A career in Government Social Research (GSR) involves working across the major departments of government – ensuring ministers and policy makers have the evidence, insight and understanding of social issues and trends that allows them to make the best policy decisions, and which allows them to monitor and evaluate the outcomes of those policy decisions and responses.
Research and evidence underpins all policy made by government on areas such as health, crime, work, pensions, education and transport – in fact everything that affects us as the people of the UK – so working as a Government Social Researcher puts you in the position to positively influence government policy and decision making, changing societal outcomes for the better.
As a Government Social Researcher you’ll contribute to the identification, investigation and reporting of social trends, the development of government policy, and the monitoring and evaluation of how policies make a difference to public services.
You will develop your social research skills, learning how social researchers operate in government, contributing to evidence-based decision making, evaluation, and consideration of the social dimension of differing policy areas and challenges.
GSR Fast Streamers are represented in all the main government departments, as well as the devolved administrations and other government bodies. On scheme you will therefore undertake a broad range of tasks and responsibilities, building up your professional and leadership experience, and developing your skills as a social researcher. 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 briefings for policy colleagues and ministers.
Promotion and successful completion of the scheme will see you earn around £45k to £55k. The scheme is designed so that, wherever you find yourself working in government beyond the GSR Fast Stream scheme, you will have the skills and experience that allow you to be a professional leader within government, helping ensure that social research and analysis sit at the heart of the policy-making, monitoring and evaluation processes.
For a full list of the eligible disciplines please visit our FAQ page via the CS Fast Stream Website.
You need to be eligible to work in the UK
You need, or expect to have a minimum 2:1 in your undergraduate degree, or 2:2 with a postgraduate degree, in a social science subject.
A qualifying social science subject is one which contains substantial social research methods training (comprising around one third of modules taken in the course) including quantitative research methods and three of the following: systematic/literature reviews; qualitative methods; interpretation of data and presentation of results; study design and hypothesis testing; and application of ethics to research.
We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
- Making Effective Decisions
- Seeing the Big Picture
- Changing and Improving
- Communicating and Influencing
- Working Together
- Developing Self and Others
Benefits The GSR Fast Stream offers a unique and fantastic opportunity to begin your career as a government social researcher on the strongest possible footing. You will have the opportunity to work on issues that really matter, learn how government works, and gain the skills and experience that will allow you to be a future leader within the UK Civil Service.
In addition you will also have access to the benefits available to all UK Civil Servants, including the Civil Service pension scheme, professional qualifications, flexible working, season ticket loans, sports and social activities, child care assistance and more.