Join our Graduate Programme

There’s a saying in the industry that people often fall into research. It might not be the first trajectory discussed in careers conversations in school and college, and as a result isn’t always front of mind when grads are searching for graduate training programmes to use and develop their skills.

Yet, the research industry offers excellent opportunities for graduates looking to gain a depth of knowledge, undertake stimulating work and gain experience across a wide range of tasks.

What’s more, working within social research is also highly rewarding. Knowing that the work you’re doing is having a positive impact on society is a great feeling and certainly helps keep the Monday morning blues at bay.

So, if you’re reading this now and are pondering next steps, be assured that a career in research can be both highly rewarding and hugely beneficial to your development. And if you pick the right company, can also be a lot of fun!

Want to find out more?

graduate training programme

“You’re really aware of the fact that the work you’re doing may have real implications in people’s lives. And that really motivates me to come to work everyday.”

Oliver Gooding, Research Executive

What our graduate training programme entails

IFF’s graduate training programme is designed to get you up and running as a researcher as soon as possible.

The programme begins with the ‘Dummy Project’ training course which lasts around 3-4 months including 11 face-to-face sessions. This gives you an in-depth look at every stage of the research process: from understanding the research purpose and using the right questions, to analysing the data and reporting your findings.

The programme also involves individual tasks and activities that are planned into your working day, so you can practice on your own before coming back together as a group to discuss and share experiences. Our training is closely aligned to the Market Research Society’s Learning Pathway.

All training is run in small groups by a very friendly bunch of IFFers, and there is an emphasis on just ‘having a go’.

Once the Dummy Project training course is finished, we run a series of more in-depth training sessions and workshops on certain key elements of a research project. E.g. communicating with clients, designing questionnaires, analysing data, in-depth interviewing techniques and qualitative analysis.

Graduates are invited to get practice presenting as part of ‘junior presenting club’ – fun lunchtime sessions that provide a space to play with different techniques in a safe environment!

The initial training takes up to 2-3 days of your time each week, leaving time to work on real research projects from day 1.

We are really proud of the graduate training that we have developed, and we hope you find it as enjoyable as it is useful!

Why IFF?

Open and transparent culture

“Our aim is to create the sort of team we enjoy being part of. Which is why we run full team events like our Friday Club, Team Day and Christmas Party and foster an open and transparent working environment. Our Directors are friendly and approachable, and work side-by-side with executives as we all pull together towards the achievement of common goals. From online surveys to face to face interviews, workshops to focus groups, online communities to secondary analysis there’s no limit to the type of research work that we do.”

Jan Shury, Managing Director

Rewarding work and great opportunities

“The work that we do day to day has national and international significance which gives you a real sense of pride in everything you do.”

Jenny Hull, Trainee Research Executive

“Working at IFF in a graduate role really is fulfilling – from the great training programme to the opportunity to work on a variety of impactful and genuinely intriguing projects. There is a lot of care taken to welcome you properly and you are valued as a member of the team on projects right from the beginning which only adds to the desire to continue producing high-quality work. ”

Leyla Ahmed, Trainee Research Executive

Stimulating and comprehensive programme

David Vivian, Higher Education research director“Our training programme consists of a number of difference elements. It’s very blended. It offers that formal training with a number of structured training courses, alongside on the job training, being put on projects from day one.

It’s also very applied. We teach all the key theories and methods but we apply it to the projects and our roles day-to-day.”

David Vivian, Director of Research

Employee benefits

  • Holidays

    • 28 days annual leave per year
    • Public and bank holidays
  • Rewards

    • Profit-sharing bonus scheme
  • Learning & Development

    • 2 days paid volunteering leave per year
    • Annual cycle of training provision, both internal and external
    • Regular knowledge sharing sessions including IFF’s ‘drink while you think’ workshops
  • Support

    • Company pension programme
    • Season ticket loans
    • Ride-to-work scheme
    • Interest-free relocation loan
    • Childcare vouchers
    • Enhanced maternity and paternity pay
    • Lunch allowance – £260 a year
  • Health

    • Company life assurance cover
    • Permanent health insurance
    • Free fruit
  • Social

    • Social events and activities
    • Regular company team days
    • Friday Club – quarterly lunch and drinks