Social Researcher/Economist; Senior Social Researcher/Senior Economist

National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) is one of Britain’s most influential and prestigious independent research organisations, based in Westminster. We specialise in applied social and economic research, using both quantitative and qualitative methods. We carry out research commissioned by government departments and attract funding from a range of research councils and foundations.

The Employment and Social Policy Directorate is looking for a researcher to work on economic and social policy issues, in particular relating to labour markets and education. Our work in this area has a focus on inequality and disadvantage and on identifying policy measures to bring about change. We aim for our research outputs to impact on policy and on debate and have strong links with policy makers.

The recruit will join a multi-disciplinary, mixed-methods team of researchers led by Dr Heather Rolfe and will work on a range of projects in the areas of education and the labour market impacts of Brexit. They will be expected to carry out research visits and interviews and have strong qualitative skills and also quantitative experience. Applicants for a more senior appointment should also have experience of managing projects, supervising junior staff and disseminating research findings.

Applicants should have a strong academic track record, with a masters or PhD in a relevant subject. Experience in securing research funding would be an advantage and essential for appointment to level of Senior Social Researcher/Economist.

The candidate will be appointed to a Research Staff grade, with a starting salary in the range of £28,000 to £36,000 depending on qualifications and experience. In addition NIESR contributes to a pension scheme for all staff.

To Apply:

Applicants should provide a CV of no more than 2 pages and a one page covering letter, explaining their suitability and interest in this post, to: Ruth Hallesy:

Applications should include the subject line ‘[ Your Name] - Researcher ESP’.

The covering letter must state whether you require a visa to work in the UK, and if so, your current visa status. We expect the role to commence as soon as possible, so please specify the approximate date you would be available to start work. Please also provide contact details of two referees.

Because of the expected volume of applications we will only be contacting shortlisted candidates and will provide feedback only to candidates we interview.

Closing date for applications – 12pm on 1st September 2017 with interviews expected to take place w/c 11th September.

Further details

The Employment and Social Policy team is looking to appoint a new researcher at either Social Researcher/Economist or Senior Social Researcher/Economist level, depending on experience. Applicants should have qualitative and quantitative research skills and a track record of research in an area relating to the team’s interests, which include migration, education, precarious work, disadvantage in the labour market, and labour market policy. The Directorate works closely on a number of concurrent projects and is looking for an enthusiastic team player.

The majority of research within the Employment and Social Policy directorate is sponsored by government departments and agencies, the ESRC and charitable foundations including the Leverhulme Trust and Nuffield and Joseph Rowntree Foundations. We use a wide range of research methods, including the design and analysis of surveys, analysis of major data sets and qualitative approaches, including interviewing, case study research and process evaluation. We also carry out evidence reviews using qualitative and quantitative analyses. We work in collaboration with academic and policy researchers in a range of universities and research institutes, within and outside the UK.

The successful applicant will work on several projects at any time. Initially, they will work on education intervention projects. They will carry out research visits and interviews, including focus groups and to analyse qualitative and quantitative data. They will be expected to contribute to funding applications and to have a track record of success in doing so. Given the nature of the work, they will be expected to be flexible over working hours to meet the needs of fieldwork and other research activities. To facilitate team working and active engagement in the Institute’s activities, the recruit will be expected to work at the Institute rather than from home.

They will be expected to carry out research tasks within the scope of their experience to a high professional standard and to take responsibility for these tasks under the general guidance of Heather Rolfe, the team director. Depending on the level at which they are appointed, they will be expected to supervise junior staff.

The successful applicant will be joining the Institute during a period of expansion and will have the opportunity to develop a programme of work and career with the Institute. Training and support are given to individuals to develop their research skills and to assume greater responsibility in research projects, for fund-raising and for dissemination of findings.

Research staff have the option of joining the USS pension scheme.

Person Specification



  • A post-graduate degree with some labour market, employment or education focus
  • Experience of qualitative research
  • Quantitative skills
  • Subject expertise and interest in areas relevant to the directorate: employment or education policy, issues of disadvantage and inequality in employment, education, immigration.
  • Experience in writing research reports and publishing research findings
  • (For appointment to Senior Social Researcher/Senior Economist) Experience of obtaining research funding through grant applications
  • (For appointment to Senior Social Researcher/Senior Economist) Experience of achieving an impact through disseminating findings
  • (For appointment to Senior Social Researcher/Senior Economist) Experience in managing a number of con-current research projects
  • (For appointment to Senior Social Researcher/Senior Economist) Experience in supervising and coordinating the work of junior staff


  • Experience in supervising and coordinating the work of junior staff
  • Experience of using traditional and social media for disseminating research findings

Qualitative research skills


  • Ability to identify and recruit research participants, for example employers, schools and stakeholder organisations.
  • Experience in conducting semi-structured face to face and telephone interviews
  • Ability to analyse qualitative data.
  • Experience in conducting evidence reviews.


  • Experience in conducting focus groups
  • Experience of process evaluation, alongside impact studies
  • Experience of innovative qualitative research methods

Quantitative research skills


  • Experience of conducting statistical analysis
  • Ability to write up quantitative research findings and to link with qualitative data


  • Competence in the use of a statistical package for data analysis