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Multiple locations
London, United Kingdom
Birmingham, United Kingdom
Plymouth, United Kingdom
JOB #R2202090

Principal Researcher - Social Policy

We are looking for an experienced public policy researcher to join a well-established practice within ICF that develops, analyses and evaluates public policies and programmes that aim to improve the health and employment outcomes of people around the UK. We do this primarily through applied research and analysis. Our basic proposition is simple: better use of evidence leads to better decisions - and better decisions lead to better outcomes.

We are looking for an enthusiastic, dynamic and talented individual to support recent growth in our work on health, education, skills and employment. The role involves the design and management of mixed-methods research projects, building relationships with clients and in helping us to expand our portfolio of work for some of our principal UK clients, which includes the Department for Education, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Education and Training Foundation, NHS England, Health Education England and the Greater London Authority.

What you’ll get to do:

From day one, you will have the opportunity to win, manage and deliver a diverse range of policy projects for various UK Government departments and their agencies. You will deliver qualitative and quantitative research and analysis, including managing others’ contributions and delivery. Through this you will be able to develop and expand their knowledge of different policy domains and develop skills in applying complex qualitative and quantitative research methods to solve real world problems.

You will be a core part of our growing and collegiate team of like-minded analysts and project managers within a large global research and policy advisory consultancy. You will work in an international environment in which more than 30 nationalities are represented. You will be contributing innovative ideas and practices to the business, helping achieve excellent, cutting edge research and expanding ICF’s work into new areas. You will have the chance to develop your knowledge and skills further through excellent training and development opportunities.

Your main responsibilities will include:

  • Applying subject matter and/or methodological expertise to manage research projects on public policy issues and programmes

  • Preparing high quality descriptive and analytical reports and analyses

  • Managing and build positive relationships with clients and partners

  • Supporting the growth of ICF’s evaluation and research offer in the UK: from bringing insight and policy knowledge to identify new revenue opportunities, to developing proposals and quotes for clients and informing wider business development decisions

  • Working effectively with internal and external teams to plan the work / time inputs for a research team and sub-contractors and ensuring standards of quality and timeliness are met

  • Supporting the development of the team by managing work and performance of more junior members, including coaching and line management

  • Linking with other ICF teams and practices, including ICF specialists in quantitative impact assessments, data science, communications and statistics

What you'll need to succeed:

Our ideal candidate will have strong analytical skills and deep knowledge of one or more of the following policy areas:

  • Health services and public health

  • Education and skills / young people

  • Workforce research and analysis

  • Employment policy

  • Housing and homelessness

Your experience could have been gained delivering research or policy work in government or its agencies, think tanks, charities, academia, private research/consultancy organisations or the third sector.

You will also need:

  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s level degree in related field (MSc or PhD preferred)

  • A minimum 5 years’ experience in public policy research or delivery

  • Strong analytical skills

  • Very good writing skills, including editing and proofreading skills.

  • High-grade analytical skills and attention to detail

  • Outstanding integrity and business judgement

  • Excellent verbal, interpersonal and written communication skills

  • Self-motivated with a high level of initiative and drive to lead work in specific policy areas

  • Ability to effectively manage multiple priorities across complex and multi-disciplinary projects and initiatives

  • Passion for working in a fast growing and multi-cultural organisation

Desirable requirements include:

  • Experience in applying a variety of research methods (qualitative and/or quantitative)

  • Intermediate or advanced computer user skills (e.g. Microsoft applications, NVIVO, SPSS, STATA)

  • Experience managing research projects

  • Experience in writing published reports

  • Experience of evaluation; applied policy research / analysis and/or market research

#indeed #LI-CC1

About us:

Working at ICF means applying a passion for meaningful work with intellectual rigor to help solve the leading issues of our day. Smart, compassionate, innovative, committed, ICF employees tackle unprecedented challenges to benefit people, businesses, and governments around the globe. We believe in collaboration, mutual respect, open communication, and opportunity for growth.

We can only solve the world's toughest challenges by building an inclusive workplace that allows everyone to thrive. We are committed to creating a culture where we embrace our differences in ideas and identities. Together, our employees are empowered to share their expertise and collaborate with others to achieve personal and professional goals. 

Learn more about what we do and our commitment to inclusion.  

The benefits of joining ICF:

  • Our people at ICF, are our most important asset, so we invest in them from the moment you arrive. When you join our team, you’ll have access to a vast array of benefits to help you live your life well.
  • ICF offer a hybrid working policy, that will offer you flexibility to collaborate in the office, as well as in the comfort of your own home, to successfully deliver the requirements of your role and the business.
  • The employee wellbeing hub, which was launched in January 20022, is designed to provide highly personalised support across a comprehensive range of wellbeing issues, such as mind, body, finances, community, career programs and HR support.
  • We also offer a unique and competitive recognition programme called ‘You Matter’, awarding points as a ‘thank you’ for your work achievements, which can be spent on a large variety of high-quality items, as well as online or high-street vouchers, all with zero tax payable by the employee.
  • We encourage and provide continued personal and professional growth through ongoing learning, development opportunities and career frameworks. 
  • ICF also offers a range of competitive benefits, which include, but not limited to the following:
    • Single Private Medical Insurance cover (Bupa), with no restrictions on providing treatment for existing medical conditions. Options available for broader partner or family level cover, plus we also offer dental insurance (Bupa) and an online GP service.
    • 25 days annual leave, plus UK bank holidays (annual leave increases with years of service).
    • Pension scheme with 5% of salary employer contribution (minimum employee contribution 4%).
    • Life assurance paying 4x annual salary and Group Income Protection paying 66% of salary for up to 5 years if you are off work on long term sick.
    • Enhanced parental leave policies, enhanced maternity, paternity, adoption, and shared parental pay.

London Riverscape (GB75)

Public Policy

Who is ICF?

A global consulting services company with approximately 8,000 people across 75+ countries, but we are not your typical consultants.

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Join our talent network

ICF is growing, and we add new open roles to our site regularly. If you're waiting for that perfect opportunity at ICF or want an inside look at what it's like to do world-changing work, join our talent network to stay updated.

Join our talent network

ICF is growing, and we add new open roles to our site regularly. If you're waiting for that perfect opportunity at ICF or want an inside look at what it's like to do world-changing work, join our talent network to stay updated.