Government Social Research

Government Social Research (GSR) is the analytical profession for civil servants who generate and provide social and behavioural research and advice.

GSR members enable government to understand issues relating to society, groups and individuals. They also support policy debate and decision-making through a variety of approaches, advice and evidence. We currently have over 2,300 professionally accredited members across over 50 departments and organisations.

GSR members come from a wide range of professional backgrounds and disciplines covering the breadth of social and behavioural sciences. Our work puts people at the heart of government decision-making by providing expertise in the application of quantitative and qualitative design, analysis, and evaluation approaches in order to solve complex problems.

GSR takes a scientific and tailored approach supported by bodies of knowledge and a range of research methods to inform, influence and provide robust and defensible decision-making at all levels.

Specifically, GSR’s role is to:

  • provide analytical insight to enable decision makers to understand systems, processes and change associated with people, groups, organisations and society
  • to inform and improve the quality of strategy, delivery, policy debate and decision-making
  • anticipate and evaluate the impact of government decisions – helping to better understand ‘what works, for whom, to what extent, in what contexts, how and why or why not?’
  • provide expert social research advice and evidence to design, challenge, reduce risk, trial, improve quality and support the implementation of government strategy and policy
  • maintain and grow social research professional skills, knowledge and expertise
  • represent society through our membership profile and the work that we do

We also aim to reach out to and provide a voice for the whole social and behavioural science community in government and work together to improve our collective impact and influence across government.

Useful links

You may find the following resources useful: