Person Specification

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

ESRC is the UK's largest funder of research on the social and economic questions facing us today. Their research informs public policy and contributes to making the economy more competitive, as well as giving people a better understanding of 21st century society.

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate the following characteristics:


  • A commitment to UK Research and Innovation’s mission and priorities;
  • A clear understanding of the research and innovation sector’s contribution to society and to the economy, including its potential applications and impacts and the barriers and opportunities that exist in realising these; the role of multidisciplinary research within this. This may be exemplified from an academic, commercial, industrial, user community, Governmental, or third sector perspective.
  • Domain expertise gained within a variety of organisational backgrounds and an ability to critically evaluate and/or advise on new research and innovation opportunities within the remit of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC);
  • The ability to support decision-taking and provide advice at a strategic level and to exercise judgment across a broad spectrum of policy (including research and innovation policy) issues.
  • An ability to tackle and reach conclusions on complex policy issues. This again may be derived from a variety of differing career perspectives.
  • A demonstrable track record of working at a senior policy making level in academic, commercial, industrial, user community, governmental, or third sector organisations.


  • Experience of working across international boundaries, particularly with regard to research collaborations within the development and Overseas Development Assistance context;
  • Knowledge of and strong personal interest in areas of the Council’s work;
  • Knowledge of the decision-making process for publicly funded research and of the associated strategic issues;
  • Experience of public engagement with research;
  • An ability to advise on new scientific opportunities within the remit of the ESRC, including the development of social science data infrastructure, innovative methodologies and capacity building and training in the social sciences;
  • Knowledge and interest in the economic, policy and societal impact of social scientific research and the ability to judge potential knowledge exchange and collaboration opportunities;
  • Knowledge and experience of the application and exploitation of social science evidence in business and/or governance contexts;
  • Experience of communications and willingness to assist in public engagement activities to promote social science research.

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