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Social Research

Head of Evidence and Insights – 62714
£47,831 – £60,573
Multiple Locations


We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit:

Job title

Head of Evidence and Insights


Business Intelligence and Insights


Grade 7/ Band A/ Level 4

Role Type:

Analytical, Social Research

Salary band

National: £47,831 to £55,264

plus a potential recruitment allowance of up to +10%

London £53,419 to £60,573

plus a potential recruitment allowance of up to +10%

New entrants are normally expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

Responsible to

Director of Business Intelligence and Insights


National or London


Full time/: 37 hours per week

Job type (i.e. fixed term/permanent/loan/secondment)


Duration of appointment – months. (for fixed term, secondment, loan etc)


Security Clearance Required

Baseline (BPSS)

Who are we?

The YJB is the public body which advises Ministers, including the Secretary of State for Justice on the youth justice system. Our ambition is to see a Child First youth justice system. A system which looks to children’s’ strengths and supports children to become the best version of themselves. To this effect we engage with a wide variety of organisations, partners and parties with an interest in youth justice, we share good practice, champion improvement and issue grants.

Our recruitment is based on merit, we welcome applications from all who can commit to our vision and values, we offer considerable flexibility in how you work and expect commitment and flexibility in return. We continue to strive for equality, diversity and inclusion in our culture and our staff group to this end we encourage applications from those people with traditional protected characteristics. Our staff are public servants, eligible for the Civil Service pension scheme and we are accredited by the Civil Service Commission.  This means applications from across Civil Service Departments, their agencies and Arms-Length Bodies are treated as internal applicants.  We also welcome applications from those who do not work in these bodies.

Our Vision

Working to ensure a youth justice system that sees children as children, treats them fairly and helps them to build on their strengths so they can make a constructive contribution to society. This will prevent offending and create safer communities with fewer victims.

Aims of the Youth Justice System

Prevention of offending by children and young people:

  • To reduce the number of children in the youth justice system
  • To reduce reoffending by children in the youth justice system
  • To improve the safety and wellbeing of children in the youth justice system
  • To improve outcomes of children in the youth justice system


YJB is the only public body with oversight of the whole youth justice system. Research and evidence are key to our understanding of the youth justice landscape. This supports effective decision making, gives assurance to ministers that our advice has a solid evidence base and supports the achievement of our strategic objectives.

The Business Intelligence and Insights Directorate gathers and interprets information from a range of sources (including data, research, and wider intelligence). This information supports: the YJB’s oversight of the Youth Justice System (YJS), helps us to understand how the system is operating and whether it is achieving its aims, and helps to identify future opportunities and challenges for children and the YJS. The directorate leads the organisation in gathering, developing and using data and evidence well.

Job Description

This is a leadership as well as a management role. You will:

  • support the achievement of the YJB strategic and business plan through your leadership role, both within your directorate and across the wider YJB
  • have a lead role in the delivery of the YJB transformation programme.
  • manage a multi-disciplinary team of Senior Research Officers and Business Intelligence Managers.
  • effectively present, communicate and disseminate key information for internal and external audiences on the Youth Justice System to ensure maximum impact
  • work collaboratively across the directorate, the organisation and the youth justice sector to understand our evidence and to make sure it is fit-for-purpose.
  • be required to assimilate and drive data led evidence from emerging research, statistics, and insight to drive up the quality of our understanding of the youth justice sector, advise ministers and influence the work of the sector.
  • lead on the prioritisation and commissioning of research and use of evidence by the YJB, notably providing research and evidence to support the work of the YJB
  • you will make sure that examples of good or innovative practice align with the evidence.
  • encourage a culture of evidence-based decision making and innovation in the sector.
  • be proactive in promoting the appropriate use of evidence in the YJB and with the sector, particularly in your work identifying what works for achieving positive outcomes for children.
  • be responsible for the YJB’s research budget making sure you operate within financial protocols.
  • support and develop others to commission research, including ensuring grants and grant recipients are able to embed proportionate and appropriate monitoring and evaluation.
  • build and maintain relationships with other analysts and evidence/data providers both across government and beyond (e.g. academics through our Academic Liaison Network).
  • identify where our evidence needs can be supported elsewhere, including sitting on steering groups for other organisations’ research that aligns with our objectives.

Your role in overseeing the commissioning, conducting and publication of bespoke research studies will involve ensuring that these:

  • meet Government Social Research (GSR) processes and quality standards.
  • are value-for-money.
  • follow appropriate contract management processes.
  • are based on sound methodologies; and
  • are published in an accessible way to meet our users’ needs.

All posts within the YJB operate flexibly to ensure the requirements of the business are met and as such you may be required to undertake other duties in their role or duties in other parts of the business at their grade to meet business priorities. You will expect to work within a matrix management approach often undertaking regular tasks alongside providing project support to wider programmes; you will be expected to take on corporate responsibilities in addition to your role.

  • In carrying out your duties you will respect the YJBs commitment to equality of opportunity and the diversity of the YJB and its stakeholders.
  • You will make sure you understand and adhere to your responsibilities in relation to health and safety and data protection.

