Senior Researcher

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We are looking for a Senior Researcher to join the ODI team and work across ODI’s projects and programmes, including its Innovation programme.

Senior Researcher

Location: Shoreditch, London

Salary: Up to £50,000 per annum (dependent on experience) plus benefits

Fixed Term Contract until March 2020

We are looking for a Senior Researcher to join the ODI team and work across ODI’s projects and programmes, including its Innovation programme.

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

Reporting to the Director of Public Policy, the Senior Researcher leads and supports research projects, helps grow our internal community of practice, and supports the ODI’s monitoring and evaluation work.

The ODI delivers many projects and programmes for business and governments around the world. The successful candidate will lead some of them.

It is very important that all of our projects and team follow good research practices. 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 share more with our community.

It is also important that our work creates impact in a way that is aligned with both our mission and the needs of funders for particular initiatives. We want to monitor and share the impact of our work so that we can make better decisions about it. We do some of this monitoring and evaluation work internally and we also commission external partners to help us. The successful candidate will support the ODI’s existing monitoring and evaluation work in the Innovation and OpenActive programmes. Those programmes have monitoring and evaluation frameworks that will be refined. Over time we want to grow our monitoring and evaluation capability. This may not be an immediate priority, but you will help with that.

This is an exciting opportunity to have a huge impact helping people, businesses, and governments adapt to and shape the changes that data is bringing to our world.

Key responsibilities

You will:

  • Work with multidisciplinary teams to lead and manage projects, taking them from design to delivery and evaluation
  • Work with our Business Development team to help bring new work and funds into the organisation
  • Support other projects to create research frameworks and follow good practice
  • Help grow our internal research community of practice
  • Help develop research guides that we can use internally and share with our community
  • Promote good practice in research for others in the organisation
  • Develop reports, presentations and other communication materials to share evidence, insights and lessons in ODI and with our networks, stakeholders and community
  • Commission, coordinate, and provide quality control for external assessments of ODI’s work
  • Help us understand how we can grow our monitoring and evaluation capability
  • Line manage and provide professional development coaching to some of the ODI’s researchers

About you

You will have the following skills and experience:


  • Experience in and knowledge of current debates in the data and/or open culture movements
  • Experience in a senior research role.
  • Experience of working with multiple projects and teams in an agile environment.
  • Comfortable leading multidisciplinary teams researching issues around the application of data and technology, such as in the value of data, data sharing and access models, data infrastructure, ethical use of data and open innovation
  • Use of research findings to inform decisions in projects, policy and/or business environments
  • Experience of working with the public and private sectors
  • 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 quantitative and qualitative research methods
  • Comfortable planning, scoping, conducting, analysing and communicating research.
  • A storyteller and communicator, able to speak fluently to multiple audiences, through writing, presentations and other means
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and to short deadlines within a collaborative, flexible, and emergent environment
  • 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
  • Understanding of data protection and ethical implications of research
  • Interested in the mission and goals of ODI


  • An understanding of monitoring and evaluation design, for example how to select appropriate assessment methods, understanding if or when and where to use sampling methods
  • Experience of working with and developing theories of change, logic models or hypotheses
  • Experience setting KPIs, collecting and reporting data
  • Experience in supporting and constructively challenging others to plan critically

If you do not have all of these skills, knowledge and experience but you think that this is the right role for you then do apply.

About the ODI team

ODI values


You are good at what you do. You use your expertise to help with ODI’s mission. You are open and generous with that expertise and experience, and share it outside and inside ODI.

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


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

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


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

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


  • 5% 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

Please send a CV and cover letter explaining why you are the right candidate for the role to [email protected] by 5pm (GMT) on 20 February 2019.