Senior Researcher (Evaluation)

Nesta Senior Researcher
Location London, UK
Application deadline 27 April 2021
Contract type Permanent
Hours Part-time
Salary Circa GBP42,000 plus excellent benefits
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We are Nesta. The UK’s innovation agency for social good. We confront challenges that affect millions of people, from inequality and ill-health to the climate crisis.

We believe that innovation offers more potential now than ever before. We see opportunities to mobilise citizens and influence behaviour. Private and public capital that can be used more creatively. A wealth of data to mine. And so we draw on these rich resources by bringing together diverse teams. Data scientists, designers and behavioural scientists. Practitioners, academics, entrepreneurs and people with lived experience.

Together, we design, test and scale new solutions to society’s biggest problems. We partner with frontline organisations, build new businesses and work to change whole systems. Harnessing the rigour of science and the creativity of design, we work relentlessly to put new ideas to the test.

The role

The Senior Researcher (Evaluation) will work in a small, focussed team, responsible for supporting Nesta’s Missions to deliver projects to a high standard. This will involve designing and undertaking, but also at times commissioning robust, cost-effective evaluations of Nesta projects, and for monitoring and supporting commissioned research groups to ensure that they are delivered to a high standard.

Key roles and responsibilities

  • Contribute to the design of robust, cost-effective impact evaluations of Nesta projects – including Randomised Controlled Trials and Quasi-Experimental Designs.
  • Coordinate, manage and oversee the various aspects of rapid-cycle tests, A/B tests and other experiments in Nesta projects, working with colleagues in Mission teams and Practice teams (e.g., Design team) with senior support as required.
  • Develop recruitment processes and materials for evaluations as needed.
  • Contribute to the development and review of trial protocols and study plans, statistical analysis plans and trial reports, and development of relevant templates and processes for Nesta-wide use.
  • Oversee, monitor and support the contracted external evaluation delivery organisations (e.g., universities, research consultancies) to ensure that they are delivered to a high standard.
  • Support set up and management of Nesta’s data archive, including working closely with Mission managers to ensure data from Nesta evaluations is archived effectively.
  • Undertake other duties which may from time to time be requested by the Director of Evidence and Experimentation.

Experience and skills


  • Good understanding of technical aspects of evaluation methodologies (randomised controlled trials, non-experimental designs, choice of outcome measurement, etc.) and an ability to contribute to high quality evaluation plans and reports
  • Good understanding of theories of change, mixed-methods evaluation designs and implementation and process evaluation using both qualitative and quantitative research methods [TE5]
  • First-hand experience of managing evaluations and running trials
  • Good quantitative data analysis skills relating and good knowledge of statistical software packages (such as Stata)
  • Good knowledge of research ethics and data protection legislation
  • Excellent project management skills and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Ability to manage relationships and communicate effectively with practitioners, academics and policy makers, e.g. liaising with innovation partners, evaluation panel
  • Strong organisational and project management skills along
  • Ability to work independently with strong attention to detail and commitment to fact checking own work
  • High levels of initiative along with a willingness to take responsibility for their own workload and professional development


  • Strong understanding of mixed method impact evaluation designs and implementation and process evaluation
  • Experience working in a mission area of social policy
  • Understanding of UK innovation context and appreciation of social policy (rather than say pure medical health)

The main responsibilities of this role are as described here. As our needs as a charity change, we may need to make reasonable changes from time to time, in consultation with you.