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Senior Research Officer

Job description

Job: Senior Research Officer

Type: Temporary

Location: Greater Belfast

Salary:£65,051 - £67,024

Hours of work: 37.5 Hours Per Week (Monday- Friday) The Senior Research Officer is a member of the Research and Information Service Management Team.

Three SROs, the Senior Statistics Officer and the Head of RaISe form the RMT and are responsible for the delivery of professional, evidence based and non-partisan research and information services to the Assembly and the Assembly Commission.

The SRO leads a team of research and information professionals that provide the core subject expertise pertaining to the Assembly’s legislative and scrutiny responsibilities.

SROs are responsible for ensuring the delivery of evidence-based research analyses that are routinely published and delivered orally in open Committee sessions.


Main duties and responsibilities of both the Research Officers are:


Main duties and responsibilities of the Research Officer are:


The main duties and responsibilities of the post are to:

  • 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


  • 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


  • Proactively identify, nurture, forge and create appropriate networks to support

RaISe 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


  • 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.




Essential Criteria:

Applicants must, by the closing date:

1.    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.




2.    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;




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


4.    At least 3 years’ professional experience of making oral presentations based on their research.