We are looking for a Senior Behavioural Scientist/Senior Research Officer who will be focused on providing social research and behavioural science support in relation to Covid-19 Recovery. You will demonstrate a thorough knowledge of behavioural science theory, models and tools and the ability to apply this knowledge in policy, delivery and/or communications contexts to improve outcomes.
The post will be based in the Social and Behavioural Research Team (SBR), a friendly team of 10 people based in Analysis and Science Directorate (ASD). The team is currently made up of 9 social researchers and 2 behavioural scientists.
SBR provides, promotes and advocates high quality and timely social and behavioural research to support the delivery of DfT’s priorities. Currently the team is heavily focused on COVID-19 Restart and Recovery work and transport decarbonisation.
SBR is also responsible for building the Department’s capability in behavioural science and we have ambitious plans for ensuring that behavioural science is embedded into DfT policy-making.
Behavioural science (approx. 70% of role). Key behavioural science tasks will include:
• Being proactive in keeping updated on developments in behavioural science particularly in relation to COVID-19, share this amongst colleagues, and seek out opportunities to apply it to help deliver DfT’s priorities in relation to COVID-19 Recovery.
• Designing and specifying behavioural science research or trials to inform policy priorities, incorporating where possible a test, learn and adapt approach.
• Providing expert advice to policy colleagues on behavioural science/behavioural insight techniques and tools.
• Helping build departmental capability by promoting best practice in behavioural science, developing and delivering training and resources that build skills amongst specialist and non-specialist staff.
• Providing quality assurance and analytical scrutiny for behavioural science and behavioural insight projects.
Social research (approx. 30% of role). Key social and behavioural research tasks will include:
• Quantitative data analysis using software, such as SPSS or R. This will involve:
- applying knowledge of benefits and limitations of different quantitative methods (e.g. online panel, longitudinal, cross-sectional, telephone and face-to-face) to respond to policy requests
- quickly familiarising yourself with new datasets and responding to ad hoc requests for data, selecting most appropriate data source
- translating policy questions into analysis, weighting data appropriately and working with colleagues to quality assure
- presenting analysis accurately and clearly with appropriate caveats around robustness; including source, base size and coverage and other key information
- identifying evidence gaps and potential solutions to fill them.
• Undertaking rapid evidence assessments on priority topics. This will involve:
- quickly synthesising evidence
- confidently judging the quality of research reviewed, including advising on the relative robustness of competing sources of evidence and the interpretation of findings.
- producing impactful summaries (in MS Word and/or PowerPoint) of key findings for policy audiences that identify salient points and trends from research or other information and draw out sound, logical inferences
- making clear recommendations on how to fill evidence