GSR members come from a range of social science backgrounds including psychology, social policy, geography, sociology, political science, criminology and social statistics. GSR members are recruited through rigorous assessment procedures ensuring high quality social scientists are employed as government social researchers.
GSR Social Researchers are based in Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield, London, Newport, Titchfield
What would I do?
Government social researchers play a critical role in gathering analysing and interpreting the information that forms the foundation for decision-making affecting every UK resident. As a Research Officer (Fast Stream) working for a civil service organisation you can contribute to the reporting of social trends, the development of government policy and evaluation of how policies make a difference to public services. Your work might involve developing surveys, analysing data, producing statistics, reviewing existing research evidence and working with other analysts in government to provide timely, relevant and robust briefing for policy colleagues and Ministers.
What about training and promotion?
The GSR fast stream provides a platform for talented and motivated social researchers to reach the highest levels of responsibility in the Civil service. As a Research Officer (Fast Stream) you will follow a development programme designed to develop your social research, managerial and communication skills, and to prepare you for promotion to more senior roles. In your first few years you can expect to move jobs every eighteen months to two years, and you could widen your experience by taking a secondment to another government department. Promotion is based on merit. The first promotion is to Senior Research Officer and you should be ready for this after two years or so (this depends on skills and experience and availability of Senior Research roles, so it could take more or less than two years). After a couple of years as a Senior Research Officer you could have developed the skills and experience needed for promotion to Principal Research Officer and ideally, you’ll be keen to take on a post in the Senior Civil Service after that.
What qualifications/experience do I need?
To join the GSR as a Research Officer (Fast Stream) you must have, or expect to get in 2012, a first or upper second-class honours degree in a *relevant social science with a substantial social research component or, a second class honours degree with a relevant postgraduate qualification in social research.
Experience of working in an applied research setting is desirable but not essential.
*relevant social science disciplines include:
- Area and Development Studies
- Economic and Social History
- Environmental Planning
- Human Geography
- Management and Business Studies
- Methods and Computing
- Political Science and International Studies
- Science and Technology Studies
- Social Anthropology
- Social Policy
- Social Work
- Socio-Legal Studies
- Sociology and Statistics
Where will I work?
- You will begin your GSR career employed by a specific government organisation/department. Which one will depend on where there are vacancies. We will look at candidate’s preferences on the application form but as we are only expecting to be able to offer a very small number of places, the chances of meeting your preferences are significantly reduced. As your time on the fast stream, and your career progresses, you may choose to apply for roles in other GSR organisations/departments.
- aries vary between departments. The average starting salary in London is about £25,000 for someone with a first degree. Some departments do pay more to reflect relevant postgraduate qualifications.
How much would I earn?
Salaries vary between departments. You can find out about a starting pay in departments in What do Social Researchers do? The average starting salary in London is about £25,000.
The Fast Stream is open to applicants who are UK nationals, Commonwealth citizens or European Economic Area (EEA) nationals with an unrestricted right to reside in the UK.
Please note that it is possible to meet the above nationality requirements and still not be legally entitled to work in the UK. The UK Border Agency operates a points-based immigration policy which applies to the migrants from outside the European Economic Area, Switzerland and Turkey.
It is your responsibility to check whether this policy applies to you. Departments are under no obligation to sponsor work permits under the UK Border Agency’s points-based immigration policy. Therefore, if you require a permit to work in the UK, there is no guarantee that you will be offered a place even if you pass the Fast Stream selection process. In these circumstances the decision to apply, which might involve travel to the UK two or more times to complete the selection process, is yours alone. We can take no responsibility if no place is available for you in the Fast Stream on immigration grounds.
The Fast Stream nationality requirements are determined by the Civil Service nationality requirements. For full detail see:
Candidates who pass the Social Research Assessment Centre and the Fast Stream Assessment Centre may defer appointment for up to 12 months to complete a relevant post graduate degree.
At the GSR we welcome applications from anyone with the necessary qualifications, regardless of sex, marital status, race, colour, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability or, in Northern Ireland, community background. There are no age limits, but employng departments will expect several years’ service before retirement.