MSP Staff

About The Role

The Scottish Parliamentary Labour Group is looking for 2 Policy and Research Officer posts to join their team. One post will be permanent and one will be fixed term to cover for a period of maternity leave.
Location: Scottish Parliament, Holyrood, Edinburgh
Hours: Full-time; 35 hours
Salary: £35,562

An exciting opportunity has arisen for highly motivated individuals to support the parliamentary work of the Scottish Parliamentary Labour Group in the position of Policy and Research Officer.  Joining a highly motivated team and reporting to the Director of Policy, you will make a significant contribution to the development of policy and strategy for the Scottish Labour parliamentary group. 

You will work in a fast moving and constantly changing political environment, where no two days are the same; often being required to act at short notice, and to tight timescales, to respond to developing issues.  You will be required to keep pace with developments, both within and outwith the Parliament, and to develop responses, based on sound research, for the Parliamentary Group. 

This is a challenging but rewarding position, working as part of a supportive and inclusive team, in which you will require to exercise excellent judgement and to promptly produce position papers and policy briefings which give sound advice and guidance based on high quality research.

Ideally you will also have experience of working in a political environment as well as a strong interest in politics and knowledge of parliamentary processes.


  • Overseeing the research needs and project plans for your area(s) of specialist research interest
    • Leading on project work
    • Overseeing new areas and methods of research
    • Peer-reviewing validity and quality of work to ensure accuracy

  • Gathering and distributing valuable data that supports the Group’s activities
    • Keeping your knowledge of policy areas up-to-date
    • Carrying out research projects, responding at short notice and working to tight timescales
    • Proactively engaging with external bodies, obtaining and compiling relevant research documents to inform your research
    • Preparing and delivering regular briefings and updates
    • Analysing, evaluating and interpreting data and statistics
  • Engaging with the wider research community to ensure that the Group has access to (accurate and contemporary) data
    • Collaborating with colleagues from different services areas across the Parliament
    • Liaising with various external groups e.g. think-tanks, NGOs and Members of the Parliamentary Group
    • Developing effective relationships with counterparts in other UK legislatures and wider research community
  • Ensuring office is kept up-to-date with its relevant legislative and compliance obligations
    • Ensuring all research complies with data protection legislation and GDPR requirements
    • Checking for any updates to compliance related legislation and communicating changes to colleagues

About You


You will:
  • Be a quick learner with the ability to multitask and work within tight timescales
  • Have experience in a research role and in leading the development of policy proposals
  • Be able to produce high quality written research output that meets the needs of the parliamentary group
  • Have excellent communication skills with the ability to produce written research, briefings and position papers
  • Have the ability to advise, guide and persuade others
  • Be a proactive problem solver with the motivation and resilience to adapt and deal with challenges
  • Have skills in developing research networks and communicating complex information to others at various levels
  • Have analytical skills with the ability to identify and investigate trends while interpreting data
  • Be able to work on your own initiative, whilst functioning effectively as a member of a team
  • Have the creative flair and expertise to produce accurate and influential work

The Selection Process

For any questions about the role please contact

To apply, click on "send CV" and upload your CV and supporting statement, setting out how you meet the person specification, as one document. When you've clicked "send CV" use the text box to provide wording for the covering email.

Closing date: Midnight, Monday 5 July

Interviews expected to take place week beginning Monday 19 July