Senior Evaluation Researcher – 41550
£40,478 - £52,248
We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity
New recruits to the Civil Service joining MoJ are expected to join at the band minimum.
Existing civil servants applying on promotion will usually be appointed on the salary minimum of the pay band or with an increase of 10 per cent on their existing base salary (restricted to the new pay band maximum), whichever is the higher.
Existing permanent civil servants will retain their permanent status if appointed to this role.
Loans and secondments will be expected to return to their home department at the end of the 2-year term. Civil servants applying on a fixed term basis will enter the redeployment pool at the end of the 2-year term and be supported in finding a new role.
This campaign is for up to two Senior Evaluation Researchers to join the HMCTS Evaluation team. We are currently also recruiting for up to two Evaluation Researchers (Band Cb). Applicants who are not sure whether they have sufficient experience for the Band Bb Senior posts are welcome to apply for both campaigns.
Every year, millions of people seek justice in our courts and tribunals and we are here to ensure anyone in need of our courts and tribunals receives a service that suits their needs.
We have an outstanding heritage and history and we want to build on this by updating and modernising to ensure we deliver a service that matches the expectation of the society we serve today and in the future. In recognition of this, HMCTS was allocated over £1 billion of funding to reform the way that our courts and tribunals operate. This will enable HMCTS to create a system that is proportionate and accessible and that better meets the needs of the people it serves.
We are focused on radically improving the user journey for all, to ensure the service we design and deliver benefits the people who will use the system, including vulnerable users. For HMCTS, the changes we are making will reduce our own costs and remove service failure from our system allowing us to put resources where they matter most as well as strengthening access to justice. This is a once in a generation opportunity to help transform how justice is delivered in England and Wales – by ensuring that the needs of the public are kept at the heart of reform, your work will have a real lasting social impact.
Evaluation of HMCTS reform:
There is considerable interest in how the reform programme will be evaluated. For example, the Committee of Public Accounts (PAC) report on the programme included a recommendation on the evaluation, and terms of reference for the Justice Select Committee’s (JSC) inquiry into the programme explicitly includes the evaluation.
In line with the HMT guidance on policy evaluation, we have been developing an approach to evaluate the HMCTS Reform programme. There are a number of projects within HMCTS which will need differing levels of evaluation, and we have developed an Evaluation Strategy to guide this work. The Ministry of Justice are conducting the over-arching evaluation of the HMCTS Reform programme, to assess what effects it has had. Where applicable and possible, the HMCTS project-level evaluations will inform the MoJ over-arching evaluation and the two teams work closely together. These roles will work to and directly support the HMCTS Evaluation lead in implementing the project-level Evaluation Strategy, including designing and leading individual project-level evaluations.
User Experience and Insight Division:
These posts sit within the Insight team of the User Experience and Insight Division. The team ensures that our understanding of customer characteristics, behaviours and needs, is analysed and shared in inspiring ways to inform decision making throughout HMCTS. We are a multidisciplinary team, comprised of social and user researchers, behavioural scientists, economists, statisticians and operational researchers. Our focus is on developing our understanding of our customers including their behaviour, to develop better services whilst collaborating with other government departments and external organisations to fill data and knowledge gaps.
The team lead the development of research and insight on users from all available sources (qualitative and quantitative) to inform what we know, supporting and analysing the development of new digital and operational solutions.
The roles will work with the Evaluation lead to implement HMCTS’s Evaluation Strategy, work with projects to consider their individual and cumulative evaluation needs, and design and lead project-level evaluations. The post-holders will also liaise closely with the MoJ team leading the over-arching evaluation of reform to help ensure HMCTS evaluation informs this where possible. The post-holders will also have opportunities to lead on Customer Insight projects to inform the development of Reform services.
This is an exciting opportunity to apply evaluation methodology to assess impacts of changes. This will inform the departments’ decision-making through a robust assessment of our programmes/interventions using a range of evaluation methods.
We are looking for someone who has practical evaluation experience, with the skills to successfully manage several complex topics and stakeholders, and the ability to distil and communicate knowledge with clarity.
The successful candidates will be required to:
- Design and lead evaluations and insight research
- Scope, commission and manage external contracts for evaluations
- Conduct and manage in-house research, including: development of research materials, surveys, fieldwork (including qualitative interviews), analysis of quantitative and qualitative data and reporting of findings
- Provide authoritative, clear and timely social research and insight advice about our users’ experiences, needs and attitudes so that we can use this to deliver better services
- Build the evidence base on HMCTS users by engaging with internal and external partners, and by synthesising existing research. Understand our evidence needs and gaps, and work collaboratively to develop research and insight that informs key decisions across the organisation.
- Build and maintain excellent relationships with the HMCTS service and delivery teams, key MoJ stakeholders, and evaluation colleagues across government
- Develop relationships with relevant academics/external partners
- Opportunity to manage junior Evaluation Researchers
This will be a challenging role and offers a wide range of opportunities to develop your experience whilst making a real difference to services for millions of citizens. You will join a team dedicated to developing your skills and career within a multi-disciplinary environment.
We’re looking for a highly motivated person who meets the following essential criteria:
- Proven evaluation research skills and knowledge of the range of evaluation methods
- Strong experience (minimum 2 years) of scoping, leading and delivering process and impact evaluations to deliver actionable insights
- Strong experience of conducting social research, including: qualitative and quantitative research from development of research materials (survey questionnaires, qualitative topic guides, and data collection instruments), surveys, fieldwork (including qualitative interviews), and analysis of data
- Experience of synthesising evidence and research to extract useful insight
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills, including an ability to develop strong relationships with a range of stakeholders and identify their evaluation needs, and work closely and collaboratively with them
- Experience in drafting good quality reports/outputs including communicating complex analysis in a range of formats to technical and non-technical audiences
- Comfortable managing a diverse, complex portfolio of work and able to manage work flexibly to adapt as priorities change.
