Courses for Core Skills

Essential Skills for Government Social Research and Research Management


This two day course is for government social researchers who have been in service approximately 3 - 18 months. The course will enable you to work effectively with policy and delivery colleagues, to provide appropriate research to meet their information needs and to support them in using research to inform decision making.

Designed by a former Chief Government Social Researcher, the course is designed to develop skills in utilising social research within government, with a focus on the role of research in government, research planning, conducting and managing research, ethical issues, commissioning and research management.

The course draws on a wide range of experience and includes sessions with research customers, managers and contractors, and there is plenty of time for discussion and sharing experience.

Key Components

  • What is our USP?
  • The Policy Perspective  
  • Dealing with problems in research management
  • A research manager in government
  • From research question to specification
  • Procurement: a legislative framework
  • Evaluating tenders 
  • Negotiating in difficult situations 
  • Ethics in government social research 
  • External research Q&A panel
  • Networking with colleagues

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the role of social research within government and its importance in evidence-based decision-making.
  • Develop skills in commissioning social research projects, including designing research specification, defining research objectives, scoping projects, and selecting appropriate research methodologies.
  • Learn effective strategies for managing relationships with customers, stakeholders, and research contractors, including clear communication, collaboration, and addressing potential conflicts.
  • Explore ethical considerations related to social research in government, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and guidelines.
  • Cultivate critical thinking abilities to assess the quality and relevance of research proposals, methodologies, and data sources.
  • Build an understanding of data management and confidentiality practices in social research, ensuring the protection of sensitive information.



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