Emerging Researcher

Date: 24-Nov-2022

Location: London, UKM, GB Manchester, UKM, GB Belfast, UKM, GB Edinburgh, UKM, GB Cardiff, UKM, GB

Company: British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. 
We work in two ways – directly with individuals to transform their lives, and with governments and partners to make a bigger difference for the longer term, creating benefit for millions of people all over the world. We help young people to gain the skills, confidence and connections they are looking for to realise their potential and to participate in strong and inclusive communities. We support them to learn English, to get a high-quality education and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. Our work in arts and culture stimulates creative expression and exchange and nurtures creative enterprise. We connect the best of the UK with the world and the best of the world with the UK. 
These connections lead to an understanding of each other's strengths and of the challenges and values that we share. This builds trust between people in the UK and other nations which endures even when official relations may be strained. We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.



Emerging Researcher

Pay band: 7 Salary scale £26,934-£30,354 basic plus £3,300 London Market Allowance
Location:  Cardiff, London, Manchester, Edinburgh, or Belfast. (The UK Only).
Department: English & Exams
Contract type: Indefinite
Closing Date: 1st January 2023 at 23:59 UK Time. 

You must have the legal right to work in the UK at the time of application. 

The Context:


The Assessment Research Group (ARG) sits within the wider English and Exams Strategic Business Unit (E&E SBU). This position will contribute to ARG work in support of teams working with language assessment across the British Council, including specialized test development teams such as Global Assessments and IELTS, assessment in learning products, and British Council educational reform projects. The ARG leads on research in key language assessment areas including innovative language test design and development, the use of educational technology in language assessment, Language Assessment Literacy engagement aimed at teachers, policy makers, and other stakeholders, and research and expert advisory work supporting assessment and language education reform projects in education systems. ARG works with teams across the British Council, including the E&E SBU and English for Education Systems teams situated in the Cultural Engagement SBU. The ARG coordinates and oversees an active thought-leadership agenda, including publishing and presenting as experts in the field, providing editorial direction on specialised publications and research reports, and convening conferences and events that bring together international experts on language assessment, learning and policy.
The Opportunity:

Role Purpose:

This is an exciting opportunity to strengthen the Assessment Research Group’s (ARG) test research and development capability by providing academic support to the ARG in the areas of test design, research design and data collection, and test data analysis. The role will work under the supervision of ARG Researchers to implement research plans and data collection for the development and validation of new and existing British Council assessment products, including actively supporting the introduction of educational technology and working with assessment in both testing and learning products. In this role you will be engaging with teachers and other stakeholders internally and externally by supporting the ARG’s Language Assessment Literacy work.. A core aspect of the role is to actively support the dissemination of the ARG’s work, other commissioned work, as well as the products and projects of the wider organisation, to different audiences and through different channels. You will also be supporting the academic oversight and delivery of the British Council’s assessment research grant schemes overseen by ARG and support the organisation and delivery of specialist conferences and events which engage with the international assessment research community. As well as contributing to the ARG’s thought-leadership role and agenda by co-authoring technical and research reports and publications and presenting research carried out by the ARG at specialist conferences, etc.

The role is designed for a language teaching practitioner with practical experience in any area of language testing who is actively seeking a career shift towards language assessment research and is keen to become engaged in professional development within the testing field.

Subject/Sector Expertise


  • Contributes to building a body of work through research, publication and dissemination which builds and enhances the British Council’s position of international leadership and authority in language assessment and learning
  • Builds an up-to-date knowledge of language assessment theory and practice to enable the ARG to provide high-quality consultation to support the British Council’s work in language assessment, learning and educational reform
  • With support, represents the British Council externally to enhance its reputation as a leading authority in the field of language assessment, learning and educational reform, promoting and supporting new collaborative opportunities in the area
  • Contributes to the development and delivery of training, support and knowledge-sharing activities to build skills and capability in language assessment theory and practice across the British Council and with external stakeholders (e.g., educators and researchers)
  • Collates, cleans, and archives test and research data sets under the supervision of ARG researchers
  • Runs routine analysis procedures on test and research data sets under the supervision of ARG researchers and where required in order to acquire the necessary skills to use specialist software required for such purposes
  • Constructs data collection instruments such as questionnaires under the supervision of ARG researchers
  • Participates as a co-researcher in data collection and analysis for research projects under the supervision of ARG researchers and, where appropriate, contributes to producing research reports, papers, and presentation on the outcomes of such research projects
  • Carries out literature reviews for specific topics and projects, identifying relevant published resources, and providing summaries of articles and papers for project members