- An understanding of public policy and services, particularly in the justice sector
- Familiar with Excel, and statistical packages such as SPSS, SAS or R
The successful candidates will either be a member of, or expected to join, the Government Social Research (GSR) profession. See GSR Eligibility section below.
You will be assessed against the Civil service success profiles framework.The following areas of Success Profiles will be used to assess and score your application during the sift, and interview.
If a high volume of applications is received, an initial sift will be conducted using the Technical GSR competency.
- Experience – As demonstrated in your CV, application form and interview
- Technical – As demonstrated in your CV, application form and interview. We will be assessing this using the Government Social Research framework, see link: GSR Competency Framework and information below.
- Behaviours – We will be using 3 Civil Service behaviours, see below.
- You will also be required to prepare a short presentation for interview. (Details will be provided when invited to interview)
Key Civil Service behaviours:
You will be required to provide evidence of the following key behaviours at Level 3.
Making Effective Decisions
- Understand own level of responsibility and empower others to make decisions where appropriate.
- Analyse and use a range of relevant, credible information from internal and external sources to support decisions.
- Invite challenge and where appropriate involve others in decision making.
- Display confidence when making difficult decisions, even if they prove to be unpopular.
- Consult with others to ensure the potential impacts on end users have been considered.
- Present strong recommendations in a timely manner outlining the consideration of other options, costs, benefits and risks.
Managing a Quality Service
- Develop, implement, maintain and review systems and services to ensure delivery of professional excellence.
- Work with stakeholders to set priorities, objectives and timescales.
- Successfully deliver high quality outcomes that meet the customers’ needs and gives value for money.
- Identify risks and resolve issues efficiently.
- Involve a diverse range of colleagues, stakeholders and delivery partners in developing suggestions for improvements.
- Establish ways to find and respond to feedback from customers about the services provided.
- Encourage joined up teamwork within own team and across other groups.
- Establish professional relationships with a range of stakeholders.
- Collaborate with these to share information, resources and support.
- Invest time to develop a common focus and genuine positive team spirit where colleagues feel valued and respect one another.
- Put in place support for the wellbeing of individuals within the team, including consideration of your own needs.
- Make it clear to all team members that bullying, harassment and discrimination are unacceptable.
- Actively seek and consider input of people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
The Government Social Research (GSR) competency framework:
You will be required to provide evidence of the following, at Senior Research Officer level.
- Demonstrates a thorough knowledge of research methodology, method, and the latest techniques, including main quantitative, qualitative and evaluation methods (at e.g. post graduate level) with at least two years of applied experience. Is up to date with methodological developments.
- Holds a track record of designing medium scale or more complex projects, applying best practice guidance, identifying new areas for work, translating policy requirements into robust specifications that will meet customer needs
- Able to accurately evaluate competing data sources and identify salient points and trends to draw sound, logical inferences
- Has experience of managing research projects of significant scale, working with other analysts and ensuring relevant legal, ethical, procurement, and quality assurance practice followed, ensuring quality of results and methodological rigour
Using and promoting social research
- Communicates analysis of complex information clearly, helping others make good use of social research evidence, even where this is not perfect
- Stimulates interest in social research and contributes effectively to internal and external research projects
- Understands policy context and timescales, explaining different angles critically and analytically, works with other analysts to best meet customer needs
There are two routes to meet the professional GSR requirements, via qualification or experience:
Qualification route: you must hold an undergraduate degree, at a minimum of 2:1 (or 2:2 with a postgraduate degree), in a social science subject. A qualifying social science subject is one which contains substantial social research methods training (comprising around one third of modules taken in the course) including quantitative research methods and three of the following: systematic/literature reviews; qualitative methods; interpretation of data and presentation of results; study design and hypothesis testing; and application of ethics to research.
For the Senior Evaluation post, you must also have minimum 2 years’ applied social research practice experience. Social research practice experience consists of experience working in a research agency, market research agency or specialist research team.
Experience route: you must hold an undergraduate degree, at a minimum of 2:1 (or 2:2 with a postgraduate degree), in any subject, or hold a degree equivalent (for example, an advanced Certificate or Diploma from MRS) and have at least 4 years’ applied social research practice experience. Social research practice experience consists of experience working in a research agency, market research agency or specialist research team. You must make explicit the breadth and depth of your research experience and skills, which must include quantitative research methods and three of the following: systematic/literature reviews; qualitative methods; interpretation of data and presentation of results; study design and hypothesis testing; and application of ethics to research in your CV.
If you are already a badged member of the GSR profession, this should be made clear in your CV.
We will keep a Merit List for up to 12 months for candidates who successfully pass the interview board but are not offered a post.
Flexible working options:
HMCTS offers a flexible working system in many of its offices.
Job Sharing and Reduced Hours:
All applications for job sharing or reduced hours will be treated fairly and on a case by case basis in accordance with the MoJ’s flexible working policy and equality policy.
Excess Fares and Relocation Allowances:
This job is not eligible for relocation allowances, but excess fares may be considered in accordance with MoJ’s excess fares allowance policy
Working Arrangements & Further Information
Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.
Flexible working hours
The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.
The MoJ offers a range of benefits:
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 Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.
- A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
- Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits,retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
- For any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers
- Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
- Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.
The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
Working for the Civil Service
The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.
We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order
1- To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail Mojemail@example.com);
2- To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (firstname.lastname@example.org);
3- To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.
There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
Grading Structure Review
The Ministry of Justice is currently undergoing a review of posts which are currently graded at Band A to realign our grading structure with the majority of the wider Civil Service.
Posts advertised at Band A may be graded at either Grade 6 or Grade 7 once the review has taken place.