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Senior Research Officer

Posted 01/02/2024

£65000 - £66000 per annum + Excellent AL allowance, Hybrid working



Public Sector

Job Description

MCS Group is proud to be partnering with the Northern Ireland Assembly in their search for a Senior Research Officer for up to 6 months! Applications for the role close at 12 Noon on Friday 16th February.

The role:

As a key member of the Research and information management team you will:

  • Manage one of the five RaISe teams, including responsibility for managing research and information demands and the delivery of evidence-based research analyses and information products that support the Assembly's legislative and scrutiny responsibilities.
  • Effectively manage the team's staff and resources including; planning and delivering the team's forward work programmes comprising; the Executive's Programme for Government, Committee inquiries, Private Members' Bills, Executive legislation, plenary business and Member enquiries.
  • Ensure RaISe service standards are met, business plans delivered within agreed deadlines and research and information products meet customer needs.
  • Plan, balance and allocate team workloads through establishing workplans based on engagement with Committee Clerks, Assembly Commission management, departmental officials and/or MLAs regarding a range of issues, including; the Executive Programme for Government, the Executive's legislative agenda, Private Members' Bills, the Assembly's Order Papers, Assembly Committees' forward work programmes and MLA enquiries.
  • Ensure good and regular communication with RaISe clients (Committees,MLAs and Senior Management) so that realistic targets are agreed and delivered.
  • Proactively identify, nurture, forge and create appropriate networks to support service development through establishing links with government officials, external research bodies/communities, and other parliamentary library and research services.
  • Identify cross team working initiatives for the RMT that enable multi-disciplinary research, address overloads in research demand and enable service improvement.
  • Beyond the management of their research team, have lead responsibility for delivery of agreed RaISe initiatives implemented across the teams. These initiatives can, for example, involve the development and management of student placements, joint working with academia, international development work with other parliaments, joint working with legislative research services based in the UK and Ireland and the adoption of new digital technologies.
  • Ensure through SRO review and team peer review that all outputs from the team meet RaISe standards of providing evidence-based policy/legislative analysis that is timely, impartial, non-partisan and fit for Assembly business purposes.
  • Monitor and review team performance to ensure consistency with RaISe Service standards while providing accountability for RaISe products and support services.
  • Plan, manage and deliver bespoke training programmes to MLAs, party support staff and Assembly Commission staff.
  • Contribute to RaISe's development to ensure efficient and effective use of resources and continuous improvement of the quality and range of research outputs.
  • Contribute to RaISe's budgetary planning, spending and monitoring processes through expenditure profiling, in-year bidding/allocating and reporting, along with identifying financial support requirements, monitoring and profiling expenditure and drafting of business cases for SMT approval where required.
  • Ensure the effective use of financial and other resources to meet the needs of customers including the contracting of external research support when appropriate.
  • Interface directly with a range of key customers, while maintaining and enhancing relationships through effective negotiating and influencing skills.
  • Plan, manage and deliver the training and development needs of staff within their team.
  • Manage information and records in accordance with established policies and statutory requirements.
  • Comply with all of the Assembly Commission's staff policies and procedures including Equal Opportunities and Dignity at Work policies and procedures and all mandatory training requirements.
  • Carry out other duties that the Assembly Commission reasonably requires.

The Person:

As the successful candidate, you will meet the following criteria:

  • An honours degree (of minimum 2:1 classification) or a degree of an equivalent or higher standard in any subject area. The onus is on the candidate to demonstrate how their degree meets this criterion;


  • At least 5 years' professional experience as a researcher or professional information provider. Applicants will be expected to demonstrate that they have experience of conducting non-partisan, evidence-based peer reviewed research and producing research and information briefings/reports involving the proficient application and publication of evidence-based analysis;


  • At least 2 years' experience of having managed research tasks, including managing competing, concurrent priorities and leading improvements.


  • At least 3 years' professional experience of making oral presentations based on their research.

The Rewards:

As the successful applicant, you will receive the following:

  • £65,051 per annum
  • Excellent annual leave allowance
  • Hybrid working arrangement
  • You will be joining a highly specialist team of research professionals

To speak in absolute confidence about this opportunity please send an up-to-date CV via the link provided or contact Adam Stinson (028 969 35504) at MCS Group

Even if this position is not right for you, we may have others that are. Please visit MCS Group to view a wide selection of our current jobs

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