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External Recruitment for Social Researchers - Leeds Within the Data & Analytical Services Directorate (Ref:38299)

£26,401 - £35,066
Ministry of Justice


Please refer to Job DescriptionWe welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity


The Ministry of Justice vision is to deliver a world-class justice system that works for everyone in society and Government Social Researchers (GSR) at the MoJ work at the heart of government on some of the most challenging and high-profile projects with people who are passionate about improving justice outcomes through innovative research, data and analysis. You will use your intellect and creativity as problems can be complex, often with no single ‘right answer’ and have the opportunity to work on a wide range of interesting subject areas ranging from criminal justice (sentencing, probation, prisons, courts, youth justice) to civil, administrative and family justice.
The Data & Analytical Services Directorate (DASD) within the Ministry of Justice is looking to recruit Social Researchers at Band Bb (SEO) and Band Cb (HEO) levels both in London and Leeds. Appointments made will be on a permanent basis. We will be holding a merit list for 12 months to cover future social research roles.

There are 4 campaigns running in total, details are listed below.

1. Band Bb London – 38300 Social Researchers (SEO) London Based (includes merit list)
2. Band Bb Leeds – 38301 Social Researchers (SEO) Leeds Based (includes merit list)
The Band Bb grade (SEO Equivalent) is for more experienced researchers with at least 2 years practical experience of working in applied social research. You will have advanced research skills, with professional and technical skills to lead projects and deliver timely, appropriate and high-quality analysis and insights. You should be able to manage your own time effectively, develop and prioritise work plans with customers, and make sound decisions about competing priorities, proactively manage risks and issues. Some Band Bb roles have line management responsibility and staff are expected to promote motivation and career development for their staff and provide oversight, quality assurance and monitoring of their work.
1. Band Cb London – 38298 Social Researchers (HEO) London Based (includes merit list)
2. Band Cb Leeds – 38299 Social Researchers (HEO) Leeds Based (includes merit list)
The Band Cb grade (HEO Equivalent) is the entry grade for graduates and those with less than 2 years practical experience working in applied social research. You will be expected to have a good knowledge of research methodology, and the skills to work in a project team to deliver quality analysis, and may lead on the design and development of smaller projects. You should be able to summarise and interpret information accurately as well as good oral and writing skills and the ability to communicate with non-specialists.
This campaign is for Band Cbs (HEO Equivalents) based in 5 Wellington Place, Leeds


• Existing Badged Civil Servants who are analysts of the Government Social Research Service (GSR) - this position is open on a permanent basis on level transfer or on promotion.
• Other Civil Servants/External Candidates – All candidates must meet the professional requirements at this grade for the Government Social Research Service detailed below:

New GSR applicants must either:

• Hold an undergraduate degree in a social science subject (minimum 2:1, or a 2:2 with a postgraduate qualification), where around one third of modules comprised social research methods training; OR
• Hold an undergraduate degree in any subject (minimum 2:1, or a 2:2 with a postgraduate qualification), or hold a degree equivalent (for example, an advanced Certificate or Diploma from MRS) AND have at least 4 years’ social research practice experience. To enter the GSR through this route you must make explicit the breadth and depth of your research experience and skills, which must include quantitative research methods and three of the following: systematic/literature reviews; qualitative methods; interpretation of data and presentation of results; study design and hypothesis testing; and application of ethics to research.
NB: candidates may apply in their final year of study whilst they are still awaiting their degree result; however, formal contracts will only be offered upon confirmation of degree result.


Data and Analytical Services Directorate (DASD) sits at the heart of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) providing analytical support across a diverse and exciting agenda. We have offices in both London and Leeds and work closely together across both sites. We work in a dynamic and fast paced context and our skills are in heavy demand across the MoJ. We are a cross-disciplinary directorate supporting policy development and operational delivery with a mixture of social researchers, operational researchers, statisticians and economists.
MoJ provides an exciting and dynamic environment with considerable opportunity to make a difference. DASD comprises around 300 staff who providing support, challenge and advice to policy and operational colleagues and Ministers right across MoJ and beyond.
GSR staff provide an essential part of the work of the department. You will have the opportunity to undertake various social research work supporting policy, operations and the MoJ centre. GSR roles typically include: adding to the evidence base through undertaking primary research and analysis (both qualitative and quantitative); linking to the wider evidence base via engagement with the external research community and research syntheses; and providing an advisory function to ministers and policy colleagues to ensure research evidence is fully built into policy development. You will also have the opportunity to work closely with colleagues from the other analytical professions, providing multi-disciplinary analytical support across the department. There is a huge appetite within the Ministry for more and better analysis, which is driving us to recruit.

Why work for the Ministry of Justice/DASD?

• A great place to work with real flexible working arrangements – including compressed hours, flexi-time, working from home or commuter hubs outside of London. Winner of Working Families award for flexible working and a top 5 UK employer in Stonewall rankings.
• Regular job rotations to broaden experience – there are regular optional rotations for analysts of all levels to expand experience and opportunities
• Analysis is at the centre of the Department’s decision making – there are frequent opportunities to present your analysis to Ministers and senior officials, your analysis will be key in influencing decisions
• See the frontline and what your work is influencing – regular opportunities to visit prisons and courts to better understand the areas your analysis is affecting
• Range of new areas of work and software – As we are embedding new analytical approaches across the directorate there will be many new areas of analysis and opportunity to work with a range of modern packages such as R and Python
• Opportunities for promotion – there are regular opportunities to apply for promotion to vacant posts within the analytical community.

