Senior Research Officer

Office for National Statistics Logo
Closing Date: 16/08/2022
Contract Permanent
Working Hours Flexible, Full Time, Part Time
Location Darlington
Salary £38,338
Company Office for National Statistics

Job Description

Summary

Do you want to produce statistics to improve society?

The Office for National Statistics provides statistics to give insight into different areas of society and our economy such as health and expenditure.

The ONS undertakes some of the largest UK social and business surveys such as the Labour Force Survey and the Covid Infection Survey, to understand many different aspects of society and we need your help with our work.

Our statistics are focused around the core principles in the UK’s Code of Practice:
• Trustworthiness: to produce statistics which are well managed, impartial and open
• Quality: to produce independent statistics using appropriate data and methods which meet the needs of the people who want to use them
• Value: to produce statistics which are useful, easy to access, relevant and support the understanding of important issues

At ONS we are committed to delivering Statistics for the Public Good by ensuring we are radical, ambitious, inclusive and sustainable. We operate a Hybrid working model. This means we offer flexibility about where and when we work .

Job description

We have a variety of opportunities you can get involved with as a social researcher including questionnaire design, primary research, qualitative and quantitative analysis

Our outputs range from estimating the size, distribution and characteristics of the population including migration: analysis of health, inequalities, crime and much more to paint a picture of the UK on which to base decisions for the future.

We’ve never been so busy and if you want to play your part in shaping the future then now is a fantastic time to join us.

As one of our Senior Research Officers you’ll join the Government Social Research (GSR) profession for social researchers working in government. It is one of the seven professional groups in the Analysis Function.

Responsibilities

Roles may include some of the following:
• Production and publication of high-quality national statistics
• Discrete pieces of analysis to provide context and understanding around statistical outputs
• Development of new methods, production systems and dissemination to make sure we meet data users’ changing needs
• Leading and conducting qualitative research (including focus groups, cognitive interviewing, pop-up research, usability testing and so on) with the public and analysis of findings
• Leading on the designing and development of questionnaires for social and economic surveys (suitable for paper, telephone, face-to-face and online self-completion) using qualitative research methods
• Management of researchers and building their capability
• Helping customers (including government departments) make the best use of our statistics through answering their questions on standard outputs or conducting additional analysis
• Assisting with research to understand administrative datasets and how they can be used in the production of official statistics
• Contributing to quality assurance and production of statistical publications and research reports
• Reporting findings through presentations, at ‘show and tell’ meetings, and through papers to a variety of audiences, both in the UK and internationally
• Liaising closely with other colleagues across ONS to share knowledge and develop expertise
• Using specialist statistical software to support this research
• Survey design and management

Qualifications

To be eligible for this Senior Research Officer role you need to fulfil the criteria of one of three routes outlined below.

1. Qualification route
Hold, or expect to get during this academic year, an undergraduate degree at a minimum of 2:1 (or postgraduate degree in addition to an undergraduate degree at a minimum of 2:2) in a social science-related subject with sufficient social research content.

A qualifying social science subject is one which contains social research methods training comprising at least 30% of modules or module credits in the course. This must include the following elements of quantitative research methods:

– Research design
– Data collection, e.g. questionnaire design, sampling, weighting
– Data analysis, e.g. statistical analysis

It must also include at least three of the following:

– Systematic literature reviews
– Qualitative methods, including research design, data collection (e.g. interviewing, focus groups, ethnography), data analysis (e.g. thematic analysis)
– Interpretation of data and presentation of results, provision of recommendations or conclusions
– Study design, hypothesis formation, testing and evaluation
– Application of ethics to research

Have at least two years of successful experience of working in applied social research in which strong analytical skills have been clearly demonstrated (for example in market research, government, applied academia or as a data analyst). It is not sufficient to state only that you have been in a social research post. You must provide brief information about the types of social research skills you have experienced as part of the employment history section of the online application form. To do this, please list any of the following social research skills applicable to each job, in this section:

– Research design
– Data collection, e.g. questionnaire design, sampling, weighting
– Data analysis, e.g. statistical analysis
– Systematic literature reviews
– Qualitative methods, including research design, data collection (e.g. interviewing, focus groups, ethnography), data analysis (e.g. thematic analysis)
– Interpretation of data and presentation of results, provision of recommendations or conclusions
– Study design, hypothesis formation, testing and evaluation
– Application of ethics to research

Please provide this evidence in the Employment History section of the application form.

This can also include work towards successful completion of a post graduate qualification with a strong research or research methods component. However, if using your post graduate qualification to contribute towards your two years’ social research work experience, you cannot also use it as your eligible qualification described in section 1.

