UCL Public Policy


Policy Secondment: UCL-OHID Researcher in Residence

We are pleased to announce a new Policy Secondment opportunity with the UK Government’s Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID).


The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) is part of the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), and focuses on improving the nation’s health so that everyone can expect to live more of life in good health, and on levelling up health disparities to break the link between background and prospects for a healthy life.

OHID works across DHSC, the rest of government, the healthcare system, local government and industry to be creative about how they shift their focus towards preventing ill health, in particular in the places and communities where there are the most significant disparities. As part of DHSC, OHID brings together expert advice, analysis and evidence with policy development and implementation to shape and drive health improvement and equalities priorities for government.

UCL Public Policy and UCL Health of the Public are supporting up to six Researcher in Residence secondments at OHID (0.6FTE – 1FTE), providing an excellent opportunity for UCL researchers to improve their knowledge and understanding of working in a government department, strengthen networks and develop skills and experience of contributing to policy work. This opportunity is being funded by Research England’s QR Special Priorities Fund (QR-SPF), which is held by UCL.

Role description & key responsibilities

Each Researcher in Residence will work closely with the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) on one of the following projects:

1. Understanding and reducing the increased levels of worklessness post pandemic. (Project supervisor: Elaine Rashbrook)

2. Review and interventions to tackle climate impacts on health inequalities in London (Project supervisor: Julie Billett)

3. How do we measure progress on health equity in the new health and care system? (Project Supervisor: Jennifer Yip/ Julie Billett/ Graeme Walsh)

4. Prevention of bacterial STIs in London (Project supervisor: Kevin Fenton)

5. Tackling Ethnic health inequalities through anti-racism approach: Lessons learnt and review of approaches in the UK (Project supervisors: Jennifer Yip /Kevin Fenton)

6. Non-fatal overdoses and prevention of fatal overdoses: recommendations for action. (Project supervisors: Alison Keating/Jennifer Yip)

7. Improving access to alcohol treatment services for inclusion health group. (Project supervisors: Alison Keating/Julie Billett)

8. Inclusive engagement: A consideration of intersectionality for engaging people with disabilities (Project supervisors: Elizabeth Walsh / Jennifer Yip)

9. Implementation of national guidance on identifying and responding to suicide clusters in London: an evaluation (Project supervisor: Jackie Chin)

10. Families and weight management (Project supervisors: Leah da Souza Thomas/ Jackie Chin)

This opportunity is available either part-time (0.6FTE) for six months or up to full time (1FTE) for four months, from 1st January 2024.

The Researchers in Residence will report to the named project supervisor/s.

The successful applicants will be willing to embrace and contribute to the fast-paced work culture at OHID.

The main responsibilities will be to:

  • Scope and define the project in collaboration with supervisor/s and partners
  • Work closely with key stakeholders to ensure the project focus remains relevant to policy and practice
  • Undertake research relevant to each project e.g.
  • Rapid review of relevant literature
  • Data analysis
  • Semi structured interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Mixed methods research
  • Lead on preparing publications, reports and presentations

About you

These secondments are open to eligible academic and research staff at UCL Grade 6, 7 or 8 (and CL7 and CL8). They are offered on a part-time basis (0.6FTE) for six months, up to full time (1FTE) for four months. Eligible applicants must have a UCL contract that extends beyond the secondment period.

Essential criteria

  • Excellent research and analytic skills, with demonstrated experience or transferable skills in designing and carrying out feasibility studies, and translating research findings to other contexts.
  • Expertise and experience in using research as a means of informing and contributing towards policy development.
  • Ability to operate effectively, openly and collaboratively within sensitive political contexts.
  • Ability to demonstrate neutrality and impartiality while navigating competing stakeholder interests.
  • Excellent communication skills and ability to effectively engage with people from different backgrounds and sectors, and at different levels of seniority. Particularly important are writing skills and proven communications experience.
  • Understanding of the academic policy-engagement environment, and an ability to grasp project priorities quickly.
  • Ability to work proactively, managing and prioritising your own workload, while managing contingencies between multiple project stakeholders.
  • An interest in understanding the role of DHSC, and OHID.

Desirable criteria

  • Policy development and implementation experience.
  • Previous experience of working with DHSC, local authorities or allied bodies.

Please note specific terms and conditions will be stated in a Researcher in Residence agreement, which the successful candidate will be required to sign at the start of their secondment.

To apply

Please complete the online application form to apply for this opportunity. If you have difficulty in accessing or using this form please contact Dr Alice Tofts, Policy Fellowship Coordinator, UCL Public Policy (alice.tofts@ucl.ac.uk). If you have any questions please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page

Deadline: Monday 16th October 2023 – 12:00 BST

We particularly welcome applications from black and minority ethnic, female and disabled/neurodivergent candidates.

Top ranked candidates will be invited to an informal interview on Tuesday 31st October

Please note information provided in the application form will be shared with OHID to assess your suitability for the award. For more information on data sharing please see the UCL Staff Privacy Statement here and UCL statement on tasks in the public interest here


Application Deadline: Monday 16th October 2023 – 12:00 BST