Higher Education Policy Analyst or Higher Education Senior Policy Analyst 

1. Background

The Russell Group represents 24 leading UK universities which are committed to maintaining the very best research, an outstanding teaching and learning experience and unrivalled links with business and the public sector. 

We aim to ensure that higher education and research policy development is underpinned by a robust evidence base and a commitment to improving life chances, raising aspirations, contributing to economic prosperity and innovation, and to civic responsibility.

Our work on higher education policy encompasses a wide range of important public policy areas including the economy, industry, the labour market and research and development; tax, welfare and public finances; children and families; regional development; public services and education from early years’ provision, schooling and further education to workforce development.

2. The Role

2.1 We are looking to recruit a HE Policy Analyst or HE Senior Policy Analyst to undertake research and to provide robust and clear evidence to support the delivery of the Russell Group’s objectives which are to:

⦁ Strengthen the status of Russell Group universities as world-class institutions; and 
⦁ Strengthen the ability of Russell Group institutions to compete in a global market

2.2 The HE Senior/Policy Analyst will report to the Head of Policy and will:

⦁ Lead and manage research projects, carrying out analysis and research relating to policy development, collaborating with Russell Group colleagues and drawing upon inputs from Russell Group universities as appropriate.

⦁ Write and contribute to high quality, persuasive and evidence-based briefing papers, consultation inputs, and reports and publications on relevant issues for a variety of audiences including government, member universities, and policy-makers.

⦁ Pro-actively monitor relevant policy developments to identify potential issues, opportunities, and challenges to inform the development of the Russell Group work programme, and develop ideas for evidence-based policy solutions.

⦁ Maintain information about key activities and developments within Russell Group institutions which relate to Government and EU policy priorities.

⦁ Work very closely with communications staff and contribute directly to communications outputs including press statements and other externally facing elements.

⦁ Represent Russell Group interests externally at events and meetings with stakeholders and policy makers.

⦁ Organise and contribute to Russell Group events, for example by identifying speakers and roundtable participants.

⦁ Contribute to the Russell Group team undertaking such other tasks as are needed to achieve our objectives.


2.3 In addition to the responsibilities listed above, HE Senior/Policy Analyst will also be expected to:

⦁ Lead and manage research projects and outputs.

⦁ Foster strong working relationships with key partners and stakeholders.

⦁ Play a key role in communications outputs (e.g. press statements), including providing advice to communications staff.

⦁ Contribute to the strategic vision for the Russell Group programme.

⦁ Represent the organisation externally, including public speaking and occasional engagement with the media.

3. Person Specification

3.1 We are looking for an experienced, motivated, and flexible individual to undertake research and policy analysis and development on a wide range of higher education issues. We are particularly interested in candidates with direct experience of higher education policy and/or science, research and innovation policy issues.

3.2 You must have good research and analysis skills and be able to assess the pros and cons of different proposal or options and make recommendations. Prior experience of policy analysis and/or policy development is essential. Experience of data handling and analysis would be desirable.

3.3 Evidence of an ability to think creatively about policy issues is required. Experience of working in a relevant role in the civil service or wider public sector, in higher education or a research organisation, a relevant charity, or in a think-tank, is desirable.

3.4 Excellent written skills are an essential requirement for this role and we expect that the successful candidate will be able to demonstrate high levels of skill and competence in producing a variety of written material for different policy audiences e.g. briefings and reports, publications, papers, web content, speeches, presentations, etc. Attention to detail and a good standard of numeracy are also required.

3.5 You will have excellent communications skills and experience of presenting and defending positions with confidence to senior stakeholders. Experience of giving formal presentations at meetings/events would be desirable.

3.6 You will demonstrate that you can manage and prioritise a challenging and varied portfolio of work, meet tight deadlines, and work cooperatively as part of a small team. You will be able to pick up a range of topics quickly and with authority. A flexible approach is essential.

3.7 The successful candidate will have a very positive and proactive work ethic and will be able to demonstrate where they have used their initiative to take a lead on projects or impactful policy developments.

3.8 For the HE Senior Policy Analyst role we expect candidates to be able to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of higher education policy. Candidates should:

⦁ Have a good track record in policy analysis and development, strong project management skills
⦁ Require less oversight
⦁ Have direct experience of networking and influencing diverse groups of stakeholders as they will directly engage with Vice-Chancellors and senior academics, parliamentarians, business leaders, and policy makers. 
⦁ Be able to communicate diplomatically in person as well as in writing.

4. Terms and Conditions

4.1 This appointment is full time and permanent and will be based in central London.

4.2 Starting salary of £36,000 - £46,000 depending on which post applied for and depending on skills and experience – a higher salary may be available for an exceptional candidate.

4.3 Benefits include a generous career average pension, an interest-free travelcard loan, a cycle scheme, and access to a canteen subsidised by the Russell Group.

Closing date for all applications: 5pm, Monday 23rd October 2017

To apply, please submit the following to by the application deadline:

1) An up-to-date curriculum vitae including:
a. details of your current and past employment including your current salary and your salary expectations
b. your degree and A-Level qualifications including subjects and grades
c. two references, including your current or most recent employer and a former line manager who could be contacted during the process

2) A supporting statement (maximum 500 words) addressing the following three points:
a. which role you are applying for and how your knowledge, skills and experience meets our requirements 
b. your experience of managing competing priorities with tight deadlines 
c. why you are interested in working for the Russell Group

Please note that where specific UK qualifications are required we will take into account overseas equivalents. 

For a confidential discussion, please contact Nilesh Lad on 0203 463 8685.