Back to main menu
Back to main menu
Life in the Civil Service
Back to main menu

Find opportunities that work for you...

Share your feedback, help us improve this site

Decorative image: a group of colleagues working together on a whiteboard

Government Social Research

Government Social Research (GSR) is the analytical profession within Government that generates and provides social and behavioural research and advice to enable government to understand issues relating to society, groups and individuals; and support policy debate and decision-making through a variety of approaches, advice and evidence.

What we do

GSR members come from a wide range of professional backgrounds and disciplines, covering the breadth of social and behavioural sciences. Our work puts people at the heart of government decision-making by providing expertise and interventions to solve complex problems.

GSR takes a scientific and tailored approach supported by bodies of knowledge and a range of research methods to inform, and influence. As a Government Social Researcher, you’ll contribute to the identification, investigation and reporting of social trends, the development of government policy, and the monitoring and evaluation of how policies make a difference to public services.

You will have the opportunity to work on issues that really matter, learn how government works, and gain the skills and experience that will allow you to be a future leader within the UK Civil Service. In addition, you will also have access to the benefits available to all UK Civil Servants, including the Civil Service pension scheme, professional qualifications, and flexible working.

We offer a specific Learning & Development Curriculum to develop your leadership skills and wider understanding of the UK Civil Service. In parallel, you will also develop your professional social research skills and knowledge. As well as on-the-job learning and coaching you will be able to access social research-specific technical training, seminars and other courses, which can be tailored from our annual programmes to your specific learning needs.

Decorative image: a photo of a lecture hall full of people, all looking at a presentation screen
Decorative image: three people sitting at a table making notes on paper whilst looking at a laptop screen together
Two people collaboratively working on a whiteboard

“My favourite thing about being a government social researcher is the opportunity to influence decisions that improve people’s lives.”


Senior Research Officer, Ministry of Justice

Our career offer

Government social researchers play a critical role in gathering analysing and interpreting the information that forms the foundation for decision-making affecting every UK resident. This is an exciting time to be joining the Civil Service.

With continuous professional support; your work might involve developing surveys, analysing data, producing statistics, reviewing existing research evidence and working with other analysts in government to provide timely, relevant and robust briefing for policy colleagues and Ministers. Government departments recruit Social Researchers throughout the year on Civil Service Jobs. In addition to this, the GSR runs 3 central recruitment schemes.

Where could you work?

HM Revenue and Customs

Office of National Statistics

Home Office

Ministry of Justice

Our routes into the profession

Degree Apprenticeship Programme

Research Officer Scheme

Sandwich Student Placement Scheme

Fast Stream Scheme