Job Description

This is a generic recruitment campaign for a number of social research vacancies within DASD. Following the interview, successful candidates will be provided with a job description of the post or posts that are available prior to making a decision to join the MoJ. Within DASD we also operate a managed moves policy to ensure analysts have opportunities to undertake a full range of posts to enhance their career development.
At Band Cb level, analysts are expected to work with their team to help deliver a number of projects or pieces of analytical work for policy, operational or corporate colleagues. They will be required to ensure outputs are of good quality including meeting professional standards and that they are delivered to the specified timescales. They will work closely with customers to scope analytical work and ensure customer needs are met and adapt analytical work to address changing needs that arise. They will work with their team to ensure that analytical outputs are communicated effectively to non-analysts, are influential and add value to the decision making and business of DASD and MoJ. They will work closely with more senior analysts to manage stakeholder relationships including liaison with academics and contractors. Line management responsibility is less common at Band Cb level but they will be expected to help foster a positive team ethos and collaborate with others across the team including providing support on the quality assurance of work. We use a wide range of analytical methods. Band Cb analysts will be expected to demonstrate a good theoretical understanding of the key methods relevant to their profession at the required standard, and practical experience in the application of at least a small number of methods.
Main objectives of a Band Cb social researcher role are:
Social researchers in DASD have opportunities for a mix of project management of external research projects and in-house research and analysis. We use a range of primary social research methods including large scale and ad hoc surveys, case file analysis, multi-method evaluation and qualitative methodologies. We also use secondary data research methods such as synthesis methods (e.g. rapid evidence assessment) and secondary analysis of qualitative, quantitative data and administrative data.

Typically, the main objectives include:

• Managing and delivering on specific analytical projects that feed in a timely fashion into programmes of work to better enable the department to make evidence-based policy ensuring effort is focused on the areas that add the greatest value to policy teams and MOJ as a whole.
• Conducting in-house research, including: qualitative research from development of research materials, through field work including face to face interviews to analysis of data; secondary data analysis; research synthesis such as evidence reviews; and writing research reports.
• Commissioning and managing external contractors to undertake research and provide high-quality evidence to inform policy decisions.
• Managing relationships effectively with immediate customers and supporting other analysts in managing relationships with wider stakeholders to ensure maximum buy-in and use of analytical work being delivered.
• Working with other departmental analysts on both specific projects and feeding into wider analytical programmes of work.
• Working with other analysts to ensuring appropriate quality assurance processes are designed and implemented and responsible to ensuring the processes are delivered effectively to ensure analytical outputs are accurate and meet policy need.
• Communicating effectively the results of analysis to analysts and non-analysts.
• Provide advice and applications on a wide range of relevant methods.
• Manage their own time and workload effectively to deliver the requirements of the job, learn lessons, respond appropriately to feedback and continually improving their performance.
Example job – Probation Reform Social Researcher
Working closely with other analysts, operational and policy customers across the MoJ and other Government departments, this role had responsibility for a number of analytical projects in the Probation Reform and Priority Projects Team, including:
• Supporting the development of evaluation specifications for a range of thematic areas to test the success of the probation reforms due to be rolled out next year. This includes working with policy and operational customers to define what success looks like and identifying the most appropriate method for evaluation.
• Providing analytical and social research support to probation policy colleagues. Recent examples of projects include providing research advice for the Sentencing White Paper, a review of the evidence base on Integrated Offender Management and supporting the design of pilots to look at different approaches for delivering Pre-Sentence Reports.
• Working proactively and flexibly to respond to urgent advice and briefing on probation reforms and probation policy. This will include producing timely and high-quality analysis in ad hoc briefing using departmental data, including responses to PQs, supporting policy customers and ministers to often tight timelines.
• Quickly becoming a subject matter expert on the relevant policy area, by staying abreast of new research developments.


You will be asked to upload a CV and a Statement of Suitability of no more than 500 words detailing your analytical experience to date. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-government-social-research-competency-framework


1: You should provide examples of the following analytical requirements:
• Applies quantitative or qualitative analytical methods effectively to identify what works, drive insights and provide evidence that influence decision making and add value.
• Ability to design medium scale or more complex projects, applying best practice guidance, identifying new areas for work, translating policy requirements into robust specifications to meet needs.
• Identifies ways to measure outcomes quantitatively and qualitatively, bringing together a range of data, identifying and resolving quality issues.
• Accurately evaluates completing data sources and evidence to identify salient points and trends to draw sound, logical inferences.
• Presents findings and insights persuasively so customers engage and understand the evidence and use it to influence decisions.
• Anticipates potential further analysis wider than solving initial problem and can raise awareness and engagement in value of evidence.
2: Professional competency:
You should give evidence of how you meet the requirements of the GSR professional competency framework. Please note that a number of the professional competencies may overlap with the CS Behaviours listed above. We therefore recommend that in providing written evidence for the professional competency, candidates focus on the technical and methodology aspects. We will use evidence presented for the CS Behaviours in assessing the wider skills candidates have. Further information can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/the-government-social-research-competency-framework

Applicants Invited for Interview

You will be required to give a short presentation at interview. Details of this will be sent to those candidates who are invited for interview.
Applicants who are not members of the GSR will be asked additional professional knowledge questions as part of the interview.

Please refer to Job Description

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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace

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

  • Please refer to Job Description
  • Please refer to Job Description
• Access to learning and development

• A working environment that supports a range of flexible working options to enhance your work life balance

• A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity

• A civil service pension

• Annual Leave

• Public Holidays

• Season Ticket Advance

For more information about the recruitment process, benefits and allowances and answers to general queries, please click the below link which will direct you to our Candidate Information Page.

Link: https://justicejobs.tal.net/vx/candidate/cms/About%20the%20MOJSuccessful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.https://justicejobs.tal.net/vx/candidate/cms/About%20the%20MOJ

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.