Job opportunity with the SPC

The Southern Policy Centre has an exciting opportunity for a Research Assistant to join our team on a fixed-contract basis, working on an advocacy strategy for disadvantaged young people in our region.  For more details on the role and how to apply, see below:

SPC Research Assistant Job Description

The Southern Policy Centre (SPC) is seeking to appoint a Research Assistant (RA)to work with us for a fixed term of six months on a charity-funded research project. The RA will play a key role in developing a policy advocacy strategy on behalf of young people in central southern England.

The SPC was established in 2014 as the only independent cross-party think-tank for the region of central southern England, covering the area from Dorset to West Sussex and the Isle of Wight to Oxfordshire.  We specialise in improving public policy making by conducting research into the policy challenges facing society: these include poverty and social exclusion,  devolution, and the implications of an ageing population.  The SPC uses Open Data to inform its research and is the host to the ODI Hampshire node, part of the Open Data Institute‘s worldwide network.  We work with a wide range of partners including the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and the Southern Universities Network.

This exciting rolewill focus on analysing the current issues facing key groups of young people in the region and on making key policy recommendations.  It will also outline how those recommendations that are amenable to local and regional action should be taken forward with public and private sector decision-makers.  Young people’s experiences and views will inform the research undertaken, they will be involved directly in it themselves, and they will be given the opportunity to have an input into the policy recommendations in the final report.  Please note that this is a full time role (37 hours per week); however, a job share would be considered (2x 18.5 hours per week)

The RA will be responsible for leading the planning, coordination and delivery of high-quality research on the study, with the support of the SPC and its partners.

The main responsibilities will include:

  • taking a proactive and leading role in designing and conducting research
  • organising, managing and analysing project data
  • travelling to meet partners across the region (expenses paid)
  • communicating complex data/concepts clearly and concisely
  • developing policy recommendations
  • writing up the final project report

Essential skills:

The successful applicant will be an experienced researcher with a good honours degree, combined with a Masters in a relevant social science subject.  A PhD is preferable.

Both quantitative and qualitative research skills will be needed as research methods will include (although will not be limited to) focus groups, semi-structured qualitative interviews, and detailed analysis of existing policy and its impacts.

The Research Assistant will be:

  • experienced in both quantitative and qualitative method
  • highly technologically literate with excellent communication skills
  • able to demonstrate a track record of analysing and understanding the policy landscape and issues which directly affect young people
  • experienced in secondary data collection analysis
  • able to be self-motivated and capable of maintaining a high work rate when working individually

The successful candidate will primarily work with the SPC Associate managing the project, as well as staff from the funding organisationand its partners.  The SPC’s Chair, Professor John Denham of the University of Winchester, will chair the project Steering Group and oversee the work.

The role will be a fixed term contract beginning in June 2018 for 6 months on a self-employed basis.

Pay:  £30,000 pa (pro-rata)

Location: There is a Southampton office with the flexibility to work from home when appropriate. The project will be based in Hampshire.

Closing date: midnight 13thMay 2018


Start date: June 2018

How to apply:

Please submit a CV and covering letter (stating whether the application is for a full time or part time role) to Flic Goodyear at

For any informal chat about the role please contact either:

Prof. David Birks 0784 1070 658

Flic Goodyear 077 3771 4455