Research Graduate Programme

Our two-year Education Research Graduate Programme offers a unique opportunity to develop a career in education research and learn about the whole research process, from tender through to project delivery.

Please note: Applications are closed for our 2017-18 programme; our next intake will be in autumn 2019, with applications opening in spring 2019.

About the graduate programme

Throughout the programme you will have the opportunity to learn about every aspect of the research process, and apply your learning to key policy and practice issues in education, helping us to make a difference to outcomes for children and young people.

You will be provided with a clear development path with tailored experience, and your professional development will be identified and agreed with you throughout the programme. You will receive a high level of professional support from your Line Manager and your colleagues.

Starting with a temporary one-year contract in the first instance, progress will be reviewed at the end of the first year and provided you have achieved the required standard of performance you will continue into the second year of the programme, after which you will be given a permanent contract of employment.

Permanent contracts of employment will be offered in expectation that you will stay with NFER for at least two further years on completion of the programme.

Structure and content of the programme

The programme will be structured to allow you to learn about the whole research process from responding to tenders to delivering project outputs.

You will learn about using statistics and quantitative analysis and running research projects in schools to find out about education issues.

You will have the opportunity to work on a range of tasks such as data collection (including fieldwork), data preparation and coding, data analysis and reporting.

You will move between up to four different departments, spending up to six months in each.

You will be provided with specific training relevant to each placement and will be a contributing member of teams working on ongoing projects.


We are keen to hear from you if you are a new graduate/postgraduate or have up to two years’ post-graduation experience, with:

  • An interest and aptitude for statistics, economics, psychology or a qualification with a strong quantitative component.
  • An interest in education and social research.


Salaries will be reviewed at the end of the first year of the programme and subject to good progress you will receive a salary increment.

If you have any questions about the programme, please e-mail

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