ADR UK and Ministry of Justice seek academic lead for pioneering data linkage programme

Categories: Research projects, ADR UK Strategic Hub, Crime & Justice

26 September 2019

About Data First

Data First is a pioneering new programme that will have a real impact on evidence across justice and beyond, and will allow for key lessons of experience to be cascaded nationally.

This ambitious programme will help us to better understand and support our justice system users by improving and linking internal and external administrative data, making this available to analysts both in government and across academia, to enable and promote research in this field. The programme covers civil, family and criminal justice as well as emerging links to administrative data held by other government departments.

Overall, the aims of this programme are to:

  • Improve administrative data flows and internal and external data linking
  • Strengthen MoJ’s strategic research capabilities by facilitating research by external academics and researchers
  • Provide external academics with a sustainable and secure way to access relevant anonymised research-ready linked data extracts

The programme will include the commissioning of specific pieces of strategic research in line with MoJ’s Areas of Research Interest and Evidence Strategy.

About the role

We are looking for a part-time lead academic who can commit 2 to 3 days a week for at least one year, with the potential for extension to March 2022. The lead will be required to attend regular meetings in London, but can be based anywhere in the UK.

The role will sit in the newly formed ‘Evidence, Engagement and Experimentation (EEE) Unit’, which sits within the wider Data and Analytical Services Directorate at MoJ. Amongst other things, the lead academic will be expected to:

  • play a pivotal role in leading a paid Academic Advisory Group of 6-8 academics;
  • jointly supervise a team of five fast-stream Government Social Researchers who will be involved in initial data mapping and analysis of the new datasets;
  • and work with senior MoJ analysts to oversee strategic research commissioning based on the newly linked and shared datasets in line with the MoJ Evidence Strategy. There will be opportunities for the lead academic to publish from their work in collaboration with others.

The successful candidate will need to demonstrate a track record in social science research, established experience and leadership in data linking, a track record of working with government, and experience in proactively creating, maintaining and promoting a strong network of connections across research and policy contexts.

You can find out more about the opportunity in the full job specification, including instructions on how to apply. As part of the application, a costings template must also be completed.

Applications should be submitted to by 16:00 on 21 October 2019. Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview on 18 November 2019, with the role expected to begin in early 2020. We kindly suggest applicants discuss their application with their institutions prior to submission to allow the role to start as soon as possible in 2020.


Full job specification.

Costings template.

Further enquiries

Enquires relating to the application process should be addressed to:

  • Karen Powell, Senior Strategic Research and Impact Manager, ADR UK
  • Email: ( or
  • Telephone: 01793 759087 or 07584 113587

Enquiries related to the role may be addressed to:

  • Alexy Buck or Rachel Dubourg, Chief Social Researchers and Heads of Evidence, Engagement and Experimentation, Ministry of Justice
  • Email:
  • Telephone: 07973 714241

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