Senior Research Adviser, Research and Policy Insight
Flexible Location
Country / Territory
Flexible Location
Flexible Location
Corporate Headquarters
Job Category
Corporate Affairs
Pay Band
Pay Band 8
Vacancy Description
Payband: 8 Location: UK Flexible Contract type: Permanent Business Unit: Education and Society Closing date 15th August 2019 at 23:59 UK Time. Candidates must have the right to in the UK to be considered for the role

Please note that in December 2020, the British Council will relocate its new global headquarters to: International Quarter, Stratford, London E20.



About us:

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.  We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. We do this by making a positive contribution to UK and the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.


 We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body.


The Senior Research Adviser will contribute to the development of the British Council’s global research strategy by supporting the commissioning and management of research projects and programmes, developing research partnerships and the coordination and delivery of the British Council’s research portfolio across the global network.

The Research & Policy Insight (RPI) team sits within the Cultural Engagement Directorate , and is a function for the whole of the British Council. The team aims to generate new and useful knowledge that helps ensure the British Council:

  • is recognised, in the UK and overseas, for expertise and insight on cultural relations and soft power, and our contribution to policy is actively sought as a thought leader in our key thematic areas of expertise, including Arts, Education and Languages, Civil Society, and Peace and Conflict Resolution.
  • helps to contribute to the discourse on soft power, inform policy, shape dialogue, engages our stakeholders in the UK and in the countries where we operate, and improves the impact and effectiveness of our programmes
  • builds our capacity as an organisation to benefit from research, by ourselves and others, in order to make strategic decisions, engage with global research stakeholders, and to share insight and research findings to further our charitable purpose

The team works collaboratively across the organisation to gain insight from our longstanding experience in the over 100 countries that we work with. Working within key priorities and themes from Arts to Education and Languages, Civil Society to Peace and Conflict Resolution, the research we conduct supports the British ​Council as a thought leader and provides evidence of impact for our work in cultural relations. In research the team:

  • enhances the British Council’s reputation as a leader in Arts, Education, English and Society - working with internal and external experts 
  • contributes to the body of knowledge through high quality research
  • provides internal teams with expert research findings on Arts, Education, English and Society

This is an exciting time to join a new team created to connect our research leadership across the whole of the organisation, from policy and strategy to the full range of the British Council’s programmes. The British Council is a unique organisation with a historic cultural relations mission and huge geographic and thematic reach. It is both the UK’s largest charity and a non-departmental public  (NDPB) at the heart of the UK’s international relations. With the growing recognition of the importance of soft power and increasing geostrategic complexity, thought leadership and research will play an important role in the preparation for a new strategy to 2025 and beyond.

 Opportunities and challenges: 
  • Managing a varied global research portfolio co-commissioned with staff from across the British Council
  • Developing successful national and international research partnerships 
  • Building capacity for the team and the organisation through effective research commissioning, management, application, communication and dissemination
  • Contributing to a central research repository for the British Council to hold information, analysis and training materials for British Council colleagues interested in or needing research
  • Development of own research expertise and experience in specific sector area
  • Building the profile of the British Council’s research expertise and contributing to the work of the Research and Policy Insight team as a whole

About you:

 •Ideally 3 + years in project management or equivalent relevant experience 

•Experience of managing, designing conducting, coordinating and communicating research, ideally in a university, research institute, public sector or think tank setting. 

•Experience of budget management, including planning, forecasting and reporting

•Experience of writing research calls and grant writing, and/or experience of writing research proposals and grant applications

•Experience of a range of research methodologies and analytic techniques, including both quantitative and qualitative

•Experience of Microsoft tools including MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint and SharePoint 

•Knowledge and experience of working in at least one of the areas of British Council cultural relations work – education (including schools, skills and further education), arts and culture, civil society (including creative enterprise, gender and inclusion) English and Languages. 

•Experience of working with senior managers and high level stakeholders including academic and research partners

•Ability to communicate to influence


BC Behaviours.pdf
Role Profile.docx


 Our Equality Commitment: 

Valuing diversity is essential to the British Council’s work. We aim to abide by and promote equality legislation by following both the letter and the spirit of it to avoid unjustified discrimination, recognising discrimination as a barrier to equality of opportunity, inclusion and human rights. All staff worldwide are required to ensure their behaviour is consistent with our policies.   

The British Council is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and is keen to reflect the diversity of UK society at every level within the organisation. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. In line with the British Council's Child Protection policy, any appointment is contingent on thorough checks. In the UK, and in other countries where appropriate systems exist, these include criminal records checks.