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We are looking for a Researcher to join the ODI team and work across ODI’s projects and programmes. You will initially work on our Innovation programme helping us to research data trusts.


Location: Shoreditch, London

Salary: Up to £35,000 per annum (dependent on experience) plus benefits

Fixed Term Contract until 31 March 2020

We are looking for a Researcher to join the ODI team and work across ODI’s projects and programmes. You will initially work on our Innovation programme helping us to research data trusts.

About the ODI 

The Open Data Institute (ODI) was co-founded by two visionary leaders: Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, and Sir Nigel Shadbolt, renowned AI professor. Our mission is to work with companies and governments to build an open, trustworthy data ecosystem, where people can make better decisions using data and manage any harmful impacts.

We deliver advisory, training and research and development services, encompassing public policy, business strategy and technology. Our programme of work is busy and constantly changing. We are committed to producing work at a high standard, delivering measurable value to our partners and clients aligned to our mission.

About the role

The ODI is delivering an Innovation programme, focussing on projects that it believes will progress strategically important areas: building data infrastructure, improving data literacy, stimulating data innovation and building trust in the use of data. Building on a project that explored how to increase access to data while retaining trust, the ODI is currently co-designing pilots to further understand how data trusts and other models could work in different contexts. This work involves research activities that will complement and inform the delivery of the pilots. 

We are looking to appoint a Researcher who will focus on this project, with a possibility to support other research activities under the innovation programme. Anticipated research activities under our data trust project include the regulatory environment for data trusts, investigating sustainable business models for data trusts, exploring how data trusts and similar data sharing models could be audited, and conducting research with citizens to understand which data access models they are more likely to trust and why.

We have several researchers across multiple internal teams. We have a growing community of practice that connects them together so they can learn from and with each other. This community uses a range of approaches across the spectrum from basic to applied research. We have openly published research guides and want to share more with our community. 

For this role, we are particularly interested in researchers who understand issues of trust and governance as they relate to data, but are open to applications from researchers with different competencies.

Key Responsibilities

As part of the ODI team you will:

  • Design, conduct and manage research projects on a variety of topics in tight timeframes.
  • Design and conduct desk research, stakeholder mapping, surveys and interviews on areas related to data and technology, drawing on wider theoretical frameworks. 
  • Coordinate with external partners, collaborators and clients in scoping and delivering work.
  • Communicate research findings to a wide range of audiences through high quality written reports, blogposts, presentations and workshops to ensure they have high impact.
  • Work with wider ODI team to define and shape the ODI’s research agenda, topics and policy positions.
  • Support others in ODI to strengthen their skills and knowledge in research.

About you

You will have the following skills and experience:


  • Experience in a research role
  • An understanding of research design, for example how to select appropriate research methods, understanding if or when and where to use sampling methods
  • Broad experience of qualitative research methods
  • Experience with quantitative research methods, including quantifying qualitative information and comfortable with metrics 
  • Able to use, understand and synthesise quantitative data and to combine them with qualitative research
  • Able to communicate in an accessible, engaging and factual manner and deliver presentations
  • Comfortable conducting research on issues around the application of data and technology
  • Enjoys collaborative working, flexible structures and an open office environment
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and to short deadlines
  • Ability to multi-task and move quickly between projects through effective prioritisation
  • Strong people skills and a positive attitude to working with non research specialists and appreciation of the contribution others can make
  • Organised and with attention to detail
  • Interested in the mission and goals of ODI


  • Experience of working within an emerging technology and regulatory environment
  • Knowledge of current debates in data and/or the open movement
  • Experience of using of software analytical tools such as R, Stata or Nvivo, QGIS or Carto
  • Experience of using of methods and tools such as network analysis, data visualisations, text analysis, natural language analysis or geospatial analysis
  • Familiarity with systems thinking
  • Understanding of privacy/GDPR implications for research practice
  • Use of research findings to inform decisions in projects and policy

About the ODI team


We are good at what we do. We use our expertise to achieve our mission. We are open and generous with our expertise and experience, and share it outside and inside ODI.

We can get better at what we do. We recognise the limits of our expertise and respect that of others. We are open to and seek advice, opinions and support to develop our expertise, within and outside ODI. We reflect on what works and what doesn’t to consciously learn, improve and grow.


We succeed when others flourish. We support and challenge others to do their best work. We open up opportunities for other people and organisations, and empower them to take them. We are as open as possible about what we are doing and what we have learnt. We encourage others to refine and build on our work.

We empathise with others so we can help them. We find out what people and organisations really need. We have empathy with their motivations and the constraints they operate under. We communicate in terms they understand.


We are trusted because we are honest and responsible. We are open with our opinion, open to hearing what others say, open to being wrong and open to changing our mind. We are not afraid to speak our mind when it is useful or important, and take responsibility for the results of doing so. We actively and curiously listen to others, and take responsibility for our responses to them.

We can do more than we might think. We are bold, creative and open to failure. We know what we do won’t be perfect at first but that doesn’t stop us. We start small and quickly, and iterate to improve.


  • 3% contributory pension
  • 30 days’ annual holiday
  • Life Assurance cover
  • Long-term disability cover
  • Critical illness cover
  • Flexible working
  • Coaching and mentoring for skills and personal development
  • £750 annual training budget toward your own professional development

How to apply

To apply please send your CV and a cover letter explaining why you would be a suitable candidate to [email protected]