2. Badged route
Already be a member of the Government Social Research profession

Have at least two years of successful experience of working in applied social research in which strong analytical skills have been clearly demonstrated (for example in market research, government, applied academia or as a data analyst). It is not sufficient to state only that you have been in a social research post. You must provide brief information about the types of social research skills you have experienced as part of the employment history section of the online application form. To do this, please list any of the following social research skills applicable to each job, in this section:

– Research design
– Data collection, e.g. questionnaire design, sampling, weighting
– Data analysis, e.g. statistical analysis
– Systematic literature reviews
– Qualitative methods, including research design, data collection (e.g. interviewing, focus groups, ethnography), data analysis (e.g. thematic analysis)
– Interpretation of data and presentation of results, provision of recommendations or conclusions
– Study design, hypothesis formation, testing and evaluation
– Application of ethics to research

Please provide this evidence in the Employment History section of the application form.

This can also include work towards successful completion of a post graduate qualification with a strong research or research methods component.

3. Professional experience route
Hold, or expect to get during this academic year, an undergraduate degree at a minimum of 2:1 (or postgraduate degree in addition to an undergraduate degree at a minimum of 2:2) in any subject or hold a degree equivalent (for example, an advanced Certificate or Diploma from MRS)

Have at least four years of successful experience of working in applied social research in which strong analytical skills have been clearly demonstrated. Social research experience consists of experience working in a research agency, market research agency or specialised research team.

To enter the Government Social Research Profession through the experience route you must make explicit the breadth and depth of your research experience and skills in the employment history section of the online application form. This must include quantitative research methods, including the following elements of quantitative research methods:

– Research design
– Data collection, e.g. questionnaire design, sampling, weighting
– Data analysis, e.g. statistical analysis

It must also include at least three of the following:

– Systematic literature reviews
– Qualitative methods, including research design, data collection (e.g. interviewing, focus groups, ethnography), data analysis (e.g. thematic analysis)
– Interpretation of data and presentation of results, provision of recommendations or conclusions
– Study design, hypothesis formation, testing and evaluation
– Application of ethics to research

Please provide evidence of this in the Employment History section of the application form.

Completing the Application

If your applying through the Qualification Route

For the Qualification route you must complete all three of the following requirements:
1. Complete the Qualification breakdown in the attached SRO Qualification Template, which you should attach to the online application form. This is to demonstrate that you hold the required qualification as described in the Qualification route section above. Please provide these details about the lowest level of qualification that meets the criteria, i.e. if you have an undergraduate degree and a PhD in a social science subject, please only provide information about your undergraduate degree in the Qualification breakdown. Do not simply attach your university transcript because this is insufficient evidence to demonstrate the amount of social research in your degree. In addition, we can’t accept research projects or dissertations as evidence.
2. Complete the Employment History section of the online application form. This is to demonstrate that you have the required work experience, as described in the Qualification route section above.
3. Complete your research example. This needs to be submitted Personal statement section of your online application.

Failure to upload complete templates, uploading the wrong attachments, or not completing the Employment History of the online application will result in your application being sifted out of the recruitment process.

If your applying through the Badged Route

For the Badged route you must complete all three of the following requirements:
1. State that you are applying through the badged route on the SRO Qualification Template and attach this document to the online application form.
2. Complete the Employment History section of the online application form. This is to demonstrate that you have the required work experience, as described in the Badged route section above.
3. Complete your research example. This needs to be submitted Personal statement section of your online application.

Please also make sure that you state in the qualifications section that you are GSR badged.

Failure to upload complete templates, uploading the wrong attachments, or not completing the Employment History of the online application will result in your application being sifted out of the recruitment process.

If your applying through the Professional Experience Route

For the Professional experience route you must complete all three of the following requirements:
1. Complete the Qualifications section of the online application form. This is to demonstrate that you hold the required qualification as described in the Professional experience route section above. If applying through this route, you don’t need to complete the Qualification breakdown section of the attached SRO Qualification Template form, but you do need to state on this form which route you are applying though and attach this document to the online application form.
2. Complete the Employment History section of the online application form. This is to demonstrate that you have the required work experience, as described in the Professional experience route section above
3. Complete your research example. This needs to be submitted Personal statement section of your online application.

Failure to upload complete templates, uploading the wrong attachments, or not completing the Employment History of the online application will result in your application being sifted out of the recruitment process.

Behaviours

We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Leadership

Technical skills

We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • GSR Skill: Technical (Identifying research needs, designing & specifying research)
  • GSR Skill: Technical (Analysis & interpretation)
  • GSR Skill: Using and promoting social research
Apply Now!

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