Senior Researcher / Head of the Changing Work Centre

Fabian Society

Hours: Mon – Fri, 10am – 6pm

About the Post

The Fabian Society is seeking to recruit a Senior Researcher - and Head of the Changing Work Centre - to drive forward our wide-ranging and influential programme of policy research.

The primary responsibility of the post-holder will be to head the Changing Work Centre – a joint initiative from the Fabian Society and Community union which is chaired by Yvette Cooper MP. In this capacity the post-holder will act as lead researcher on a major policy commission (currently being planned) and on smaller projects covering working conditions and employment rights, skills and progression, and regional and social inequalities. The post holder will also be expected to work across other Fabian research themes including: the future of the left and the future of the welfare state.

We are seeking someone who is passionate and entrepreneurial, with the ability to form a wide range of relationships, secure funding for projects and achieve impact for their research. We expect excellent skills in desk-based policy research, quantitative analysis and report writing, and an understanding of social research methods.  The post requires expert knowledge of labour market, technology and/or economic policy. The Senior Researcher / Head of the Changing Work Centre will work within the society’s research team, reporting directly to the Deputy General Secretary.

The post-holder will be responsible for: securing funding for projects; undertaking research and analysis (including primary research, data analysis and desk research); writing reports, papers and articles; commissioning and editing articles, chapters and reports; acting as secretary to policy commissions consisting of senior external stakeholders; securing political and media impact for your work; contributing to events; building and maintaining stakeholder relationships. After the first year, the post will largely be self-funded.

The Fabian Society

The Fabian Society is Britain’s oldest political think tank. Founded in 1884, the Society is at the forefront of developing political ideas and public policy on the left. We aim to promote: greater equality of power, wealth and opportunity; the value of collective action and public service; an accountable, tolerant and active democracy; citizenship, liberty and human rights; sustainable development; multilateral international cooperation.

Through a wide range of publications and events the society influences political and public thinking, but also provides a space for broad and open-minded debate, drawing on an unrivalled external network and its own expert research and analysis. Its programme offers a unique breadth, encompassing national conferences and policy seminars; periodicals, books, reports and digital publication; and commissioned and in-house research and comment.

The society is affiliated to the Labour Party but is editorially, organisationally and financially independent. It is alone among think tanks in being a democratically-constituted membership organisation, with over 6,500 members. During its history the society’s membership has included many of the key thinkers on the British left and every Labour Prime Minister. Today it counts over 200 parliamentarians in its number. Member-led activity includes 70 local Fabian societies, the Scottish and Welsh Fabians, the Fabian Women’s Network and the Young Fabians, which is itself the leading organisation on the left for young people to debate and influence political ideas.

Principal Duties

  1. To secure funding for projects and contribute to the development of the future research programme and the future of the Changing Work Centre, including developing research proposals and building relationships with funders.
  2. To conduct research for Fabian Society projects. This could include designing and conducting qualitative or quantitative research; data analysis; literature reviews; and policy analysis and development.
  3. To plan, structure and write research reports of publishable quality and a range of other written outputs relating to Fabian research including blogs, articles and working papers.
  4. To commission and edit reports, chapters and articles for publication in Fabian outputs.
  5. To coordinate major research inquiries, including by acting as secretary to major policy commissions consisting of senior external stakeholders.
  6. To build and maintain key stakeholder relationships with policy, political, academic, business, trade union, civil society and media figures, and with the Society’s research funders. This may include conducting 1:1 meetings and interviews and organising informal research seminars.
  7. To contribute to planning and executing media and communication strategies to promote Fabian research.

Other Duties

  1. To contribute to the intellectual and organisational development of the Society.
  2. To contribute to Fabian Society events, including a lead role in events relating to your projects.
  3. To represent the Society where appropriate, for example in the media, speaking at and attending events, and liaising with key networks.
  4. To supervise volunteers or contractors as appropriate.
  5. To undertake other relevant duties where required by the Deputy General Secretary or General Secretary.

Person specification

The ideal candidate would:

  1. Have at least two years of experience of policy research in a think-tank, academic, policy or political role.
  2. Have in-depth knowledge of labour market, technology and/or economic policy and the aptitude to quickly build expertise in other Fabian research areas.
  3. Be able to demonstrate research and analytical skills; knowledge of research methods, gained in either an academic or policy environment; and relevant experience of conducting research.
  4. Have excellent written English and oral communications skills, with experience of presenting complex information to a range of audiences; writing in different styles, including articles and blogs; and planning, structuring and writing long documents.
  5. Have excellent numeracy skills and the ability to analyse and interpret data and statistics.
  6. Show an ability and willingness to identify opportunities for new research, develop research proposals and secure funding.
  7. Be able to build and maintain professional networks across relevant sectors.
  8. Have experience of taking responsibility for projects and an ability to plan work effectively, keep to deadlines, manage workload, and respond to competing demands for time.
  9. Be able to work effectively in a small team and on their own
  10. Have a willingness to provide administrative support to projects
  11. Be in sympathy with the aims and values of the Fabian Society


The salary for this position is £30,000 to £35,000 plus 7% pension contribution and 6 weeks paid leave. We work a 35-hour week with contracted hours from 10.00am to 6.00pm.

The Society has an equal opportunities policy and aspires to be an equal opportunity employer.  We strongly encourage applications from people under-represented in politics including women, disabled people, and people from low-income or ethnic minority backgrounds.

Please note that the Society has the primary right to the professional services of its staff. No outside activities affecting or concerning the Society may be undertaken without the explicit agreement of the General Secretary. All staff must adhere to a social media policy to safeguard the reputation of the society.

The post is based at the Society’s offices in Westminster, central London.

To Apply

Applicants should email to the address below a CV and a covering letter setting out how their skills and experience meet the person specification for the post, as well as their reasons for applying.

Your application should arrive no later than 9am on Thursday 25 January.

We plan to hold interviews during the week commencing the 29 January. Please indicate any times we are not available for interview between these dates when you apply.

Please apply by email with the subject line ‘Recruitment: Senior Researcher / Head of the Changing Work Centre’


For more information, contact Olivia Bailey

Tel: 020 7227 4912