Connecting people I'd hire with companies I'd work at

Matt Wallaert
Matt Wallaert
Want me to connect you? Sign up below. If you are hiring and would like me to consider your open roles, please email

Research Assistant - Education Policy (6 Month FTC)

The Behavioural Insights Team

The Behavioural Insights Team

London, UK
Posted on Saturday, September 9, 2023

Are you looking for a new challenge and want to join a successful organisation? Do you have a passion for exploring new ways to improve young people’s lives at a national scale? If so, we want to hear from you.

What does a Research Assistant do?

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is looking for a candidate to join our Education team as a Research Assistant for a fixed term of 6 months between January 2024 and July 2024. You will be working full time on a large and prestigious study testing an innovative intervention to improve childrens’ language, literacy, numeracy and socio-emotional skills. The study will run in more than 190 primary schools across England.

You will need to be willing to get involved in a range of tasks, be flexible in your approach and be able to juggle competing priorities. This role offers someone an excellent opportunity to develop their presentation, organisational and project management skills.

This role is at Research Assistant level which means you will be helping to deliver the study. You will be involved in things like:

  • Recruiting schools across England to take part in the study; presenting information about the study to them and discussing the benefits and requirements of taking part;
  • Managing relationships with participating schools across England, liaising with senior leaders;
  • Undertaking project specific tasks, e.g. researching information, formatting data, etc;
  • Helping to monitor and chase project work externally and internally;.
  • Developing and suggesting practical ideas to make the study run more smoothly.

What makes a great Research Assistant at BIT?

We are looking for people who understand what we do, share our values and are keen to learn and develop their expertise. We are looking for candidates with the skills listed below. We expect to provide training and development support in some of the areas.

  • A good grasp of how schools work. You understand the key issues teachers face in their job and the time pressure they are under. You can talk to them about education issues in a clear and simple way.
  • Can do attitude. You are self motivated and have a willingness to be flexible.
  • Strong communicator and interpersonal skills. You will be able to communicate appropriately to staff at all levels;
  • Managing your time. You can manage your own time to produce high quality work within a reasonable time frame. You can keep track of lots of different moving parts in a project to keep everything running smoothly.
  • Good attention to detail. You can spot problems and suggest solutions.
  • A solid understanding of ‘causality’ and statistical reasoning. You know that just because sales of sunglasses and ice creams increase at the same time, one does not cause the other. You can describe simply and clearly how a randomised controlled trial works to a non-expert.
  • Strong IT skills. You will be able to confidently present work using G suite.

Who we are and what can we offer you?

The Behavioural Insights Team is the world leader in applying behavioural science to public policy challenges in order to strengthen communities and improve lives.

We design and rigorously test new ideas across a range of areas such as health, crime and education, to establish what works and what doesn’t. We have helped Tuberculosis patients take their medicine; reduced police susceptibility to cyberattacks; and helped organisations close their gender pay gap.

We are looking for a passionate and imaginative individual who shares our thirst for evidence-based solutions to join our dynamic team.

BIT really is a great place to work:

  • We support our colleagues’ professional development. Progression to a full-time role is possible (though not guaranteed) and many of our research assistants have progressed to more senior roles in our policy and research teams.
  • We encourage flexible working and have a culture which enables this; for example flexible start and finish times and an IT set up which allows for easy working from home options. We can also support term-time working in this role.
  • You will work alongside a friendly, talented and driven team with diverse expertise – from economics to anthropology, psychology and neuroscience – and a wide variety of personal and professional backgrounds. What unites us is the goal to have a positive social impact through our work.
  • We have regular team lunches with inspirational guest speakers.
  • We have a great office in Blackfriars, overlooking the Thames, which has an amazing coffee machine, fridges stocked full of soft drinks, fresh fruit delivered and often breakfast pastries and lunches for team meetings!
  • We have a flexible benefits programme which currently includes things like gym memberships, cycle to work schemes and the ability to buy extra annual leave at the start of the year.
  • We’re a social bunch and have a variety of interest groups including Film Club, BIT Kids for our parents & 5-a-side football team to name a few.

How to apply

We use a great platform called Applied to reduce bias in the recruitment process. You will need to answer a few work-based questions which will be anonymously marked by members of our team. Our selection is based on performance in these questions, rather than looking at your CV.

Candidates with the top scoring answers will be invited to a structured interview where you get to meet some of the team. At the interview stage you will be asked questions that reflect the role and also to complete a work-based task, so you have the chance to demonstrate your skills. It’s at this stage we first see your CV. We always give all applicants feedback, no matter what stage your application reaches.

Key dates

Role closes: 9th October at Midday

Interviews will take place: w/c 16th October

These dates are subject to change (although we try to keep them the same!

Please note:

You will need to have the right to work in the UK in order to be able to undertake this role. We will ask all applicants short-listed for an interview to provide evidence of their right to work during the recruitment process.  If you do not have the right to work for BIT but are the most suitable person for the role we will explore with you whether sponsorship may be an option. However, this may not be possible for all roles.

Some of the personal data you provide to Applied when you apply for a role with The Behavioural Insights Team will be passed on to The Behavioural Insights Team for the purposes of (a) reviewing your application; (b) inviting you for interview; and/or (c) offering you a job and getting you set up as an employee/contractor. For full details on how BIT collects and uses your personal data please visit our Global Recruitment Privacy Notice.

If your application is not successful, any personal data provided to us by Applied (including any personal data relating to equal opportunities monitoring as set out above) will be retained by The Behavioural Insights Team for no longer than 6 months after the application deadline has passed (other than in exceptional circumstances where we may need to retain your personal data for longer), at which point your personal data will be securely deleted. We only keep your information for that period in order to allow us to comply with relevant legal obligations.