Main Responsibilities

  • Lead, develop and manage the YJB Evidence and Insights team.  Inspiring your team to achieve their potential and making sure that they engage positively with organisational policies, processes and communications. Helping them to interpret these when required.
  • Making sure that the YJB has access to the evidence it needs to inform its functions and strategic objectives.
  • Working in a multi-disciplinary environment and acting as a translator between technical and non-technical teams. Developing robust evidence/insight findings and clear presentations to senior audiences, including ministers.
  • Interpret and report on performance data to senior audiences and Ministers to enable understanding of the effectiveness of youth offending services.
  • Work closely with the Grade 6, seniors and other G7 team leaders to develop the overall strategic direction of this work. Providing evidential support for all the YJB’s functions and directorates.
  • Lead YJB through its annual Research Prioritisation process, making difficult decisions where necessary.

The role is open to

  • Existing government social research (GSR) members on promotion or lateral transfer.
  • Candidates who meet the minimum criteria for GSR membership. The successful applicant will be required to join GSR.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles and will assess your Technical Skills, Abilities, Behaviours, Strengths and Experience. 

The assessment process will be made up of two parts:

  1. An Application
  2. Interview

Application Stage

  • A statement demonstrating in no more than 250 words the lead behaviour Communicating and Influencing 
  • Please provide a suitability statement, no more than 1250 words, which sets out your suitability for the role and how you meet the essential Technical and Ability criteria outlined below.

Essential Criteria



  • Experience of data analysis and evaluation to inform priorities and support problem solving, and evidence to deliver policy outcomes and/or strategy.
  • Analytical and/or research background in using complex evidence to shape, deliver or operationalise policy and/or strategy would be an advantage.
  • Competent in MS Office suite, including advanced Excel skills.

Interview Stage

The interview will be a blended interview. The focus will be on:

  • GSR Principal Research Officer G7 technical skills and behaviour:
  • Civil Service behaviours: Working Together, Seeing the Big Picture, Communicating & Influencing (Lead behaviour)
  • Strengths as described in the Success Profiles (this is a very particular style of interview please make sure you make yourself aware of these in advance).
  • The interview will include a GSR Technical Skills presentation. Details will be shared before the interviews.

Contacts for information:

Karis Oram (email:;  Phone: 07890307267)

Jamie Bennett (email:; Phone: 07989685408)

Benefits of working for the Youth Justice Board

  • Opportunity to work in an organisation that seeks to make a positive difference to the lives of children at risk of entering and within the youth justice system
  • Family friendly policies including flexible working opportunities. Many of our staff combine working from our offices in either London or Wales with working from home; compressed hours, part-time working
  • Civil Service Pension Scheme, and/or continuous service transfer of Civil Service Pension Scheme as applicable
  • Annual leave of 25 days per annum plus public holidays (or for those transferring directly from Civil Service Departments, their Agencies, Arms-Length Bodies (ALBs) and Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPB) we will match current annual leave entitlement, up to 30 days)
  • As an accredited NDPB we can accept your continuous service from other Civil Service departments their agencies and ALBs/NDBPs
  • Special recognition bonus scheme
  • Special leave for unplanned emergencies and for voluntary work
  • Employee Assistance Programme offering confidential support and advice for personal and work issues and occupational health
  • Health and well-being initiatives such as flu-vaccinations
  • Free eye tests and eyecare vouchers for VDU workers
  • Interest free season ticket loans
  • Regular professional development
  • Professional HR Case Management support for managers

Civil Service Behaviours: 

  • Seeing the Big Picture

Develop and maintain an understanding of economic, social, political, environmental and technological developments to ensure activity is relevant. Ensure plans and activities in your area of work reflect wider strategic priorities and communicate effectively with senior leaders to influence future strategies. Adopt a government wide perspective to ensure alignment of activity and policy. Bring together views, perspectives and diverse needs of stakeholders to gain a broader understanding of the issues surrounding policies and activities.

  • Communicating and Influencing

Communicate with others in a clear, honest and enthusiastic way in order to build trust. Explain complex issues in a way that is easy to understand. Take into account people’s individual needs. Deliver difficult messages with clarity and sensitivity, being persuasive when required. Consider the impact of the language used. Remain open-minded and impartial in discussions, whilst respecting the diverse interests and opinions of others. Introduce different methods for communication, including making the most of digital resources whilst getting value for money. Monitor the effectiveness of own and team communications and take action to improve where necessary.

  • Working Together

Actively build and maintain a network of colleagues and contacts to achieve progress on shared objectives. Challenge assumptions while being willing to compromise if beneficial to progress. Build strong interpersonal relationships and show genuine care for colleagues. Ensure consideration and support for the wellbeing of yourself and individuals throughout the team. Understand the varying needs of the team to ensure they are supported, and their experiences are utilised. Create an inclusive working environment where all opinions and challenges are taken into account and bullying, harassment and discrimination are unacceptable. Remain available and approachable to all colleagues and be receptive to new ideas.

