Join Our Graduate Training 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

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!

Interested in joining our team?

Complete the form below to register your interest in our Graduate programme:



Why IFF?

Rewarding work

“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

“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

Stimulating and comprehensive graduate training 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

Supportive, friendly and fun work environment

“I feel like IFF is a place where you can bring your whole self – warts and all, vulnerabilities and all to work and be accepted for exactly who you are”.

Gill Stewart, Associate Director, Learning & Skills

“I love the atmosphere at IFF. There’s a great team spirit spanning all levels of the company, and I’ve been supported and listened to since starting as a trainee. Everyone here cares, and that shines through – not just in the work we produce, but also in the fun, relaxed vibe in our office.”

Jessica Huntley Hewitt, Associate Director

Great opportunities and career progression

“It’s been over 18 years since I joined IFF as a Trainee Research Executive, and I’m now a Director heading up our Financial Services sector. As a trainee, I had the opportunity to work across many sectors and all methodologies; I was never pigeonholed; rather, I was encouraged to explore and develop new skills, which means I am now able to contribute to areas of research that matter most to me.”
Alistair Kuechel, Director

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