Senior User Researcher

Birmingham, England
Posted on:
November 12, 2021

Our Mission

At BEIS, we are leading the UK’s recovery from coronavirus and are building a stronger, greener country. Our varied work makes a real difference to people across the UK and internationally. This is a fantastic opportunity to become part of the BEIS team and our exciting mission!

We lead on the UK’s commitments to tackle climate change and drive green economic growth. We support businesses to create jobs and increase opportunity in regions across the UK. We also encourage investment and innovation to make the UK a science superpower producing research that will improve lives.

Our Inclusive Environment

We are building an inclusive culture to make BEIS a brilliant place to work where our people feel valued, have a voice and can be their authentic selves. We value difference and diversity, not only because we believe it is the right thing to do, but because it will help us be more innovative and make better decisions.

We offer first-class flexible working benefits, excellent employee well-being support and a great pension. We are fortunate to have a range of excellent staff networks and are proud to be a Disability Confident Leader employer. We will support talented people from all backgrounds to build a career and thrive.

We actively welcome applications from anyone who shares our commitment to inclusion. We will fully support candidates with a disability or long-term condition who require adjustments in our recruitment process.

Job Description

We are BEIS Digital, part of the corporate services of BEIS, and our vision is to use the best of digital, data, technology, and associated approaches to transform the way in which we deliver services and work with businesses, citizens, partners and our employees. We support BEIS by delivering core technology services which help the Department achieve its strategic and policy objectives. We put the user at the heart of what we do, and we take an interactive approach to service delivery. Our decisions are driven by data, and we work collaboratively with partners to continue to deliver exceptional services.

Professional growth is very important to all of us. We have partnerships with leaders in professional development, such as Pluralsight and CITF, and offer a variety of apprenticeships. We are looking for like-minded people who want to flourish in their role and are looking for opportunities to develop. If it sounds like you, join us!

We seek to recruit the applicant who is most suited to this role; someone who demonstrates the right behaviours and qualities to develop and thrive in our team. We welcome applications from people of all backgrounds – people of all ages, gender, sexual orientations, nationalities, religions and beliefs. We particularly encourage applications from women, disabled and Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority candidates, as these groups are underrepresented within the Digital profession.


As the Senior User Researcher in BEIS Digital, you will be an experienced practitioner who is capable of planning and leading user research activities across large and complex projects and services.

You will be an expert in problem definition and selecting the appropriate research strategies to tackle issues and understand user needs.

You can help to champion a user-centred, evidence based approach to formulating strategy and vision, both across the user research practice and the teams they are engaged in.

Additionally, you will have management and coaching responsibilities, aiding the development of Associate and User Researcher(s), enabling quality research services and the growth of the user research community across the department.

You will likely come from a research or analyst background and be confident using a variety of research methods as you see fit. You will be able to present findings, business recommendations and user insights to project stakeholders at all levels. You'll be working closely with design teams and the majority of our projects are based around digital services so experience in digital projects would certainly help you to succeed in this role.

We are committed to encouraging and enabling our staff to develop in and above their role and will support you through further development opportunities/qualifications.

The roles and responsibilities for this role include, but are not restricted to, the following:

  • Work with agile teams to develop and advocate appropriate research strategies within their project area, with the goal of understanding user needs for services, and continually improving services.
  • Build user centred practices, advocating for user centred approaches to research.
  • Develop recommendations based on a variety of research outcomes, evaluate those outcomes to inform the product or service decision.
  • Be accountable for the end-to-end delivery of research, developing and delivering research that considers the time & budget vs outcomes perspective.
  • Conduct user research using a range of research methods, selecting the appropriate method, both qualitative and quantitative, depending on the requirements of the programme.
  • Advocate for inclusive research principles, planning and conducting research that considers the diversity of users, keeping in mind any access requirements users may have and the ethical nature of research.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with a variety of partners within the department and across government. Work to communicate insights gained from research in an effective manner and act as a persuasive advocate for user needs within projects and across other appropriate areas.
  • Provide evidence based challenges to assumptions and strategic direction within the scope of research.
  • Be responsible for improving your own learning, developing your knowledge of new methods and techniques, whilst also bringing any appropriate learning back into the practice.
  • Be an active member of the user research community, manage and mentor user researchers to ensure quality of research, and drive improvements in practice.

