Research Director, your track record will demonstrate advanced research skills with particular experience of quantitative methods including survey design and delivery. You’ll have strong leadership and project management skills including managing individuals, teams, projects and resources and first class writing skills with proven impact. You need experience of delivering complex projects to timetable and budget, whether in an academic, market research, government, or other public sector or voluntary sector setting. A good track record of building robust and prosperous relationships with clients will be vital as will knowledge of business opportunities in this area and contacts with clients and collaborators to help us build our portfolio.

Applications to work part-time will be considered

About NatCen Social Research

At NatCen Social Research, we're driven by the belief that social research has the power to make life better. Our research works for society by providing a rich understanding of people's lives and enabling them to have a powerful and influential role in shaping social policy decisions. Our research is used by policy makers, practitioners, academics, the media and the public as a driving force behind increased understanding of the environment we live in and how it's changing.

We offer a friendly and stimulating environment with a high profile, challenging research programme, as well as favourable working conditions. 

For further details and information about the role please go to our website:

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