Senior Researcher

11 Feb 2017
11 Mar 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

SENIOR RESEARCHER Permanent, full time

Salary: £41,369 rising to £47,603 per annum

Location: Manchester

The Centre for Education Research and Practice (CERP) at AQA is seeking to recruit a new member of staff to join our growing multi-disciplinary team.

AQA is the largest public examining board in the UK, with a long tradition of educational research. CERP forms the focus of AQA's activities in assessment research, providing valuable evidence to inform policy and practice on key issues within AQA and the wider education sector.

Current projects cover a variety of topics including:

  • Standard setting - use of comparative judgment in equating question paper difficulty; use of Bayesian models for combining sources of evidence
  • Marking reliability - whole script vs item-level marking; use of generalisability theory for an index of marking reliability
  • Marking - the effect of marking experience on marking reliability; time taken to mark and marking accuracy
  • Validity - differential item performance across socioeconomic groups
  • Washback - effect of taking the extended project; effect of taking EBacc subjects at GCSE.

CERP researchers are part of a lively and committed team, given excellent training and support, encouraged to publish their work in peer reviewed journals and present their findings at conferences. Researchers also play a key role in AQA’s operational activities, including supporting product development, and key processes such as awarding.

We are seeking to recruit a competent and enthusiastic researcher who is keen to see his/her research findings put into practice, as well as advancing the theoretical and technical understanding of education and assessment.

Experience of education research is not essential in all instances and applications are welcomed from all fields. More detail about the post is given below.

The Senior Researcher will be one of a team and will be responsible for planning and directing research projects in one or more strands of CERP’s work. S/he will have line management responsibility for one or more Researchers or Research Assistants. Applicants should have a degree, preferably at Masters level or equivalent, in a relevant field, and should be able to demonstrate:

  • the ability to manage own and others’ work, ensuring the production of accurate and high quality work under time pressure;
  • a sound knowledge of a range of quantitative and/or qualitative research methods;
  • knowledge of statistics, experimental design or qualitative research methods;
  • the ability to analyse and interpret statistical data and other research data in an informed way;
  • the ability to consult and negotiate with a variety of people, internally and externally to AQA;
  • excellent written communication and presentation skills.

In order to address gaps in our current capacity, we are particularly interested in applications from candidates with:

  • a proven background in quantitative research methods, comprehensive statistical knowledge and expertise, and experience of analysing and interpreting statistical data.


  • a proven background in researching assessment quality issues, and in using research to support assessment design and delivery.

At AQA we recognise the contribution our employees put in, and in return are proud to offer an extensive reward and benefit package. This includes -

  • a competitive salary
  • a standard 35 hour working week
  • 25 days annual leave rising to 30 days, plus all Bank Holidays and additional Christmas leave
  • a contributory pension scheme
  • Childcare voucher scheme
  • an enhanced maternity/paternity and sick pay scheme

Closing date for completed application forms is 09:00 Wednesday 1 March 2017


Successful candidates will be notified by Monday 6 March 2017 and interviews will be held on Monday 13 March 2017.

AQA is an equal opportunities employer and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.