Head of Data Science

The Behavioural Insights Team

Location London
  • Closing: 12:55am, 25th Jul 2016 BST

Job Description

Head of Data Science

Permanent: 39 hours per week

Salary: £40,000 - £60,000 per annum, plus benefits

Based in Central London

Overview of the Role

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is looking for an exceptional candidate to lead our Data Science Function. The role will involve working closely with our Chief Scientist to enhance BIT’s capacity in data science – particularly machine learning, predictive modelling and data visualisation.

Successful applicants will be given time and encouragement to expand BIT’s work in this emerging area. The role provides an excellent opportunity for someone from an academic background to gain applied research experience, working on a range of projects and with datasets made available by BIT’s work with governments around the world.

Overview of the Behavioural Insights Team

The Prime Minister created BIT in 2010 to apply behavioural science to public policy in the UK. In February 2014 we became a social purpose company, owned by the Cabinet Office, Nesta (an innovation charity) and our employees.

The Behavioural Insights Team works with governments around the world in almost every area of Government policy. Whilst the subject and output of our projects varies considerably, there are common threads: we try to understand the contexts in which their people make decisions; we notice small details; we find out what has and hasn’t worked before; and we measure everything we do as robustly as we can.

The company today spans three continents but has the same relaxed and non-hierarchical office culture as it did when it was a team of just eight employees. Though our origins are from within the UK government, staff at BIT today come from countries across the world. We regularly eat lunch together; play sport; and socialise outside of work time.

As well as displaying professional excellence, BIT selects staff on the basis of cultural fit: all our staff believe passionately in our company values: always prioritising social impact; empiricism and humility; fresh thinking, collaboration; and public service. Our Senior Advisors lead small teams and support work that will help shape UK government policy and influence key strategic policy and operational challenges more widely through the development of innovative interventions and the rigorous and robust analysis of novel data.

Roles and Responsibilities

In this Research focussed role you will lead the research elements of multiple projects simultaneously, working with other researchers and with policymakers from across the Behavioural Insights Team. You will be expected to both be able to manage and quality assure high levels of econometric analysis, and to conduct this analysis, as well as work with others in the team to develop new empirical expertise. You will also be responsible for ensuring that projects are managed and delivered to deadlines and on budget, and will manage one or more Advisors or Associate Advisors as part of a wider research network.


The Behavioural Insights Team brings people together with different skills sets. You must be able to demonstrate a balance of skills across those listed below, but we do not expect you to be exceptional in all the areas listed.

  • Experience in designing and implementing rigorous evaluations, including Randomised Controlled Trials, difference in differences, regression discontinuity, and propensity score matching

  • Experience in using and analysing large data sets (such as administrative data) for the purposes of evaluation or predictive modelling

  • Experience in visualising data and the results of analysis in a way that makes complex findings accessible and useful to an audience of policymakers and practitioners

  • Experiencing managing your own time on the delivery of large scale projects

  • A clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of different evaluations methodologies, including those in which (s)he is not an expert

  • Creative thinking and pragmatism, challenging existing assumptions and thinking of solutions to implementation problems.


Finally, it would be desirable if you have:

  • A Masters or PhD in a relevant subject area (including, but not limited to, public, economics, data science, computer science, evaluation methods, or behavioural science)

  • Experience working on the development or delivery of government policy

  • Experience responding to competitive tenders/preparing bids/proposals and securing new work.

Removing bias from the hiring process

Applications closed Sun 24th Jul 2016


Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You won't need a CV to apply to this job

Applications closed Sun 24th Jul 2016