Relationship and stakeholder management


  • Supports the production of research reports and publications by ARG, including carrying out proofreading, reference checking, and document editing, as well as liaising with internal and external project partners, editors, and publishers to ensure publications are produced on schedule
  • Carries out communications as required on a project-by-project basis with internal and external stakeholders for ARG


Product or programme/management or development


  • As required, participates in internal working group/peer networks to maintain a detailed understanding of both current and prospective products/programmes/services and uses these insights to support effective delivery of the ARG’s activities
  • Supports the delivery of major international conferences and events that bring together policy makers, researchers and educators to exchange state-of-the-art information on language assessment, learning and educational reform
  • Supports the administration of research grant schemes run by ARG


Requirements of the role:


Role specific knowledge, experience, and skills



  • Experience developing and delivering workshops/training for teachers and other stakeholders to improve language assessment skills and knowledge
  • Experience of using technology for language learning purposes
  • Experience communicating research and/or theory to external audiences in both written and spoken modes
  • Ability to develop and deliver workshops/training to improve language assessment skills and knowledge for teachers and other stakeholders
  • Ability to work collaboratively on the collection and analysis of language testing data for research purposes
  • Ability to run routine data analysis, whether QUAL or QUAN, using analytical tools or methods



  • Experience running routine data analysis
  • Ability to use analytical tools (e.g., Excel, SPSS)
  • Experience collaborating on the collection and analysis of language and testing data for research purposes




Education and Qualifications


  • Essential: MA/MSc in TESOL, Applied Linguistics, or related field
  • Desirable: Graduate certificate, diploma or similar in language testing or assessment



Further information

In addition to a competitive salary and excellent pension contributions, the British Council offers:


•    32 days annual leave plus statutory public holidays and half day privilege Christmas leave

•    Non-contractual discretionary annual performance bonus

•    Extensive and generous family friendly benefits

•    Extensive range of voluntary benefit options

•    Outstanding defined benefit career average Civil Service Pension Scheme which includes life cover and pensions for eligible dependants, e.g., Spouse, civil partner, partner, dependent children


Closing Date: Applications will close at 23:59 on 1st January 2023 UK Time. 

Interviews will be held on 16, 17, and/or 18 January 2023.
You must have the legal right to work in the UK at the time of application



A connected and trusted UK in a more connected and trusted world.


Equality , Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Statement


The British Council is committed to policies and practices of equality, diversity and inclusion across everything we do. We support all staff to make sure their behaviour is consistent with this commitment.  We want to address under representation and encourage applicants from under-represented groups, in particular, but not exclusively, on grounds of ethnicity and disability.  All disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria are guaranteed an interview and we have Disability Confident Employer Status. We welcome discussions about specific requirements or adjustments to enable participation and engagement in our work and activities.


The British Council is committed to safeguarding children, young people and adults who we work with.


We believe that all children and adults everywhere in the world deserve to live in safe environments and have the right to be protected from all forms of abuse, maltreatment and exploitation as set out in article 19, UNCRC (United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child) 1989.


Appointment to positions where there is direct involvement with vulnerable groups will be dependent on thorough checks being completed; these will include qualification checks, reference checks, identity & criminal record checks in line with legal requirements and with the British Council’s Safeguarding policies for Adults and Children.


If you have any problems with your application please email askhr@britishcouncil.org


Please note: Applications to this role can only be considered when made through the Apply section of our careers website. Our ‘ASK HR’ email is only to be used in case of a technical issue encountered when applying through the careers website. Emails with supporting statements and CV/Resumes sent to this email address will not be reviewed and will be deleted.