In the Defra group, research roles vary across teams and departments. They are united by a structured approach to understanding problems and a flexible approach to solving them.
Analysing and interpreting existing data, they provide guidance to policy colleagues on current research evidence. Working with colleagues in other professions, they ensure a multi-disciplinary approach to complex questions, and represent the Defra group in the wider research community.
Sharing knowledge and seeking new opportunities to increase the impact of Operational Research (OR), our analysts work in embedded teams alongside policy and other evidence professionals to find analytical and innovative solutions to complex policy and corporate problems.
For example, we apply Systems Approaches and modelling to simulate physical or social systems to help understand the likely impact of different policy options on stakeholders. Forecasting trends and identifying correlations in complex datasets, we can also anticipate the likely future needs of a policy area and ways in which these can be addressed, or identify the factors that drive demand for a Government service. This is just a fraction of the work we are involved in. There is huge scope for applying OR approaches within the Defra group.
Putting people at the heart of policy making, our social researchers play an essential role in helping Defra understand the context in which policy is delivered and its likely impact. We frame and contextualize the policy challenge, identify “what works”, develop policy solutions, and measure how people and communities are affected by government decisions. We work in all the policy directorates in Defra and are involved in the challenges which are important to the Defra group. These include reducing air pollution, planning the future of farming and addressing marine pollution.
Social researchers in Defra are part of the Government Social Research (GSR) profession, and receive support from the Government Social and Economic Research Team in HM Treasury.
Research sits under our Analysts category. Please see our Analysts page for alternative roles.