Researcher - Mixed Methods

Advance HE supports universities in putting institutional strategy into practice for the benefit of students, staff and society.  We bring together HE-focused expertise in governance, leadership, teaching and learning, and equality, diversity and inclusion, to help Universities to deliver world-leading teaching, research and scholarship.  We do this through the provision of specialist knowledge and resources, externally recognised benchmarking and recognition schemes, and a member-focused, collaborative approach.    

Advance HE’s approach is evidence-based, using research to identify what works, and develop practice-based solutions. The work of the Research team is central to these aims, and the post holder will contribute significantly to consolidating the evidence base and raising the profile of Advance HE in the sector.

Job Description:

Reporting to Head of Knowledge and Research, the Researcher will develop and lead complex research projects across Advance HE’s portfolio of work to meet the delivery of the Operations Plan. 

The Researcher’s primary responsibilities are:

  • To work to their Operations Plan making effective use of resources, always adhering to budgets.
  • To lead and conduct research projects on a variety of topics using the most appropriate quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods, ensuring projects are delivered on time.
  • To prepare proposals for bespoke research projects or external invitations to tender and manage the delivery of outputs from specific successful bids, often autonomously.
  • To engage with relevant stakeholders, including HEIs, research collaborators, and external funders, representing Advance HE and negotiating details of research on sensitive topics as necessary.
  • To provide internal advice on appropriate methodological approaches.
  • Identify the key issues facing the HE sector and carry out rigorous analysis to inform Advance HE’s advice and guidance to the HE sector. 
  • To liaise with colleagues for across Advance HE to identify potential research, policy and practice related areas to meet the needs of members and for income generation.
  • To undertake commissioned work as and when required and ensure that this is delivered within agreed budgets.
  • To produce research resources and associated guidance and good practice materials to disseminate to the membership community and sector.
  • To provide research consultancy in line with capacity and expertise.
  • To ensure customer service standards are optimised.
  • To support appropriate Business Development activity to develop Advance HE's proposition.
  • To maintain area of specialist knowledge and expertise.
  • To work cross functionally as required.
  • To comply with processes and systems and to put forward suggestions for their ongoing development and improvement.
  • To live the values of Advance HE. To be responsible for delivering to deadlines. 

Agreed objectives will be set and performance will be measured by results and how they are achieved. 


Person specification:

Knowledge and skills

  • A degree and a qualification and/or in work training in the application of research methods.
  • A minimum of 2 years’ experience of conducting research especially within the HE sector, preferably in teaching and learning and/or equality, diversity and inclusion and/or leadership, governance and management related issues.
  • Demonstrable experience in conducting and analysing qualitative data, including interviews and focus groups, independently.
  • Demonstrable experience in collecting and analysing quantitative data, including surveys and national datasets.
  • Excellent numeracy and analytical skills with the ability to collect and analyse complex material and large-scale datasets.
  • Excellent IT skills and adept working in Excel, SPSS and CAQDAS software package(s).
  • Demonstrable experience of translating research into high quality reports, presentations and workshops that are accessible and comprehensive.
  • Experience of, or demonstrable experience of having the aptitude to manage the implementation of change management projects including culture change. 
  • A good understanding of the higher education sector and its policy context with the aptitude to develop specific knowledge in the areas of teaching and learning, equality, diversity and inclusion and leadership, governance and management.

Personal Characteristics

  • A collaborative and supporting personal style, helping to motivate and enthuse colleagues in meeting high standards and delivering client-focused outcomes
  • Ability and willingness to provide constructive challenge 
  • A passion for higher education and its pivotal societal role and a commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion
  • A highly effective communicator with the ability to adapt style to suit audience
  • A demonstrable commitment to high quality customer service provision and delivery to meet customer needs
  • Application of emotional and cultural intelligence, diplomacy and political skills as appropriate 


Closing date: 26 November 2018 

Interview date: 6 and 7 December 2018

For further information regarding the above position please contact Gary Loke, Director of Knowledge, Insights, Innovation & Delivery at

To apply for this position please download and complete our application form which also includes a personal statement on your suitability for the role.    

Advance HE is an equal opportunities employer, fully committed to creating and sustaining a fully inclusive culture.  We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and communities