25016 - Senior Behavioural Science and Research Officer (SRO)

£39,880 - £51,476
12 Months
Fixed Term
Up to 18 Month Fixed-term Contract
Full Time
Social Research / Market Research

Pay Band: Band Bb (£39,880 - £51,476)

Duration: 18 Month Fixed-Term Contract

Location: 102 Petty France, Westminster

This appointment will be made on a fixed term appointment, due to the time limited nature of the Reform Programme. For existing civil servants, whilst the role itself is time limited, you will retain permanent civil servant status and successful appointment on promotion will secure this grade on a substantive basis.


HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) is responsible for the administration of criminal, civil and family courts and tribunals in England and Wales. We work with an independent judiciary to provide a fair, efficient and effective justice system.

We have an outstanding heritage and history and we want to build on this by updating and modernising to ensure we align our service with the society we serve. In recognition of this, HMCTS gained £1 billion of funding in the last Government Spending Review for a root and branch ‘Reform’ of our services. We are now ready to put our plans into action and deliver.

We are focused on radically improving the customer journey for all, to ensure that they do feel like a customer. For HMCTS, the changes we are making will reduce our own costs and remove service failure from our system, allowing us to put resources where they matter most.

This is a once in a generation opportunity to help transform how justice is delivered in England and Wales - by ensuring that the needs of the public are kept at the heart of reform, your work will have a real lasting social impact.

Senior Behavioural Science and Research Officer (SRO)

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a multidisciplinary team, the Insight and User Research Division, setting the direction for the use of behavioural science, research, and analysis to develop insight about our users, to discover what works, and apply this to our services in courts and tribunals.

The team lead the development research, testing, and insight on users from all available sources (qualitative and quantitative) to inform what we know, supporting and analysing the development of new digital and operational solutions.

You will support the development of behavioural science in HMCTS and the deployment of multi-disciplinary research and insight to create a comprehensive and effective view of our users.

This will be a challenging and influential role, offering a wide range of opportunities to develop your experience whilst making a real difference to services for millions of citizens. You will join a team dedicated to developing your skills and career within a multi-disciplinary environment. The team currently contains expertise and leadership experience across social and market research, behavioural science, digital development, economics, experimental/trials evaluation, operational research and data science.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Defining and solving ambiguous problems – identifying opportunities for applying fit-for-purpose behavioural initiatives, as well as for research and insight to inform creative solutions to issues. You will utilise the latest research, analysis and behavioural theory relevant to customers from HMCTS, the justice sector and the wider literature
  • Providing authoritative, clear and timely behavioural science and social research advice about our users’ experiences, needs and attitudes so that we might use this to deliver better services
  • Building the evidence base on HMCTS users by engaging with internal (e.g. the wider Customer Directorate, contact centres, courts) and external partners (including agencies, government and academia) and by synthesising existing research. A key focus of the role will be to understand our evidence needs and gaps, and to work collaboratively to develop research, behavioural interventions, and insight that informs key decisions across the organisation
  • Designing and implementing behavioural field evaluations, such as randomized controlled trials. This includes managing and undertaking the cleansing, analysis and reporting of data.
  • Conducting and managing in-house research, including: qualitative research from development of research materials, surveys, field work (including face to face interviews), through to the analysis of data and evaluation
  • Work closely with the organisation’s user research and UX design community to turn insight into actionable product/service requirements that feed into prototype development, and influence product direction
  • “Knowing what we know” and support the Customer Directorate to visualise and communicate research and insight to HMCTS staff in informative, helpful and inspiring ways, in line with strategic priorities
  • Building and maintaining excellent relationships with the senior leaders, key Ministry of Justice stakeholders, external organisations, as well as insight and behavioural science communities across government.

The post holder is required to work in a flexible way and undertake any other duties reasonably requested by line management which are commensurate with the grade and level of responsibility of this post.

