Senior Social Researcher

Reference number
Senior Executive Officer (SEO), or Grade 7 (G7)
Role type
Closing date
23 Mar 2022
£40,228 to £61,748
Flexible, London
Open to
All Civil Service staff, Members of the Government Statistician Group, Government Statistical Service
Office of the Children's Commissioner

The Children’s Commissioner’s office (CCO) aims to put children’s needs and voices at the centre of Government policy.

The CCO aims to assess policy and practice from a child’s point of view. The Commissioner is about to start a large programme of research on Families, Family Support and Childcare.

This research programme involves both qualitative and quantitative research. The Commissioner wants to understand whether services for families meet the needs of children within families. The Commissioner will also look at how we could improve children’s outcomes by making sure public services understand the needs of families.

The research programme will:

  • analyse data on families and family composition from The Big Ask – this is the largest ever survey of England’s children, with over 550,000 respondents and more than 250,000 free text responses
  • commission a new Families survey and do qualitative research with children and families from different backgrounds and across the UK – this research aims to understand their lives, what they value in family life and the support they may need
  • hold semi-structured interviews and roundtables with professionals who directly provide support to families, and analyse the effect of existing government policies
  • collect and analyse data from major cohort studies; panel surveys, like the Family Resources Survey; and government administrative data, including the National Pupil Database and the Early Years census

The role

The CCO has an exciting full-time secondment opportunity for a Senior Social Researcher to work on this programme of research. The successful candidate will start as soon as possible and support this work until October 2022.

The role provides an excellent opportunity to experience work within an Arm’s length-body. You will work in a small specialist team in the CCO on this high-profile project.

This role will involve supporting the Deputy Director of Research to work on both qualitative and quantitative research aspects of the project. You will:

  • complete a research literature review and scope out both the qualitative and quantitative research for the programme, with guidance from the Deputy Director of Research
  • do qualitative research with another researcher – this will involve speaking to families, including children, and professionals working directly in supporting families
  • develop and design a Families survey, adding to existing research, including analysis from The Big Ask – you will also be responsible for commissioning the survey
  • work closely with other members of the project team, including Research and Policy professionals and Senior Management

At G7 level, it is expected that the successful candidate will have overall project and matrix management responsibilities.

How to apply

If you are a Senior Social Researcher and you are interested in this role you should send an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Deputy Director of Research, Donna Phillips at

Applications will be when they are received. Candidates may then be invited to join a brief remote interview.

The vacancy will be open until midnight on 23 March 2022.

Expressions of Interest (EOIs)

Your EOI should be 750 words long. It should give evidence of:

  • any relevant skills and experience working in an analytical profession
  • strong qualitative and quantitative research skills
  • any experience you have of analysing qualitative information
  • any experience you have of working on relevant research areas
  • an in-depth understanding and experience of research methods
  • excellent written and oral communication skills

To be appointed at G7 level, candidates must demonstrate previous project management and line or matrix management responsibilities.

Other application information

You must provide contact information for your line manager. You will need to confirm that you have discussed this opportunity with them, and that they have agreed to release you from your current role by 1 April 2022, or as soon as possible after this date.

Please note that all CCO staff are dividing their time between our offices in Westminster and home working. But we will consider other working arrangements.

Successful applications

The Deputy Director of Research will assess all EOIs equally and decide which candidate to appoint. They do not need to use a formal scoring process.

The Deputy Director of Research may contact your line manager to check the information you have provided in your EOI.

Please not that there is no right of appeal.