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Home Affairs and Social Policy: Research Leader in quantitative methods in Education and Social Policy

About RAND Europe

RAND Europe is an independent not-for-profit policy research organisation. Our mission is to help improve policy- and decision-making through evidence, research and analysis. We realise our mission by undertaking objective, balanced and relevant research, sharing our insights and information widely, and working in partnership with a range of clients and collaborators.

RAND Europe has offices in Brussels and Cambridge and employs approximately 80 researchers: just over half of our research staff have doctorates with the balance holding other post-graduate degrees. Our work lies on the continuum between that of universities and consultancies, combining academic rigour with a professional, task-orientated approach.


The Home Affairs and Social Policy Programme

This team undertakes research and analysis in policy areas including crime and justice, employment, well-being at work, child and family policy, migration, education and public sector improvement. Our clients include European Union institutions and agencies, UK and other national governments, charitable foundations and private sector entities.


The Research Leader position

We wish to recruit an experienced quantitative researcher to join the Home Affairs team to take a leading role in our thriving portfolio of evaluation research, particularly in the field of education.

We are looking for a researcher with expert knowledge and experience of quantitative research design and statistical analysis methods. Knowledge and experience of randomised controlled trials is desirable but not essential.

The position involves taking a leading role in overseeing the delivery of a portfolio of research studies in the field of education and wider social policy, as well as the opportunity to shape the future direction of this area of work at RAND, in line with our mission and values.

The successful candidate will be joining an established and experienced team of professional researchers with a diverse range of interests and backgrounds. Supporting and developing junior researchers is an important aspect of the post.

The role involves the application of quantitative methods in the field of education, but we welcome applications from candidates with wider interests in social policy and evaluation who are able to demonstrate that they have suitable experience with the application and use of quantitative and statistical methods. The successful candidate would be actively encouraged to contribute to a broader range of research across the Home Affairs team and the organisation as a whole.

We welcome applications from candidates to would like to work part-time or full time.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Leading the design of quantitative research and evaluation studies, either in response to invitations to tender or through making applications for grant funding.
  • Providing intellectual leadership on all aspects of the execution of quantitative/ statistical research, including data collection, data quality assessment, power analysis and selecting appropriate approaches to quantitative methods.
  • Championing high-quality, robust quantitative research design, methodology, analysis and reporting across the Home Affairs team and across RAND Europe more widely.
  • Managing and delivering complex projects within available time and resources.
  • Overseeing and directly contributing to the delivery of written reports that present quantitative research findings clearly for policymaker audiences.
  • Working closely with the Education Lead in the Home Affairs Programme to deliver RAND’s portfolio of randomised controlled trials in the field of education.
  • Supporting the growth of a portfolio of strategic research and evaluation in the field of education in the UK and internationally.
  • Providing mentoring and support to facilitate the professional development of junior researchers.
  • Engaging with policymakers and those who use our research to further our mission to inform policy and decision making and increase the impact of our work.
  • Building partnerships and collaborations with academics and other researchers, enabling us to deliver innovative and high-quality research.
  • Maintaining and widening RAND Europe’s external profile.


Skills and Experience

  • Quantitative research methods – essential
  • Leadership in the design and execution of quantitative research, from the proposal stage through to study finalisation and write-up.
  • Application of statistical methods for data analysis.
  • Experience of designing impact evaluation studies using experimental and/or quasi-experimental designs.


Reporting of quantitative analysis and findings - essential

  • Demonstrable ability to deliver written outputs that report on quantitative methods, for a range of audiences, including policymakers.
  • Proven ability to supervise writing contributions from a research team.


Leadership / management - essential

  • Leadership in a research context.
  • Project management of complex research projects in academic, professional services or public sector domains.
  • Respected external profile and strong research networks.
  • Track record of undertaking research for policy and/or practitioner audiences.


Experience of conducting research in relation to education or related social science discipline – desirable

  • Understanding of education policy.
  • Experience of research with students and/ or teachers in education settings.


Commercial awareness - essential

  • Proven ability to secure research funding in competitive environments.
  • Experience of effectively managing budgets across a research portfolio.


Personal skills and experience - essential

  • Ability to speak in public to a range of audiences.
  • Strong ability to lead and motivate while adopting a collaborative approach.
  • Skill in managing complex external relationships.
  • Proven facility for interdisciplinary working.
  • Excellent problem solving skills.
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise work.
  • Ability to work flexibly and to deadlines.
  • Ability to effectively process large amounts of information, translate and presenting complex research findings to policy, practice and lay audiences.


Fluency in English - essential

  • Proficiency in other EU languages is desirable.


IT skills – essential

  • Intermediate Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Expert use of Stata/R/SAS.



  • PhD or equivalent experience.


Benefits package:

8% Employer contribution pension

BUPA medical insurance

Income protection

Group life assurance

Employee Assistance scheme

Enhanced holiday allowance

Enhanced maternity and paternity pay

Fresh fruit every day

Free parking

Cycle to work scheme

Company bikes

Employee wellbeing initiatives


How to apply

Please submit an application via RAND Europe’s online careers portal comprising a CV, covering letter and a writing example. The writing example must include the write-up of a quantitative or statistical analysis (this can be a report, journal article, shorter piece or an excerpt but it must be your own work, preferably where you are the sole author). The CV covering letter and writing sample must be submitted as one document.

The deadline for applications is Friday 12th June 2020.

More information about the current education research portfolio at RAND Europe can be found here: https://www.rand.org/randeurope/research/education.html