Essential Criteria

A strong candidate will be able to demonstrate the essential criteria listed below:

  • Extensive experience as a user researcher or appropriate experience of other fields of research.
  • Proven experience leading a user research team and strong understanding of strengths and weakness of different research methods.
  • Strong analytical ability to identify patterns and connections in research outcomes across programs and projects.
  • Specialist in different phases of user research - Discovery, Alpha, Beta, Live phase.
  • Expertise in designing, facilitating, analysing a wide range of user research using a variety of methods to build a rich picture of the user.
  • Specialist in user centred design practices and embedding them into their agile workflow.
  • Experience of advocating for inclusive practices in conducting research that includes all kinds of users in appropriate research activities to help teams understand the diversity of people and their needs.
  • Extensive experience in identifying the appropriate research plan for a given objective.

Technical Skills

Research Skillsassessed at application and interview - You have experience of, and can help teams adopt, a wide range of user research methods. You can plan user research for services with challenging user needs and complex user journeys. You can advise colleagues on the choice and application of research methods to assure best practice. (Relevant skill level: practitioner)


User-centred and agile practicesassessed at interview - You understand and have experience of a range of user-centred practices. You can help inexperienced teams adopt user-centred practices and embed them into their agile workflow. You can advocate for user research and engage sceptical colleagues and stakeholders. (Relevant skill level: practitioner)


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Leadership
  • Making Effective Decisions

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Research Skills -
  • User-centred and agile practices.

We only ask for evidence of these technical skills on your application form:

  • Research Skills -


BEIS offers a competitive mix of benefits including:

  • A culture of flexible working, such as job sharing, home working and compressed hours.
  • Automatic enrolment into the Civil Service Pension Scheme.
  • A minimum of 25 days of paid annual leave, increasing by 1 day per year up to a maximum of 30.
  • An extensive range of learning & professional development opportunities, which all staff are actively encouraged to pursue.
  • Access to a range of retail, travel and lifestyle employee discounts.
  • A hybrid office/home based working model where staff will spend a norm of 40-60% of their time in the office (minimum of 40%) over a month with flex dependent on balancing business and individual need (from September 2021, depending on how the public health guidance evolves).

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

Please use your personal statement (in no more than 500 words) based on the criteria in the job description, explain in brief how you meet the requirements for this role.

Applications will be sifted on personal statement, CV and any technical skills required.

In the event of a large number of applicants, applications will be sifted on the personal statement.

The interview will consist of behaviour and technical questions.

Expected Timelinesubject to change

Sift dates: w/c 15th November 2021

Interview dates: w/c 29th November 2021

Interview will be held using Microsoft Teams.

Candidates are asked to note the above timetable, exercising flexibility through the recruitment and selection process.

Reasonable Adjustment

If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.

If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:

  • Contact Government Recruitment Service via as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs.
  • Complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process. For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you’re deaf, a Language Service Professional.

Further Information

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

If successful and transferring from another Government Department a criminal record check may be carried out.

New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band.

Any move to Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility here

A reserve list will be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.

Please note terms and conditions are attached. Please take time to read the document to determine how these may affect you.

BEIS does not normally offer full home working (i.e. working at home); but we do offer a variety of flexible working options (including occasionally working from home).

Please note that BEIS does not hold a licence to sponsor visa applications.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms directly. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.

A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5 year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.


Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

This Job Is Broadly Open To The Following Groups

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :Name : Penelope KopalaEmail : Recruitment team :Email :

Further information

Appointment to the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. If you feel that your application has not been treated in accordance with the recruitment principles, and wish to make a complaint, then you should contact in the first instance If you are not satisfied with the response that you receive, then you can contact the Civil Service Commission. For further information on bringing a complaint to the Civil Service Commission please visit their web pages: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission/Complaints

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