Oval, Greater London
£30,000 - £35,000 per year
Contract, Full-time
Job description

About The Institute for Voluntary Action Research (IVAR)

We help charities and funders to be the best they can be – for the people and communities they exist to support. We do this by asking questions and helping our partners to answer them through action research – bringing together an organisation's data and experience with wider evidence. It’s high quality, rigorous research – with a practical application. Grounded in 20 years’ of working with organisations and partnerships across the UK.

Through our work we often produce useful ways of thinking about particular challenges. We publish these freely on our website for others to use. 

We value diversity, equality and inclusivity. Applications are actively encouraged from underrepresented backgrounds, including but not limited to gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation and religion.


Main purpose of job

  • Carry out a range of research activities to support delivery of projects in the voluntary, public and funding sectors
  • Support the development and expansion of all aspects of IVAR’s activities and ways of working


Main functions

The post-holder will be expected to concentrate their efforts on the main areas set out below. However, IVAR is also committed to a degree of flexibility for all salaried posts to allow both the organisation and the individuals concerned to develop a better understanding of their strengths and development needs, in order to make best and most appropriate use of their contribution.

  • Participate in research project teams on all aspects of research: fieldwork design and delivery; organisation of associates and staff; analysis and report writing; communication and dissemination
  • Initiate and generate content for communication purposes
  • Undertake and write-up desk-based reviews of literature and/or datasets
  • Undertake fieldwork using both qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Draft reports and other outputs according to IVAR house style
  • Support the IVAR team in initiating and developing new work
  • Contribute to the dissemination of learning within the voluntary sector, funding and public sector, including attending and presenting at events, and producing materials aimed at a practitioner audience
  • Contribute to discussions about IVAR’s own research practice and strategic development


Person specification


  • Understanding and experience of qualitative research methods, including interviewing, focus groups and facilitation
  • Experience of contributing to all stages of the research process (for example, research design; fieldwork; data analysis; dissemination)
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate research findings in an accessible and engaging manner to different audiences using a range of methods
  • A commitment to IVAR’s mission and ways of working
  • An understanding of the context and challenges facing the UK voluntary sector – and specifically for small to medium voluntary organisations
  • An understanding of research ethics and data protection
  • A good team player, but also able to work alone, take initiative and manage and prioritise a diverse workload



  • Experience of using participatory methods and facilitation
  • Understanding and experience of quantitative research methods, i.e. design and analysis of small-scale surveys; analysing data-sets
  • Masters or post-graduate training in a relevant social sciences topic 
  • A commitment to continuous learning


How to apply

You can find out more about the role and how to apply by downloading our job application pack. 


More about Institute for Voluntary Action Research
Institute for Voluntary Action Research

We help charities and funders to be the best they can be – for the people and communities they exist to support. We do this by askin... Read more

Refreshed on: 04 October 2020
Closed date: 16 October 2020
Tags: Advice, Information, Policy/Research