Principal Research Manager

From £49,231 to £56,317 per annum
15 Oct 2016
14 Nov 2016
Contract Type


Salary: £49,231 rising to £56,317 per annum

Location: Manchester

The Centre for Education Research and Practice (CERP) at AQA is seeking to recruit new 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 competent and enthusiastic researchers who are keen to see their 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 each of the posts is given below.

The Principal Research Manager has a key role within CERP, responsible for managing and co-ordinating the research activity of a team of Senior Researchers, Researchers and Research Assistants. Applicants should have a degree, preferably at Masters level or equivalent, in a field with a significant quantitative element. Applicants should also be able to demonstrate:

·experience of management and leading teams of researchers;

·experience in developing and managing programmes of research to completion;

·the ability to consult and negotiate with stakeholders and colleagues at all levels, including on complex and sensitive issues;

·a sound knowledge of a wide range of research methods, their uses, strengths and weaknesses;

·deep and thorough 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 manage programmes of work to completion;

·excellent written communication and presentation skills, including the ability to write well on complex and sensitive issues for different purposes and audiences.

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

An application form and further details can be obtained from our website.

Closing date for completed application forms – 09:00 Monday 7th November 2016

Successful candidates will be notified by – 10th November 2016

Interviews to be held – Tuesday 22nd November 2016


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

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