Head of Quantitative Research

The Behavioural Insights Team

  • Salary: £68,400 per annum, plus benefits
  • Location: Based in Central London (Westminster). We are currently operating a hybrid model of working with an element of regular working in the office (we’re currently trialling 2 days a week where possible).
  • Closing: 12:00pm, 29th Nov 2021 GMT

Job Description

Are you looking for a new challenge and want to join a successful and rapidly growing organisation? Do you have a passion for exploring new ways to change people's lives at a national scale through government policy? If so, we want to hear from you.

What does the Head of Quantitative Research do?

BIT is in the business of developing and testing ideas in order to make recommendations for policy. We do this as rigorously as possible - typically through randomised controlled trials (RCTs) but also through quasi-experimental designs (QEDs). We set and expect high standards of our work because we need to be confident about the recommendations we make. We are therefore looking for a Head of Quantitative Research to join our team.

BIT’s Head of Quantitative Research is central to BIT’s standards. The core duties of the position are:

  • Working with BIT’s Chief Scientist to design and execute a research strategy for BIT, which includes bringing new statistical methods into BIT’s playbook, help to optimise existing approaches and ensure colleagues have appropriate statistical support.

  • Quality assuring and signing off research materials including trial protocols prior to the launch of a trial, analysis and client reports and other deliverables before they are sent to clients;

  • Providing statistical and practical advice on running and analysing trials to BIT’s community of researchers;

  • Setting, maintaining and monitoring research standards across BIT, including ensuring that our onboarding and other training materials are up to date and appropriate;

  • Mentoring and encouraging personal development in the community of quantitative researchers; and

  • Communicating complex research results and decisions to clients in a way that they can understand and act on.

The  role can also include, depending on your interests and experience:

  • Evaluation — leading projects with our evaluation clients such as the Education Endowment Foundation, the Youth Futures Foundation, Evaluation Task Force and others;

  • Mixed methods research — developing our qualitative research expertise alongside our quantitative work;

  • Policy work on the use of algorithms (particularly in the public sector);

  • Predictive modelling and data science.

This role is at Principal Advisor level which means you will be involved in things like:

  • Supporting Business Development efforts of BIT’s policy teams, including brainstorming project ideas with clients and potential clients, and contributing to bids for competitively tendered projects.

  • Steering groups for BIT’s larger programmes.

  • Mentoring and training junior researchers.

If you are excited by the prospect of producing top quality, socially impactful research which will be seen and acted on in the highest levels of government and beyond, then apply for this role.

What makes a great Head of Quantitative Research at BIT?

We are looking for people who understand what we do, share our values and are keen to learn and develop their expertise. We are looking for a candidate who has relevant and demonstrable practical experience in research, with the skills listed below. We expect to provide training and development support in some of the areas.

  • Strong statistical skills including both theory and application of LMs, GLMs, clustering, stepped wedge trials, strategies for dealing with missing values, power calculations (using standard formulae and simulations). Knowledge of quasi-experimental techniques including difference-in-difference, synthetic control, propensity score matching and regression discontinuity is also useful.

  • An appetite for difficult statistical and inferential problems. You will be the person junior researchers turn to when they encounter interesting problems in their work.

  • Practical decision making skills. Sometimes we must make research decisions with limited information and taking client needs into consideration. These decisions will often fall to you — there may be limited time or scope to gather all the information you might want and you will have to make a “battlefield decision”.

  • A solid understanding of causality and what can undermine our attempts to estimate it (practical understanding is more important than theoretical knowledge here; it is not necessary to have a full knowledge of formal causal calculus).

  • A focus on impact. BIT is a social purpose company, and as such making our research as impactful as possible is a top priority. This includes both making sure our research is reliable and trustworthy, and communicating our findings in a way that enables impactful action by the audience.

  • Supporting and developing others. You can nurture talent and energise people to perform at their best. You care about the success, development and wellbeing of others and can have meaningful (and sometimes difficult!) conversations.

  • Clear and convincing communications. You can explain complex topics in simple terms. You can lead a workshop or presentation and write clearly and concisely.

  • Managing and developing yourself at work. You demonstrate high self-awareness and regularly self-reflect. You are aware of the impact that your actions and words have on those around you. You are resilient and accept responsibility for decisions whether they achieve the desired outcome or not.

Who are we and what can we offer you?

The Behavioural Insights Team is the world leader in applying behavioural science to public policy challenges in order to strengthen communities and improve lives. 

We design and rigorously test new ideas across a range of areas such as health, crime and education, to establish what works and what doesn’t. We have helped Tuberculosis patients take their medicine; reduced police susceptibility to cyberattacks; and helped organisations close their gender pay gap.

We are looking for a passionate and imaginative individual who understands behavioural science and shares our thirst for evidence-based solutions to join our dynamic and growing team.

BIT really is a great place to work:

  • We have a hive mindset where we think out loud, share ideas and learn from one another. You will work alongside a friendly,  talented, and driven team with diverse expertise - from economics to anthropology and neuroscience - and a wide variety of personal and professional backgrounds. What unites us is the goal to have a positive social impact through our work.

  • We encourage flexible working and have a culture which enables this; for example flexible start and finish times and an IT set up which allows for easy working from home options

  • We have regular team get-togethers with inspirational external guest speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds and specialisms. There's always something new to learn about!

  • We have a flexible benefits programme which currently includes things like gym memberships, cycle to work schemes and the ability to buy extra annual leave at the start of the year.

  • We’re a social bunch and have a variety of interest groups including Film Club, BIT Kids for our parents & 5-a-side team to name a few.

  • We have a great office in Westminster, which has an amazing coffee machine and fridges stocked full of soft drinks!

How to apply

We use a great platform called Applied to reduce bias in the recruitment process. You will need to answer a few work-based questions which will be anonymously marked by members of our team. Our selection is based on performance in these questions, rather than looking at your CV. 

Candidates with the top scoring answers will be invited to a structured interview where you get to meet some of the team. At the interview stage you will be asked questions that reflect the role and also to complete a work-based task, so you have the chance to demonstrate your skills. It’s at this stage we first see your CV. We always give all applicants feedback, no matter what stage your application reaches. We may also consider your application for suitable alternative roles, should one be available.

Key dates

  • Role closes: Monday 29th November at 12.00pm GMT (midday)

  • Task and Interviews: Week commencing Monday 6th December 

  • Second round interviews: Week commencing Monday 13th December

All dates are subject to change (but we'll try our best to not change them!)

Please note:

You will need to have the right to work in the UK in order to be able to undertake this role. We will ask all applicants short-listed for an interview to provide evidence of their right to work during the recruitment process.  If you do not have the right to work for BIT but are the most suitable person for the role we will explore with you whether sponsorship may be an option. However, this may not be possible for all roles.

Some of the personal data you provide to Applied when you apply for a role with The Behavioural Insights Team will be passed on to The Behavioural Insights Team for the purposes of (a) reviewing your application; (b) inviting you for interview; and/or (c) offering you a job and getting you set up as an employee/contractor. For full details on how BIT collects and uses your personal data please visit our website - https://www.bi.team/bit-global-recruitment-privacy-notice/ 

If your application is not successful, any personal data provided to us by Applied (including any personal data relating to equal opportunities monitoring as set out above) will be retained by The Behavioural Insights Team for no longer than 6 months after the application deadline has passed (other than in exceptional circumstances where we may need to retain your personal data for longer), at which point your personal data will be securely deleted. We only keep your information for that period in order to allow us to comply with relevant legal obligations.

Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Applications closed Mon 29th Nov 2021


Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Start your de-biased application