User Researcher – Research & Development Programme

The Open Data Institute is looking for an experienced User Researcher to help deliver an exciting new programme of work.

Location: Shoreditch, London

Salary: £40,000- £50,000 per annum (dependent on experience) plus benefits

Fixed Term Contract until March 2020

The Open Data Institute is looking for an experienced User Researcher to help deliver an exciting new programme of work.

About the ODI

The Open Data Institute (ODI) was co-founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the web, and Sir Nigel Shadbolt, renowned AI professor. Our mission is to build a strong, fair and sustainable data economy, by helping businesses and governments get data to people who need it. We help our partners to inform decisions, drive efficiencies and create opportunities using data.

The ODI works with governments, NGOs and commercial enterprises all over the world. 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 very high standard and delivering measurable value to our partners and clients.

About the role

The ODI is delivering a three-year programme of Research & Development. The programme will focus 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. It will enable the UK to build on its established strengths in data and data analytics, break new ground in creating value from data across industry, and ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of data innovation globally.

We are looking for an experienced User Researcher to work with cross functional teams alongside the Policy and Technology teams to investigate a range of projects relevant to the data agenda. These include topics such as ethics in Artificial Intelligence, innovation with Geospatial data, de-identification of personal data and international data trade.

This role will involve understanding complex technological, business and regulatory landscapes and synthesising information in a clear, engaging and factual manner. The research undertaken in this role will inform policy, proposition, service, content and interaction design for ODI products. Experience of working within an emerging technology and regulatory environment is desirable.

Key Responsibilities

As part of the R&D team and reporting to the Project Lead, you will:

  • Define, plan, and conduct user research to understand both user behaviour and attitudes.
  • Be an advocate for user needs and champion best research practice across the organisation.
  • Deliver compelling insights to the product and design teams.
  • Facilitate evidence-based product and design decisions.
  • Develop and innovate on our mixed-methods user research practice.
  • Work with cross-functional colleagues to shape the product direction with your insights.
  • Review and update user centered profiles.
  • Conduct early stage qualitative research using methods such as ethnographic studies, diary studies, qualitative interviews and experience mapping.
  • Test early stage prototypes through usability sessions.
  • Write clear and concise summaries suitable for a non-technical audience, to communicate the outputs.
  • Work with ODI production and external contractors to devise methods for producing engaging outputs from the research data.

About you – skills, knowledge and experience


  • Extensive experience in a research role.
  • Broad experience of qualitative research methods.
  • Comfortable planning, scoping, conducting, analysing and communicating research.
  • Familiar with quantitative research methods, comfortable with metrics and A/B tests, and ability to use, understand and synthesise quantitative data and to combine them with qualitative research.
  • A great storyteller and communicator, able to speak fluently to businesses, designers, engineers and other stakeholders (in English).
  • You enjoy collaborative work in a dynamic, data-driven, creative environment.
  • Experience of working with cross-functional digital teams in an Agile environment with Scrum or Kanban processes and roles.
  • 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.
  • Organised and with excellent attention to detail.  
  • Cares about the mission and goals of ODI.


  • You have a degree in Psychology, Human Computer Interaction, Social Science, or a related field.
  • Experience working in a delivery context on digital projects or programmes.
  • Experience of working with cross functional digital teams in an Agile environment with Scrum or Kanban processes and roles.
  • Experience of working in the public sector and/or with SMEs and start-ups.
  • Good quantitative/data skills.
  • Experience coaching others in best practice.

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].