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Are you a strategic, influential and proactive individual with a high level of expertise in analysing quantitative data for impact evaluation? Are you passionate about making a difference to the lives of children and their families?

If so, Nesta is looking for a Principal Researcher to join our team at the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care, where you will play a critical role in leading the centre’s work on randomised controlled trials, as well as overseeing the day-to-day implementation of trials and managing the work and development of our trials team.

About Nesta and the What Works Centre (WWC)

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society. Nesta is based in the UK and supported by a financial endowment. We work with partners around the globe to bring bold ideas to life to change the world for good.

Every year, more than 700,000 children and young people, and their families, in England have contact with the children’s social care sector. However, changes in how the sector supports these children and their families can have hugely significant effects that resonate throughout entire lifetimes. The WWC’s mission is to make a difference to the lives of these children and their families by collecting the best evidence on what we already know, work with the sector to prioritise the many questions that remain unanswered, fund research, and determine how best to make evidence relevant and accessible to decision makers.

About this exciting opportunity

As Principal Researcher, you will work closely with the Head of Programmes and Research, as well as the Executive Director, to set the direction and strategy for our newly formed research team, as well as for our broader research work. The team will lead the centre’s programme of work to understand how best to support social workers and young people in contact with the care system, from the point of contact and referral, all the way through to foster care and adoption. You will also be expected to:

  • Conduct data analysis to help identify the impact of interventions in children’s social care
  • Develop and assist with the leadership of randomised controlled trials in children’s social care
  • Build capacity in analysis and randomised controlled trials through collaborative working and training
  • Manage a small team of researchers
  • Advise colleagues at the WWC and in external partners on evaluation methodology

What we are looking for

You will have a proven record of leading randomised controlled trials as principal investigator and of conducting research with young people. You will also have experience working in a research organisation and working creatively to overcome statistical challenges, plus translating research for policy and practitioner audiences.

An excellent communicator, with strong networking and interpersonal skills, you will also have a high level of competence in Stata or R and be skilled in econometric techniques used in evaluation, including power calculations and matching, while the ability to work at a fast pace and to tight deadlines is also vital.

How to apply

To apply, please send your CV and a supporting statement outlining clearly how you would succeed in the role to [email protected], citing “WWC Principal Researcher” in the Subject of the email.

Closing date: 3 June 2019, 10:00am

First interviews will be held w/c 10 June 2019.