Key Requirements

To be successful in this role, you will need to demonstrate the following:

  • Professional experience of applying theories, concepts and techniques appropriate to behavioural science research to problems (including randomized controlled trials)
  • Experience of conducting research, such as: qualitative and quantitative research from development of research materials, surveys, field work (including face to face interviews), through to the analysis of data and evaluation
  • Understand the strengths / weaknesses of, a wide range of research methods (quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, evaluation)
  • To confidently influence stakeholders from across a range of backgrounds
  • All applicants are required to have a first or upper second-class Honours degree in a relevant behavioural science subject with a substantial social research component OR, a first or second-class Honours degree, with a relevant postgraduate qualification in social research

Desirable Skills and Knowledge:

  • An understanding of public policy and services, particularly in the justice sector
  • Experience of working closely with designers and developers to turn customer or behavioural research and insight into actionable product/service requirements that feed into prototype development, and influence product direction
  • Familiar with statistical packages such as SPSS, SAS, R, or digital data tools such as Google Analytics

Application Process

To apply for this position please completed the online application form, ensuring you submit the following two application documents:

  1. An up-to-date copy of your CV which demonstrates your suitability against the key requirements outlined above.
  2. A proposal regarding how behavioural insights could be applied to one of the following priority user experiences in the court service:

  • Improving the experience and behaviour of vulnerable witnesses before giving evidence in a criminal court case (potential objectives: better witness experience, higher witness attendance rates at court)
  • Improve the experience and behaviour of those users in tribunal cases (e.g. appealing a decision on their taxes by HM Revenue and Customs) who give evidence by internet video link from their home rather than appearing at a face to face hearing (example outcomes: better experience of giving evidence, impact on the perceived credibility of their evidence by others)
  • The behaviour of users that have debts to pay related to their court case (example outcome: increase payment rates for fines issued in criminal courts)

The proposal should consider practical steps for implementing the Behavioural Insight intervention, as well as suggestions for evaluating impact (maximum 500 words).

Should you be successful at the application stage, you will be invited for a face-to-face interview in which you will be asked to present your proposal and expand upon it through a question-and-answer session.

Working Arrangements & Further Information

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on 'modernised' terms in their current post or onto 'unmodernised' MoJ terms if they are on 'unmodernised' terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.


The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Generous allowances for paid holiday starting at 25 days per year, and rising as your service increases. There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.


The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.


The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.


  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as salary sacrifice arrangements for childcare vouchers, and voluntary benefits such as retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.


The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.

There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Expected 23/4/19

02/04/2019, 23:55 hours.

If you require any assistance please call 0845 241 5359 (Monday to Friday 8am - 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@sscl.gse.gov.uk Please quote the job reference - 25016.

Please contact the change_recruitment@justice.gov.uk if you have any questions about this role.

To apply for roles in MOJ you will need to confirm your employment history for at least 3 years prior to the date of application so that pre-employment checks (BPSS) can be undertaken. If you have spent significant time abroad (a total of 6 months in the past 3 years) you would be required to give a reasonable account of the reasons why. 

For some roles you will be required to successfully complete National Security Vetting at Counter Terrorism (CTC), Security Clearance (SC) or Developed Vetting (DV) level as a condition of appointment. To meet CTC/SC/DV requirements you will normally need to have been resident in the UK for at least 3/5/10 years prior to the date of application (The level of checks that are required are stated in the advert).

If you do not meet the above requirements, you may still be considered if, for example:

  • You've been serving overseas with HM Forces or in some other official capacity as a representative of HM Government
  • You were studying abroad
  • You were living overseas with parents

In such cases you will need to be able to provide referee cover for the period(s) of residence overseas. The duration of overseas residence and the country of abode will also be taken into account.

Candidate Information

You may be required to provide statements describing your skills and experience relevant to each of the selection criteria. We recommend that you structure any examples as Situation, Task, Action and Result. For more information about the recruitment process and answers to general queries, please click the below link which will direct you to our Candidate Information Page.

Link: https://justicejobs.tal.net/vx/candidate/cms/About%20the%20MOJ

In the event of a large number of applications, we reserve the right to undertake the following processes:

  • An automated online test where a benchmark must be passed to progress;
  • A sift on the lead selection criteria. If this happens, the lead criteria will be the first one listed in the advert.

During the selection process, you may be asked to undertake an additional assessment (such as written test). If this is applicable you will be notified of this when you are invited to interview.

if you feel that your application has not been treated in line with the Civil Service Recruitment Principles, please contact SSCL (Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@sscl.gse.gov.uk) in the first instance
Other competency/Experience

This Vacancy is closed to applications.