Institute for the Future of Work (IFOW) Researcher
Location London, UK
Application deadline 11 November 2019
Contract type Permanent
Hours Full-time
Salary GBP35,000 - GBP40,000 FTE (dependent on experience)
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The Institute for the Future of Work (IFOW) is an independent charity with a mission to shape a future in which work is better and fairer. We seek out the most pressing challenges – and seize opportunities – to (i) advance education into changes to the world of work and (ii) prevent and relieve in-work poverty through the Fourth Industrial Revolution (‘4IR’). Our organisation has grown out of the Future of Work Commission. Our ‘entry point’ to identify, examine and respond to Future of Work challenges is the 4IR: the implications of technology on work at an individual, firm and systems level. Our research indicates that new technologies are behind the most exciting opportunities – and challenging trends – which bear on work across the UK.

The role

You will be an experienced researcher who can demonstrate a successful track record of leading and managing grant-funded research activities, and of report writing. You will have a degree in a relevant discipline in humanities or social sciences, and experience in a research or research management environment. You should be comfortable working and learning across disciplines. You should have broad knowledge of the technologies used in the modern workplace and some of the impacts their implementation has on working practices across sectors.

Key roles and responsibilities

The post holder is expected to have a passion for the topic and model IFOW’s values and objectives:

Our objectives

  • Explore changes to the world of work focusing on the impact of technology
  • Identify key challenges to make workforce transition better and fairer
  • Connect people with different perspectives to enrich ideas and research
  • Solve problems by creating and piloting practical solutions with communities in transition
  • Engage policy-makers to share and scale solutions, making informed preparation for a future of work which benefits everyone

Our values

  • Cooperation. We value working cooperatively with those who share our mission. Collaboration improves our work and maximises our impact.
  • Inclusion. We include and empower people experiencing the problems we are trying to solve. Empowering people is central to our mission.
  • Ethics. We consider the broadest ethical implications of our work. We believe in leading by example.
  • Independence. We are politically neutral and work with actors across the political spectrum. We believe that building common ground will drive change.
  • Innovation. We use technology creatively to support our policy development and engagement. We believe that technology should complement human work.

Key Relationships:

Internal – The post holder works closely with:

  • Director
  • Head of Operations
  • Research Fellows

External – The post holder works closely with:

  • External researchers
  • Frontline workers and organisations
  • Charities and think tanks
  • Government departments
  • Business
  • Trade unions

Key Accountabilities:

The Researcher will work with and assist the IFOW team in the implementation of our strategic goals and research strategy:

  • Co-design new areas for research
  • Undertake primary and secondary research
  • Coordinate and manage research-related projects
  • Research communications and stakeholder management
  • Keeping accurate databases of meetings and stakeholders with relevant information

Detailed Responsibilities:

Internal research support (65%):

  • Effectively plan work and manage projects to ensure the achievement of goals to deadlines
  • Focus work to implement the team’s research plan and contribute to the achievement of IFOW’s strategic aims and priorities
  • Support the Director and Head of Operations to ensure effective management of IFOW’s research-related programs
  • Support and promote the dissemination and implementation of research findings
  • Undertake research-related projects to support the IFOW team and wider organisational objectives
  • Work with the rest of the team to ensure the timely and high-quality delivery of in-house research projects
  • Work with researchers on external projects to agree appropriate methodologies and set research questions
  • Co-ordinate the administration of internal/external research work and analyse results

Stakeholder comms and engagement (20%):

  • Develop collaborative working relationships with internal and external stakeholders (including researchers and other research funders) to maximise returns generated from research activities
  • Provide information on research to internal IFOW members, members of the public and professionals including via digital channels
  • Support and contribute to internal and external events as a representative of the charity including national and international conferences

Monitoring and recording (15%):

  • Develop detailed targets and key performance indicators for each project
  • Monitor performance against objectives, outcomes and KPIs
  • Use appropriate methods (in line with team practices) to keep records of stakeholder communications, conversations and scoping for projects with potential research partners
  • Record and store research interviews and information in line with IFOW policy
  • Track developments in the future of work policy environment and be able to draw up regular bulletins of updates
  • Work to monitor and evaluate the impact of funded work across programmes


  • Compliance with our governance procedures, policies and procedures
  • Contribute to a positive working environment in which equality and diversity are valued and staff are enabled to do their best
  • Contribute to the work of the broader team
  • Responsible for the effective use of financial and other resources

Other Duties

  • To be prepared to travel to meetings in London (semi-regularly) and across the UK (occasionally) and be away from home overnight (occasionally), as the role reasonably demands

Experience and skills



  • At least three years of research experience in a policy environment
  • First degree in a relevant discipline
  • Published reports as an author or co-author
  • Evidence of continuing professional development


  • Masters or PhD in a relevant discipline

Knowledge and skills


  • Awareness of a range of research methodologies, including basic quantitative and advanced qualitative research and how they can be applied to answer research questions
  • Proven ability to manage long-term, complex projects and deliver to deadlines
  • Proven ability to manage change, work with ambiguity and to organise and prioritise a diverse workload
  • Good organisational skills with an eye for detail; the ability to manage and interpret complex information
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills with the ability to effectively and appropriately communicate complex research to non-specialists
  • Proficient in relevant IT packages including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, macOS and research software
  • Excellent interpersonal skills – able to influence/persuade a wide range of stakeholders
  • Proven ability to work independently and collaboratively
  • Demonstrable commitment to collaborative teamwork
  • Demonstrable commitment to inclusive working, ensuring equality and valuing diversity


  • Good understanding of the tools and techniques used to assess the impact of research
  • Awareness of the UK policy environment and the ability to think critically and adaptively about the impact of technology on the future of work
  • Awareness of research grant-awarding processes
  • Experience of writing research grant applications in an academic, grant funding or other setting
  • Knowledge and experience of using statistical methods for research, including use of statistical software packages (Stata, R)