Senior researcher – higher education, further education and skills


20th January 2019

Contract type: Permanent (with a 6 month probation period)

Location: Central London, Victoria

Salary: From £30 – 40k p/a, depending on experience.

Benefits: 30 day holiday entitlement plus bank holidays, 8% employer pension contribution

Background on EPI:

The Education Policy Institute is an independent, impartial and evidence-based research institute that aims to promote high quality education outcomes, regardless of social background. Through our research, we provide insight, commentary and critiques about education policy in England – shedding light on what is working and where further progress needs to be made. Our experienced and dedicated team works closely with academics, think tanks and other research foundations and charities to positively shape the policy agenda.

We are looking for a first-rate quantitative analyst, economist or statistician to lead research on higher education, further education and skills.

The role:

Post 16 education has recently returned to the centre of the education policy debate. In Higher Education, the funding of the sector has become a politically charged issue, whilst access for disadvantaged groups remains a significant policy challenge. Whilst Further Education has seen significant falls in funding at the same time that the government has begun large scale reforms to technical and vocational routes (e.g. apprenticeships and T-levels), the success of which are yet to be seen. And all of this is set against the UK’s relatively poor productivity, partly driven by an insufficiency of skills in the labour market.

The Education Policy Institute has already published a series of reports in this area; on apprenticeships, skills and tertiary education routes. As a new recruit you will lead high quality quantitative research projects to shed further light on these issues, working to identify the optimal policy solutions. You will communicate your findings to policy-makers and the sector and mainstream media.

You will have the opportunity to help shape our work programme. In the medium term it’s likely to include:

  • Reports on the extent to which disadvantaged backgrounds continue to hamper young people through further and higher education.
  • Research on how the earnings and wellbeing for young people differ depending on their educational pathways.
  • A report on the prevalence, causes and regional patterns of young people not in education, employment, or training and those with very low level of educational achievement.

We will support you in developing your skills, through training and by giving you opportunities to get involved with all aspects of research and communication right from the start.

You will report to David Robinson, Director for Post 16 and Skills.

The candidate:

You will need to have the following:

Policy awareness

o   A sound understanding of the English further and higher education systems including government policy and current issues and challenges.

o   The insight to use evidence to propose effective policies.

Technical skills

o   A strong numerate degree and excellent quantitative analytical skills across a range of statistical and/or econometric techniques.

o   A proven track record in applying quantitative analytical skills and policy analysis in the education sector. Knowledge of education data is particularly desirable.

o   Experience in designing and managing research projects to inform and influence national policy making.

o   Proficiency and expertise in using quantitative research software, e.g. R / SPSS / STATA / SQL / SAS etc.

Wider skills

o   Excellent communication skills e.g. for presentations to and with sector experts and for media interviews.

o   The ability to work flexibly across the organisation, providing support to others and a motivation to learn new skills.

Because our independence and political neutrality is crucial to us, there are some restrictions on party political activity for permanent members of staff.

Working arrangements:

Whilst this post is being offered on a full-time and permanent basis, the Education Policy Institute is committed to supporting a range of working arrangements. For example, we welcome applications from those wishing to:

  • work on a part-time basis;
  • split their time between the Education Policy Institute and an academic setting; or
  • join on secondment for a fixed period from their current employer.

Please use the contact details below if you would like to discuss such arrangements before submitting your application.

Application process

To apply, please send a covering letter (no more than a side of A4) and CV to by Friday 18 January 2019. We aim to hold interviews within two weeks of the closing date. For further information, please contact