Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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Research Officer

Institution: Cardiff University

Job Reference Number: 5541BR

Start date: 1st March 2017

Duration: 1 year (Maternity Cover)

Closing date: Saturday, 21 January 2017

Salary: £32,004 - £38,183 per annum (Grade 6)

To apply please visit Cardiff Job Opportunities.


Cardiff University School of Social Sciences is looking to recruit a Research Officer to work within the Administrative Data Research Centre Wales (ADRC Wales) located in The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD). The successful candidate will guide researchers in their applications to use ADRC-W data and will collaborate closely with colleagues from across the UK Administrative Data Network (ADRN) and staff from government departments, National Statistical Authorities and other data suppliers to support the development of the ADRN network.

This is a full time post of 35 hours a week covering a period of maternity leave from 1st March 2017 to the 28th February 2018.

Main Function of Post

The post holder will be working on a range of activities that contribute to the running of a high quality user support service that ensures that the analytical opportunities provided by ADRC WALES are accessible to the widest possible community of researchers from across social science disciplines. 

Utilising both distributed as well as secure settings, you will work extensively with large complex data sets to develop and enhance sources on behalf of the research community, assess and plan support for researchers and to contribute to the research activity of ADRC Wales 

You will also collaborate closely with colleagues from across the UK ADRN and staff from government departments, National Statistical Authorities and other data suppliers to support the development of the ADRN network.

Job Description   

  • Guide researchers in their applications to use ADRC-W data by providing guidance on the feasibility of the proposed research, advising on data requirements (including risk reduction strategies) and quality assuring applications for data prior to their submission for review.
  • Provide statistical and methodological support to researchers and colleagues that meet the varied needs and abilities of social scientists from across a variety of academic disciplines.
  • Undertake a variety of data management functions with large-scale complex linked data sets including the undertaking data analysis to understand the statistical properties of sources, preparing supporting documentation and producing reports related to the cleaning, validation, match efficacy, and quality assurance processes undertaken by ADRC-W staff to prepare the data for research use, and running of statistical programmes on behalf of researchers via remote job submissions.
  • Examine research outputs for the purpose of disclosure control via a combination of automated and manual review methods in order to protect the privacy of those included within administrative data sources.
  • Liase with representatives of government departments, National Statistical Agencies and providers of Trusted Third Party (TTP) linking services (such as NWIS or HSCIC) in support of the acquisition and development of new data sources.
  • To undertake independent research based upon ADRC-W data sources and to write up and communicate research results among staff within and the wider research community through meetings, workshops, conferences, publications and other recognised avenues as appropriate.
  • To update continually knowledge and understanding in the field or specialism and translate knowledge of advances in the subject area into research activity.
  • To collaborate with relevant academic staff and other professionals within research area to encourage the development of new research activity and to contribute to, and develop research grants both independently or through collaboration.
  • Contribute to the maintenance a full audit trail of all ADRN activity including queries surrounding applications, data access (include attendance at safe-settings), data linkage, attendance at training sessions, disclosure control and research outputs.
  • Undertake all administrative tasks requested by the management team with respect to the operation of ADRC-W, including the preparation of reports for steering groups and other bodies as required.
  • Provide mandatory training to researchers in the use of the ADRN that incorporates setting out the conditions of data use, the repercussions of misconduct, the application process and statistical disclosure control.
  • Promote the activities of the ADRC-W through attendance at external meetings, and representing the ADRC-W at workshops, conferences and other research related events.
  • Develop and deliver seminars, workshops, knowledge exchange events and training courses that that promote or support the activities of the centre among the research community.

Essential Skills

  1. Excellent interpersonal skills with a proven ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team.
  2. Excellent communication skills with a well-developed ability to liaise with external collaborators and research partners, often at a variety of levels.
  3. Excellent organisational skills with a proven ability to prioritise and meet deadlines within the framework of an agreed programme.
  4. A PhD in a quantitative social science discipline or other relevant equivalent research experience.
  5. Evidence of active engagement in designing research and writing, or contributing to writing applications for external research funding.
  6. A demonstrable history of contributing to publications, such as academic articles, or commissioned reports, in a relevant area of social science.
  7. Excellent data management skills and a proven ability to conduct quantitative research based upon the statistical analysis of large complex datasets.
  8. Excellent ICT Skills including MS Office suite and practical experience of statistical packages such as SPSS, STATA, R or SAS.

Desirable Skills

  • Experience in the analysis of a range of large scale survey and/or administrative data sources.
  • Evidence of commitment to Continuing Professional Development.
  • A demonstrable history of contributing to excellent publications in a relevant area of social science.
  • Experience of working across a range of collaborating organisations from academia, Government, the NHS, Local Government, the third sector and commercial companies.
  • Previous experience of teaching or learning support, or demonstrate the ability to undertake this.
  • Experience of data governance, access, sharing and issues related to data linkage.
  • Experience of giving presentations at conferences and meetings.


The Person Specification is split into 2 sections: essential and desirable.  Please demonstrate clearly how you meet all of the essential criteria.  Where possible you should give examples of how, when and where you have used your experience, knowledge, specific skills and abilities to match those required for this particular job role.

Please ensure that you communicate this fully by creating a supporting statement document, listing all of the criteria and commenting against each one as to how you meet them.  This will need to be completed before you begin making your application on line as you will be required to upload it.  When uploading the supporting statement the document title needs to read “supporting statement [and should also detail the post reference number ending in BR]” (relevant to the job you are applying for).

The desirable section contains a list of skills, qualifications and experience that it would be beneficial for the jobholder to have.

All short-listing decisions will be based initially on essential criteria, with desirable being used to further select or deselect candidates as appropriate.  We interview those candidates who are the closest match to the identified criteria.

ADRC WALES is one of four national Administrative Data Research Centres (ADRCs) that have been established in the UK by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The Administrative Data Research Network is a new infrastructure to facilitate linkage and analysis of routinely collected administrative data for research purposes.

The Administrative Data Network (ADRN), which will form the core of the ESRC Big Data family, came into being in October 2013 and will run for an initial period of five years.  The ADRN is a partnership between Government departments, research funders, national statistical authorities and the research community.  The primary aim of the ADRN will be to reach across the UK to facilitate research through the provision of access to linked, de-identified administrative data collected by governmental departments for research use.

WISERD is a collaborative venture between the Universities of Aberystwyth, Bangor, Cardiff, Swansea and South Wales. Its aims are: to build upon and develop existing expertise in quantitative and qualitative research methods and methodologies; to develop and integrate a coherent set of research data relating to Wales; to build networks of researchers and research capacity across Wales in the economic and social sciences, as well as contributing to UK wide research capacity building; to explore the relationships between research data, research methods and the development and understanding of policy; to develop a sustainable increase in the quantitative research base across the social sciences in Wales through academic appointments and training; to increase collaborative interdisciplinary research grant applications and interaction with policy makers and the private sector through consultancy.
WISERD is based within Cardiff University School of Social Sciences. The School is an inter-disciplinary centre of teaching and research and has strong links with industry and medicine. The School seeks to lead on public and policy debates at international, national, and local levels and is renowned for its innovative scholarship across the social sciences and beyond.

Further details of WISERD’s activities can be found by visiting:

Further details of the School's activities may be found on our home page:


To apply please visit Cardiff Job Opportunities.



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