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Q. Tell us about your work, who do you work with and how does everyone work together?
In my team, our research and evaluation projects range across the welfare, employment, housing, justice, health and wellbeing policy areas. Our clients include government departments, such as the Department for Work and Pensions, Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities, the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Health and Social Care; the Welsh and Scottish Governments; What Works Centres; large charities like GambleAware; professional bodies like the General Medical Council and numerous social housing landlords.
As you progress your career, you tend to have increasingly specialist areas but one of the attractions of working in the team is the sheer variety of topic areas that you can be working across. Also, most of our projects are mixed method; everyone gets involved in quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Q. What are the professional development opportunities like at IFF?
We have an in-house Learning and Development Director who started her journey at IFF as a Trainee Research Executive, working as a researcher for 12 years before moving into her current role. Our Learning and Development Director understands the range of skills that we need to develop. We provide a full programme of both specific research training and wider training. We have dedicated time built in for reviews, and feedback is encouraged on a day-to-day basis.
Q. How do you make sure there’s effective communication among team members, especially when working on complex research projects?
A typical week is incredibly busy, but we work together to juggle and balance our projects. We have a strong support system in place, from the team who manage our workload allocation and reallocate tasks if anyone is looking overloaded, to your line manager checking in on you and all the team around you available for mentoring, brainstorms and informal advice. We get together regularly for team workshops where we share learning from projects and catch up socially.
IFF as a whole is really sociable. There’s a committee organising all sorts of activities and there’s often some food related incentive to come into the office, from baking days to whole company lunches. That gives you a chance to talk to all the people you might not cross paths with in your working week.
Q. What’s the best thing about working at IFF?
I know we often talk about how supportive and friendly the people at IFF are and that’s certainly true. But to add to that, it’s great to work for an ever-growing independent research agency that still feels small enough to know everyone. Where you still have all of the leadership team alongside you for daily collaboration and communication – giving everyone the opportunity to share their thoughts and contribute to our success.