Vacancy -- Social Research Undergraduate Placement x 2

Recruitment Principles

The Welsh Government's recruitment processes are underpinned by the principle of selection for appointment on merit on the basis of fair and open competition as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles.

Vacancy Details

Health and Social Services
Knowledge and Analytical Services
Team Support - £20,000 - £23,250
Full time (not suitable for candidates who wish to work on a part time or job share basis)
Fixed term
50 weeks (open to undergraduate students between their 2nd and 3rd year of study)

Purpose of Post:

The Welsh Government is the devolved government of Wales. The Social Research and Information Division is a core part of the government’s analytical function. The division comprises around 40 social researchers who work closely with policy and other analysts (e.g. statisticians, economists) to provide analytical advice and evidence to support key policy decisions in devolved areas such as education, health and the environment. Analysts play a key role in providing high quality evidence to support policy making and the Welsh Government more broadly.


These posts are open to undergraduate students on a sandwich year placement between their second and third year of study. The successful candidates with be based in the Social Research and Information Division, working closely with social researchers to support the development and delivery of different types of research projects. The responsibilities of the successful candidates will vary depending on the team; and the exact posts will be dependent on the interests, skills and experiences of the successful candidates. There are two posts available, each based in a different team within the division. Our aim is to fill posts in the following teams:


Post One: in the Corporate Research Team

This role will involve research and analysis using a range of methods and sources of data to help inform improvements to the way the Welsh Government works. This will include designing, carrying out and reporting on primary research projects (for example, surveys) with Welsh Government staff and stakeholders as well as analysis of other organisational data (such as administrative data). The role will also involve conducting evidence reviews and developing social research best practice guides for the team. There will also be an opportunity to assist with corporate responsibilities such as producing bulletins for the Social Research Division.


Post Two: in the Sustainable Futures Research Team

This role will involve working closely with researchers on a wide range of topic areas, including housing, the environment, rural affairs and culture. The role will involve assisting with the design, delivery, analysis and reporting of primary and secondary research Likely tasks include conducting evidence reviews, developing and administering small-scale online surveys, and assisting with qualitative research. There will also be an opportunity to assist with corporate responsibilities, such as providing administrative support for the Welsh Government’s Government Social Research Committee.


Key tasks:

The key tasks of the successful applicants will depend on which team they are placed with, but will include a combination of the following:


  • Supporting with the management and quality assurance of research
  • Assisting with research projects which use qualitative (e.g. in-depth interviews, focus groups) and quantitative methods (e.g. survey work, statistical analysis,  monitoring and reporting information) 
  • Research design, analysis and synthesis
  • Undertaking literature searches and reviews
  • Liaising with analysts across the Welsh Government
  • Providing administrative support for data collection exercises
  • Preparing reports for publication on the Welsh Government’s social research webpages or for use internally
  • Project management
  • Administrative tasks, such as organising meetings, seminars and events, taking minutes and record keeping

Development opportunities:

The posts offer excellent development opportunities, including:

  •  Learning how social research is commissioned, delivered and used within government and funded bodies (e.g. Natural Resources Wales, Arts Council Wales, Amgueddfa Cymru / National Museum Wales)
  • Developing an understanding of how evidence can help inform and improve policy making and organisational ways of working
  • Developing key skills (such as communications skills, critical thinking and working as part of a team, often to tight deadlines)
  • Opportunities to develop an understanding and practical experience of a range of research techniques (such as survey design, conducting interviews, analysis and presentation of findings, report writing and communicating research findings to a non-specialist audience)
  •  Developing project management skills
  • Attending appropriate courses, conferences and seminars (including courses on quantitative and qualitative analysis)
  • Shadowing or working with social researchers, analysts and policy officials from other Welsh Government departments during the placement. There may also be an opportunity to work collaboratively with officials from government-funded bodies

Closing Date:

26/11/2019, 16:00

Disability Confident

Welsh Government accepts the social definition of disability, in which it is recognised that barriers in society act to disable people who have impairments or health conditions or who use British Sign Language. We are committed to removing barriers so that all (or potential new staff) can perform at their best. The Equality Act 2010 uses the medical definition of disability (“a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term impact on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”).

We guarantee to interview anyone who is disabled whose application meets the minimum criteria for the post. By ‘minimum criteria’ we mean that you must provide us with evidence in your application which demonstrates that you generally meet the level of competence for the role and any qualifications, skills or experience defined as essential. We are committed to the employment and career development of disabled people.

If you have an impairment or health condition, or use British Sign Language and need to discuss reasonable adjustments for any part of this recruitment process, or wish to discuss how we will support you if you were to be successful, please email as soon as possible and a member of the team will contact you to discuss your requirements and any questions you may have.

Welsh Language Requirements

The Welsh Government is a bilingual organisation and Welsh language skills are considered an asset to the organisation. We encourage and support staff to learn, develop and use their Welsh language skills in the workplace. 

The following list of language requirements represents an objective assessment by the line manager on behalf of the Welsh Government of the Welsh language skills required to undertake the duties of this particular post.

Not necessary to undertake the duties of this post

Competency behaviours required for the role

Changing and Improving - Review working practices and come up with ideas to improve the way things are done

    Making Effective Decisions - Undertake appropriate analysis to support decisions or recommendations

    Collaborating and Partnering: Proactively contribute to the work of the whole team


    Delivering at Pace: Work in an organised manner using own knowledge and expertise to deliver on time and to standard

    Job specific criteria

    Broad awareness of how social research can be used to inform decisions in government.
    Basic familiarity with one or more of the following computer packages: Microsoft Excel; Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) (or another comparable computer-assisted quantitative analysis software programme); NVivo or MaxQDA (or another comparable computer-assisted qualitative analysis software programme).
    Experience in the application and / or communication of research (e.g. report writing, questionnaire design, interviewing, statistical analysis).

    Assessment Process

    Other Information

    Charlie Heywood-Heath - - 03000 250383

    How to apply

    All applications for this vacancy should be made online via the Welsh Government's online application system.  If you have a disability which would prevent you from applying on-line, please e-mail to request an application pack in an alternative format, or to request a reasonable adjustment related to a disability in order to submit your application.

    To apply, you'll need to have an account on our online application system.  Click the 'Apply' button below, and you'll be asked to 'Log in' if you already have an account, or 'Register' if you don't yet have an account.  Registration takes just a few minutes to complete.  You'll need an e-mail address to be able to register.  Once you've registered for an account and logged in, you'll be taken to the online application form, which you'll need to fully complete and submit before the deadline on the closing date.  

    If you’d like to apply for this vacancy in Welsh, please use the ‘Newid Iaith / Change Language’ link at the top of this page, to take you to the Welsh version of this advert, from which you can apply in Welsh.

    For further information regarding the Welsh Government recruitment process, please see the Recruitment Guidance for External Candidates (link).

    When evidencing your suitability for the post, it is recommended that you refer to the Civil Service Competency Framework (link)

    This vacancy is closed to applications.