Research Associate at the Policy Institute at King’s


16 Jun 2023
Job Information

Research Field
Researcher Profile
Recognised Researcher (R2)
Established Researcher (R3)
United Kingdom
Application Deadline
6 Jul 2023 – 00:00 (UTC)
Type of Contract
Job Status
Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?
Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?

Offer Description

Job description

The Policy Institute at King’s College London works to solve society’s challenges with evidence and expertise. We combine the rigour of academia with the agility of a consultancy and the connectedness of a think tank. 

The successful applicant will work on high-profile and influential policy research and analysis projects. For example, in recent years we have produced high-quality outputs on – among many other topics – culture wars in the UK, changing perceptions of inequality (as part of the IFS/Deaton Review of Inequalities), the future of the Mental Health Act, the impact of arts education on the young and a series of studies on the impact of COVID-19 that have fed directly into government responses. We regularly work directly with senior policymakers, politicians, and practitioners, as well as media and thought leaders across a range of important policy areas. It is an exciting, fast-moving environment for a motivated and quick-learning applicant looking to pursue a career in policy research.

The Policy Institute’s work covers a wide range of policy areas and draws on many disciplines and research methods, making use of the skills, expertise and resources of not only the institute, but the university and its wider network too. Our research is complemented by extensive communications, impact and engagement activities. 

The Research Associate will deliver high-quality research and policy analysis across the broad range of topics on which we work, but we are particularly looking for researchers with experience and understanding of how academic work can impact policy and practice and HE policy more generally. This could include having a background in ‘research on research’ and conducting studies on the theory and practice of policy impact, or in directly supporting that translation. A broader understanding of the HE policy landscape would also be helpful, given our work often includes projects on the future of the HE sector and HE institutions.

The successful candidate will work across multiple projects in a dynamic team, with the opportunity to both apply existing research and analysis skills and develop new ones: we are a truly interdisciplinary team that values different skillsets, and so welcome applications from different disciplinary backgrounds, including social sciences, arts, humanities and STEM disciplines. Working with a range of colleagues and collaborators from across King’s and other partner organisations, researchers in the Policy Institute apply a variety of different methods and approaches, including evidence reviews, cross-national and interdisciplinary comparative analyses, quantitative and qualitative social and economic analyses, various evaluation approaches and a range of stakeholder engagement techniques that cut across both academic disciplines and policy domains.

While not required to be expert in all areas, applicants should be interested in and have an awareness of a broad range of policy analysis methods and approaches.

This post will be offered on a full-time, indefinite contract.

Key responsibilities

  • Conduct research and analysis for a range of policy related projects in a variety of disciplines and sectors  
  • Support the smooth delivery on time and on budget of multiple projects, including some with tight deadlines   
  • Contribute to reporting and communication around our research activities 
  • Be a collegial team member, contributing to the institute’s strong team culture and developing productive working relationships with others 
  • Pursue funding opportunities, particularly in HE policy, research on research, or research impact, including scoping ideas, developing relationships with potential funders and developing applications for new research projects and initiatives.  

The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post

Skills, knowledge, and experience 

Essential criteria

1.       A recognition of and passion for the role that evidence can play in addressing societal challenges and improving outcomes 

2.       PhD-level qualification or equivalent experience in a relevant area (we would particularly welcome expertise in HE policy, research on research, or the theory and practice of research impact) 

3.       Previous experience in a policy role or in conducting policy-focused research 

4.       Demonstrable research skills (and a willingness to learn new skills) in approaches/methods relevant to the institute’s work, including conducting literature reviews and evidence synthesis 

5.       Experience of developing projects and funding applications 

6.       Excellent project management and organizational skills, including the ability to manage time effectively in delivering on multiple commitments 

7.       Excellent written and oral communication, including a proven ability to engage with policymakers and work effectively with people from a wide range of backgrounds 

8.       Demonstrated ability to work independently and use initiative as appropriate 

Desirable criteria

1.       Background in HE policy, research on research, or research impact 

2.       Experience of delivering training 

Further information

The postholder is based in a busy office environment and will be expected to be working on campus for 40-60% FTE during the working week (hybrid working). You must have the ability to operate effectively and efficiently when working remotely.

You must have a willingness to commit to the Policy Institute values and behaviours in addition to King’s Strategic Vision 2029.

Additional Information
Work Location(s)

Number of offers available
United Kingdom
London (Greater) (GB)

Where to apply



London (Greater) (GB)


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