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Research Officer

BBC World Service Trust
Location: London, UK
Last Date: April 6, 2011


JOB TITLE: Research Officer
BBC World Service Trust

REPORTS TO: Research Manager, Research and Learning Group
BBC WS Trust – London


DURATION 1 year attachment/ fixed contract


The BBC World Service Trust is the independent international charity of the BBC which uses media to advance development worldwide. As part of one of the world’s leading media organisations, the Trust is committed to improving the quality of people’s lives in developing and transitional countries through the innovative use of media.
The Research & Learning (R&L) Group focuses on four key activities: (1) providing Trust projects with audience and market insights to guide project strategies; (2) conducting qualitative and quantitative research studies to capture the impact of all Trust media interventions; (3) building capacity in audience research skills and methodology on projects in country, and (4) documenting and disseminating the learning from the Trust’s projects internally and to the wider development community.


The Research Officer will support all aspects of research activities conducted to inform the strategy, content and quality and to evaluate the impact of the Trust’s media development and development communications projects.

As a member of a global team of research and communications practitioners, the Research Officer will contribute to the synthesis and analysis of research and best practice for the Trust’s projects throughout the world, with particular emphasis on health, education and livelihoods, governance and human rights, the environment, and training.

The position will be London-based with the possibility of some international travel.


Research Design

1. To support the design and implementation of qualitative and quantitative research inputs for a number of Trust projects, contributing to research strategy, study design, methodologies and analysis.

2. To contribute to the design of exploratory and strategic research as well as production orientated research (pilot, concept and pre-testing) to ensure the quality of all outputs.


3. To support the impact evaluation of WST projects.

4. To support the analysis of all quantitative and qualitative data from project research conducted by commissioned agencies and/or in-house by BBC WST.


5. To prepare research presentations which inform the production process and monitor and evaluate the project effectiveness for internal and external audiences.

6. To regularly present research findings to BBC World Service Trust project management and production teams and to assist in external presentations to partners and donor organizations where required.

Research Administration

7. To support the commissioning of qualitative and quantitative studies, including negotiations on technical matters, such as recruitment and analysis, field supervision, instrument development and administration, and data analysis.

8. To work closely with the Research Manager(s) and Senior Research Officers to liaise with project audience research teams and field agencies in-country in overseeing the implementation of studies, monitoring quality control, budget and timely delivery of research outputs.

9. To support the implementation of ad hoc qualitative and quantitative research, and where necessary, be the first point of contact for the research project under the supervision of the Research Manager(s) and Senior Research Officers.


10. To document methods and practices in qualitative and quantitative research currently employed by WST research projects to support the identification of lessons learned and best practice for Trust-wide learning.

11. To identify, develop, pilot and document new approaches and methodologies for project research (e.g. ethnographic research, brand mapping/research, content analysis) under the supervision of the Research Manager(s) and Senior Research Officers.

12. Provide mentoring support to international research team members in order to develop their ability to develop and apply methodological and analytical rigour.

Person Specification & Competencies


• Strong experience in qualitative and quantitative market/social research.
• Experience using qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.
• Strong IT skills, including Excel and PowerPoint, and experience with data analysis software packages such as SPSS or Atlas.
• Strong written and spoken English.
• Strong report writing and presentation skills, communicating complex technical ideas using non-technical language to a wide range of audiences from journalists, production staff and development practitioners.
• Ability to plan and conduct work with minimal supervision.
• Track record of delivering research findings to deadline.

Desirable, but not required:

• Familiarity with commissioning and/or conducting research in developing countries.
• Familiarity with media communications research approaches and methodologies (advertising and/or brands and/or marketing).
• Experience of and/or interest in research on international and development issues.
• Experience of working with media professionals in production-oriented teams.
• Spoken and written proficiency in major African, Asian, Middle Eastern and/or Latin American languages.


• Strategic Thinking – Can identify a vision along with the plans that need to be implemented to meet the end goal. Evaluates situations, decisions, issues in the short, medium and longer-term.

• Analytical Thinking – Able to simplify complex problems, processes or projects into component parts, explore and evaluate them systematically. Able to identify causal relationships, and construct frameworks, for problem-solving and/or development.

• Imagination / Creative Thinking – Is able to transform creative ideas/impulses into practical reality. Can look at existing situations and problems in novel ways and come up with creative solutions.

• Planning and Organisation – Is able to think ahead in order to establish an efficient and appropriate course of action for self and others. Prioritises and plans activities taking into account all the relevant issues and factors such as deadlines, staffing and resources requirements.

• Resilience – Can maintain personal effectiveness by managing own emotions in the face of pressure, set backs or when dealing with provocative situations. Can demonstrate an approach to work that is characterised by commitment, motivation and energy.

• Influencing and Persuading – Ability to present sound and well-reasoned arguments to convince others. Can draw from a range of strategies to persuade people in a way that results in agreement or behaviour change.

• Communication – The ability to get one’s message understood clearly by adopting a range of styles, tools and techniques appropriate to the audience and the nature of the information.

Please refer to the BBC Jobs website to apply for this role:


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