Vacancy: Research Assistant

Please note. No CV’s or cover letters accepted. To apply for this role please download and complete the two–part job application form using the link here and here.

Working for: LGiU Local Democracy Research Centre

Salary: £28,000 / €32,000 per year

Contract type: Full time (35 hours per week) and permanent

Reporting to: Head of Local Democracy Research Centre

We are looking for an outstanding researcher with an interest in local democracy and public policy to join us as we expand our programme of research across the UK, Ireland and beyond.

We are looking for someone based either in the UK or in Ireland. The role will require fairly regular travel between the two.

Local Democracy Research Centre

The Local Democracy Research Centre (LDRC) is focused on investigating challenges for democracy and public policy in local places around the world. It is a part of LGIU International, a membership body and think tank supporting innovation in local government.

At the LDRC we work with academics, researchers and practitioners involved in local governance to tailor a research programme that addresses immediate problems in local policy and democratic practice.  We aim to facilitate dialogue between the worlds of practice and research to ensure that practitioners can access the latest ideas and findings, as well as to shape the research agenda around the needs of local government.

The role

In 2022 the LDRC is expanding its activities, reach and ambition. We are looking for an outstanding research assistant to join the team and to help us on this journey. You will help to develop and deliver projects, as well as widening our network of researchers and policy makers around the world.

The role would suit someone with a demonstrable interest in public policy and local democracy, as well as the research experience necessary to hit the ground running on projects.  You will have a good understanding of local government, politics and policy with enthusiasm for using research to shape debates and drive change in the world.

An experienced researcher, you will have the ability to undertake original research, write fluently and communicate to a wide range of audiences. You must have excellent verbal and written communication skills, as well as time management skills.

You will be a motivated self-starter, with the ability to work independently.

The LDRC is an international organisation, with offices in Ireland, Scotland and England, and partnerships as far afield as Australia. While we continue to work remotely there will be requirements to attend meetings, events and research workshops, and some travel will be required.

This is a full-time permanent contract.

Key roles and responsibilities:

  • Carry out research to a high standard, including desk-based work, interviews, focus groups, surveys and comparative case studies as required
  • Analyse and interpret the results of research and generate original ideas based on outcomes.
  • Produce engaging and informative written work, including reports, articles and blogs for a range of audiences
  • Assist in the development of new ideas and proposals for research
  • Prepare proposals, applications and outlines for projects.
  • Organise workshops in person and online
  • Work with the head of research and other members of the team to identify areas for research, develop new research methods and extend the research portfolio.
  • Contribute to wider work within LGIU, including discussions with colleagues around corporate comms and strategy.

Key skills and characteristics:

The successful candidate will have the following skills and characteristics:

  • Enthusiasm for local democracy and for the opportunity work with practitioners and researchers around the world to investigate public policy challenges;
  • A degree in a relevant subject, preferably at masters level;
  • Have an excellent knowledge of public policy and the challenges faced today in local governance;
  • Excellent qualitative research skills;
  • Experience using Excel and other software packages;
  • Ability to write in an informative and engaging way for a variety of audiences, but often for practitioners involved in local government policy;
  • Organisational skills and the ability to manage a busy workload, producing work to deadlines;
  • Creativity and innovative approaches to problems, to contribute to debates within LGIU, among our members and elsewhere;
  • Self-motivation and the ability to work independently to deadlines. We are a small team with lots to do, so you’ll be able to throw yourself at new problems and spot opportunities for helping out with our wider work.


  • Experience working within local government or other community organisations would be a bonus.
  • Experience using quantitative research methodologies.


The role – This is a permanent full-time position (35 hours per week) working for LGiU Local Democracy Research Centre with a salary of £28,000/€32,000 pa.  We are committed to making sure our staff are paid more than the Living Wage.  We offer the Nest pension plan.

Location – remotely based in the UK or Ireland with occasional office attendance in London.

Flexible working – We support flexible working arrangements to promote a healthy work life balance so if you have a preferred working pattern, we’ll do everything we can to accommodate it.

Holiday – You’ll get a very generous holiday allowance of 30 days per year plus bank holidays, well above the UK average.

Health and wellbeing – LGiU provide support through our corporate Health Assured membership, which includes free confidential counselling sessions and other mental health resources.

Learning – There are loads of opportunities to learn more about local government policy and politics and to develop your skills.  You’re free to attend any of our learning and development sessions and we support staff to upskill through attending events and courses and through further study.

We welcome applicants from all backgrounds, ethnicities, sexualities, gender identities and ages.  If you have a disability for which you need adjustments in the interview process or the role itself, please let us know so we can make sure you’re able to participate fully.

To apply

If you have the skills, experience and ambition for this role then we’d love to hear from you.

The deadline for applications is midnight, Sunday 27th November. Shortlisted candidates will be notified on Tuesday 29th November. Interviews will be virtual and take place on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th December.

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to complete a short-written task ahead of their interview.

The successful candidate will start as soon as possible, depending on their notice period.

Please note, no CVs or cover letters accepted. To apply for this role, please download and complete the job application form using the links at the top of the page and email to [email protected] for the attention of Debra Stanislas, Office Manager.