ADR Wales is hiring: Research Fellow - WISERD

Category: Jobs

21 September 2022

Research Fellow, WISERD

  • Salary: £44,737 - £51,805 per annum
  • Location: The Wales Institute for Social and Economic Research and Data, Cardiff University, Wales
  • Hours: Full time, 35 hours per week. Flexible working hours will be considered.
  • Contract type: Fixed term.
  • Closing date: 4 October 2022.

Purpose of the role

WISERD is a collaborative venture between the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Swansea, and South Wales.

Its aims are: to build upon and develop existing expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methods and methodologies; to develop and integrate a coherent set of research data relating to Wales; to build networks of researchers and research capacity across Wales in the economic and social sciences, as well as contributing to UK wide research capacity building; to explore the relationships between research data, research methods and the development and understanding of policy; to develop a sustainable increase in the quantitative research base across the social sciences in Wales through academic appointments and training; to increase collaborative interdisciplinary research grant applications and interaction with policy makers and the private sector through consultancy. 

WISERD is based at the School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, and the post will be managed by Professor Chris Taylor. For further details contact Professor Taylor here:

The post is in part supported by Administrative Data Research Wales, a world-class administrative data research centre funded by the ESRC since 2018 that is known for its ability to access, link and make safe use of data for high quality research.
The post holder will be responsible for the delivery of a programme of research based primarily upon the analysis of administrative education data. 

They will be responsible for engagement with policy makers and stakeholders within the Welsh education sector in the development of this research programme and the dissemination of its findings. 

The post holder will contribute to the overall research performance of WISERD, the School of Social Sciences and University through a commitment to carrying out research leading to the publishing of work in high-quality research outputs.


The key responsibilities of this post will be to:

  • To provide research leadership and project management for programmes of educational research undertaken by the WISERD Education Data Lab based upon secondary quantitative analysis of large-scale administrative data sets or complex surveys, such as longitudinal or cohort studies.
  • To disseminate research findings using appropriate and effective national and international publications, research seminars, meetings and conferences and to manage the production of the Data Lab’s ongoing series of blogs and research briefings.
  • To build, create and sustain networks both internally and externally to the university to influence decisions, explore future research requirements, and share research ideas for the benefit of research projects. These activities include managing and sustaining governance arrangements for the Data Lab encompassing representatives from schools, local authorities and other educational agencies in Wales.
  • To supervise and develop research staff encompassing the line management of research associates/research assistants based within the WISERD Education Data Lab.  In liaison with WISERD’s senior administrator, direct the work undertaken by administrative staff supporting the Data Lab.
  • Independently develop research objectives within the area of education for own or joint research including research funding acting as a PI as required. To develop research networks through regular national/international conference/seminar presentations.
  • To generate and pursue independent and original research ideas in the field of research and support the initiation of new lines of research in related areas.
  • To provide guidance to students in own specialist area, including supervising and assessing undergraduate projects
  • To support the WISERD Director and Cardiff Co-Directors in the delivery and sustainability of the WISERD research centre, participate in WISERD administration and activities to promote WISERD and its work to the wider University and the outside world and represent the Education Data Lab at WISERD Management Meetings.
  • To build and create networks with industrial, commercial and public sector organisations, professional institutions, other academic institutions etc., regionally and nationally to raise awareness of the School’s profile, to cultivate strategically valuable alliances, and to pursue opportunities for collaboration across a range of activities. These activities are expected to contribute to WISERD and the enhancement of its regional and national profile
  • Any other duties not included above, but consistent with the role.

Essential skills, qualifications and experience

  • Postgraduate degree at PhD level in a related subject area or relevant industrial experience
  • Established expertise and proven portfolio of research and/or relevant professional experience within the field of educational processes or outcomes (such as attainment, attendance and wellbeing).
  • Experience of accessing, managing, analysis and supporting others in the use of large-scale administrative datasets.
  • Expertise of UK and Welsh Government’s educational priorities and policy environment and the challenges of raising educational attainment.
  • Growing national reputation within academic field, including a proven record of high-quality academic outputs in national journals and/or other research outputs, reports produced on behalf of commissioning organisations and/or other research outputs. 
  • Demonstrable skills in project management, including conducting research on behalf and to the satisfaction of external organisations and liaising with funders.
  • Proven ability to attain competitive research funding along with a strong portfolio of research grants.
  • Proven substantial record of publications in national/journals and or other research outputs.
  • Proven ability in effective and persuasive communication
  • Proven ability to lead and develop a research team and proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and team-working within work.

Desirable criteria

  • Proven ability to work without close supervision
  •  Experience of undertaking social research in the context of Wales
  •  Experience of working with, and communicating research findings to, external stakeholders.
  •  Evidence of collaborations with non-academic organisations.

About Cardiff University School of Social Sciences

The School of Social Sciences is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in research and teaching across a range of subject areas, including social policy, sociology, criminology, education, social psychology, and social work.

Over 220 staff (including over 30 professors and 60 researchers) are involved in a substantial programme of research - both fundamental and strategic - funded by ESRC, AHRC, MRC, charitable foundations, the European Union, Central Government departments and agencies and voluntary associations. Since its creation in 1999, the School has received over 25 million pounds for funded research. 

The School has a large student population, with almost 1000 undergraduates, and 300 postgraduates (including 100 doctoral students).  The School has ESRC recognition for doctoral training in the fields of Criminology, Social Policy, Sociology, Education, and Science, Technology and Innovation. Our taught and postgraduate research programmes welcome students from around the world.

The School hosts a number of research centres and institutes, including the Universities’  Police Studies Institute (UPSI), now part of the University’s Crime & Security Research Institute; Wales Institute for Economic Research & Data (WISERD); Children's Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE Centre for Development, Evaluation, Complexity and Implementation in Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer); Cardiff Unit for Research and Evaluation in Medical and Dental Education (CUREMeDE); and the Seafarers’ International Research Centre (SIRC). Many of the School’s research centres will soon be housed in the Social Science Research Park (SPARK), which is currently being developed as part of Cardiff University’s new Innovation Campus.

How to apply

Online applications only preferred for this role. Please submit a CV and covering letter which clearly outlines how you fulfil the criteria specified along with your motivation for WISERD and the role.

Cardiff University is a signatory to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions we will evaluate applicants on the quality of their research, not publication metrics or the identity of the journal in which the research is published. 

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who have the ambition to create a University which seeks to fulfil our social, cultural and economic obligation to Cardiff, Wales, and the world.

You can apply on the Cardiff University Jobs Portal.

Cardiff University School of Social Sciences holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award that recognises good employment practice and a commitment to develop the careers of women working in academia. Cardiff University is an equal opportunities employer and positively encourages applications from suitably qualified and eligible candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity. We actively encourage women to apply.

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