Government Social Research Technical Framework:

Principal Research Officer G7 (PRO) Technical skills summary:

  • Holds an established track record in designing, carrying out and managing social research, and providing research-based advice and briefings
  • Applies understanding of customer needs and ability to see bigger picture to identify research needs and evidence gaps and to deliver effective research designs to meet these needs
  • Evaluates and integrates research information from a variety of sources, coming to logical conclusions and communicating this effectively to senior non-specialists, assisting them to take on key findings and implications
  • Has strong research commissioning and management experience and ability to develop research coordination strategy, understanding contribution of other analytical professions

Technical Skills Detail

  • Knowledge of research methods, techniques & application of these.
  • As for Senior Research Officer, plus established track record in designing, carrying out or managing social research, and providing research-based advice and briefings
  • Established track record of developing and managing research projects employing the full range of research methods
  • Has used or actively considered the use of the latest methods in recent projects, as appropriate
  • Supports SROs/ROs on selection of methods and can deal with more complex problems without detailed knowledge of project
  • Provides an overview of research methods for a wide portfolio of projects, and provides a supervisory/ sounding board for team leaders where appropriate

Analysis & interpretation

  • Provides and supervises briefing activity based on analytical work
  • Reports complex and often conflicting research information to senior non-specialists/customers; assists them to isolate key facts, discern trends and draw implications
  • Evaluates and integrates research information from a variety of sources to come to logical conclusions

Identifying research needs, designing & specifying research

  • Sets out clear research objectives and expected outcomes; defines key delivery objectives for staff / department
  • Thinks around a problem; reframes it; questions assumptions, for example, able to reframe a research question to maximise assistance to customer
  • Looks beyond immediate issue –identifies trends, areas for further research or analysis, links Proactive in helping policy divisions and directorates identify their information needs and evidence gaps; translates unfocussed requests and ideas into effective research designs

Managing & commissioning social research

  • Understands and can work within the budgetary requirements at the research project level
  • As SRO but can draw upon more extensive experience of research procurement, contractor and financial management
  • Promotes multi-disciplinary working; understands what other analysts can contribute (for example, economists, statisticians) and how their own (& own team’s) work fits in
  • Supports RO’s and SRO’s in resolving legal and or ethical issues
  • As SRO, but with an overview knowledge to apply to multiple, or complex, or potentially controversial or high-profile projects
  • Manages quality and product assurance issues on projects, developing quality and product assurance requirements with customers and analysts prior to projects commencing.

PRO Behaviour: Using & Promoting Social Research Summary:

  • Able to communicate understanding of policy realities while clearly and accurately presenting social research evidence, ensuring appropriate social research input to policy decisions
  • Works in partnership with other analysts within and outside government, and across departments to achieve high quality, robust and relevant input
  • Is an advocate for social research, educates others about social research, and so shapes customer expectations and needs
  • Keeps abreast of new methodological developments, how they might be used within departments and in different policy contexts

PRO Lead Behaviour Using & Promoting Social Research Detail:

Communication of Research Findings

  • Draws upon extensive experience of the design, development, commissioning and management of projects and in-house analytical activity to ensure appropriate social research input to policy decisions
  • Ensures the provision of appropriate and timely analysis to support policy making and policy implementation
  • Makes objective and timely decisions based on best available evidence and sound analysis
  • Uses evidence-based arguments, even when under pressure
  • Gets to the heart of an issue; subjects information to a thorough analysis to ensure high quality decisions and recommendations
  • Provides impartial and balanced advice, using sound application of knowledge and expertise; for example, communicates understanding of policy realities, but still represents social research evidence
  • Championing Social Research
  • Shapes customers’ expectations and needs by educating them about what social research can achieve
  • Is an enthusiastic advocate of social research; can sell an idea or argument
  • Raises the level of debate by encouraging greater co-operation and communication between researchers across the department and further afield; provides links between academic and GSR colleagues
  • Encourages, coaches and supports others to adopt the latest social research methods and data science techniques into their work
  • Exploiting Cross Profession Working
  • Works in partnership with other analysts and departments to achieve joint customer goals
  • Co-operates and works well with others in the pursuit of social research goals
  • Uses the GSR network effectively to actively pursue options for cross cutting research
  • Understanding of Policy Context
  • Identifies gaps in the social research evidence base that relates to key policy objectives and suggests methodologically robust ways to fill them
  • Takes considered risks and assesses and manages the risks; is not deterred by incomplete or inconclusive data
  • Takes the lead on a number of ‘technical’ matters within the wider GSR/ analytical community, for example, this could be methodological or evidence base

Learning and DevelopmentIs proactive in keeping abreast of new methodological and technical developments, how they might be used within department in different policy contexts


The national salary range is £47,831 - £55,264, London salary range is £53,419 - £60,573. Your salary will be dependent on your base location

Additional Information

Flexible working hours

The Youth Justice Board a flexible working system in many offices.


The Youth Justice Board offers a range of benefits:

For nationally advertised campaigns, candidates will be appointed to their nearest Justice Collaboration Centre or Justice Satellite Office. This will be discussed and agreed with the successful candidate(s) on the completion of pre-employment checks.

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.


The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.


The Youth Justice Board is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.