VRU Research & Evaluation Officer - SPP/PC25

Grade: POA | £34,326 pa | Location Wakefield | Fixed term until 31 March 2023 (with further funding approved) | Full time (up to 37 hours) Requests for part time / job share will be considered | Closing date: 10 July 2022

VRU Research & Evaluation Officer -SPP/PC25  Grade: POA £34,326 pa                                            Fixed Term to 31 March 2023 (with further funding approved)

Location:  Wakefield (flexible hybrid working)

Full time (up to 37 hours per week) - Requests will be considered for part time / job share  
Closing date: 10 July 2022

  • Do you want to work for an organisation that values you as an individual?
  • An organisation that will support your professional development?
  • What about an organisation that has Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the heart of everything that it does?
  • How about an organisation that does all these things and more?
  • Yes? Then look no further than the West Yorkshire Combined Authority! Listen to what our staff say by visiting our Life at West Yorkshire Combined Authority webpage

It is an exciting time to be joining the Mayoral Combined Authority. We have a wide variety of exciting projects that we are working on which will help shape the West Yorkshire region.

West Yorkshire Combined Authority are seeking to appoint a Research and Evaluation Officer to join the Knowledge Hub within our Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).

The VRU was established in 2019 to tackle and raise awareness of serious violence through projects across West Yorkshire. The VRU brings together specialists from health, police, local government, education, youth justice, prisons, probation and community organisations to tackle violent crime and the underlying causes of violent crime.

It is an exciting time to be joining the Combined Authority, following the announcement that a £1.8bn devolution deal has been secured for West Yorkshire. Devolution will enable us to drive up living standards for local communities while tackling the climate emergency and help deliver our commitment to become a net zero carbon city region by 2038.

To find out more about the work the Combined Authority is involved with take a look at our latest news stories.

The Role

Reporting into the Knowledge Hub Manager, your key responsibilities will include:

  1. Work within a team to manage and deliver on the research requirements of the VRU. Contribute to the development of the VRU “Knowledge Hub” as a centre of expertise and a resource for West Yorkshire agencies working to understand and tackle violent crime and its causes
  2. Provide detailed reports and disseminate findings to support and inform district and West Yorkshire planning and delivery.
  3. Provide expert professional advice and support to the VRU Director and colleagues to develop the VRU Strategic Needs Analysis and to deliver the VRU Response Strategy.
  4. Develop working relationships with colleagues in public health, communities, academia and partner agencies to collaborate and develop broader research capacity to improve professional understanding of the challenges of violent crime and in the delivery of shared research and evaluation to produce evidence and understanding to inform actions to tackle violent crime and its causes.
  5. Perform a “horizon scanning” function within the VRU ensuring that the work of the VRU is informed by up to date local, national and international research, policy and strategy developments.
  6. Generate evidence to improve the health and wellbeing of populations and communities in relation to violent crime; research matters of public health in relation to violent crime identifying trends, risks and protective factors that will make a positive impact on reducing violence and improving lives for West Yorkshire communities.
  7. Support the establishment of performance monitoring systems across VRU/partner delivery to enable the VRU Director and the PCC to receive regular updates and to provide evidence to assist critical support and challenge for partner agencies.
  8. Work closely with the VRU Information Governance Lead to support the development of legally compliant systems for receiving, storing, analysing and sharing data with partner agencies.
  9. Work closely with the VRU Contracts Lead and Programme Delivery Managers to ensure that all contracts for grants and services take account of the requirement for the VRU to receive monitoring information regarding compliance and outcomes of contracted services and grant funded interventions.
  10. Work closely with the VRU Community Engagement Lead to develop mechanisms for gathering and evaluating information from West Yorkshire communities regarding experiences and perceptions of violence and to understand the impact on communities of interventions, including co-production, by the VRU and other agencies.
  11. Develop a systematic approach to evaluating the services and interventions funded by the VRU to build organisational understanding of “what works”. Draw on research findings from academia and professional bodies and also draw on information from engaged community partners to broaden and deepen this understanding of “what works”
  12. Conduct and manage quantitative and qualitative research, gathering, analysing and interpreting relevant data to inform decision making and strategic planning within the VRU, including the analysis of consultations.
  13. Provide expert professional reports and briefings, making recommendations and advising the VRU Director, the PCC and representing the VRU in meetings with partners.
  14. With a flexible approach to working within a dynamic and changing environment, provide any other support necessary to enable the VRU to fulfil its role.


Review the Role profile provided for more information about the responsibilities.

About you

You will have the following key skills, attributes, education and experience

  • Degree level qualification in a related subject area or equivalent professional qualification or previous relevant experience
  • Proven experience of a high level of critical/analytical thinking with innovative and creative approaches to problem solving
  • In-depth working knowledge and ability to operate computerised databases
  • Possesses excellent report writing and analytical presentation skills
  • Proven experience of ability to work in a pressured environment with competing demands and the ability to deliver to strict deadlines and targets
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills, with proven experience of building and maintaining internal and external relationships
  • A knowledge of Violence Reduction/Prevention issues or experience of working within a public protection related area (desirable)
  • Resilient and proven ability to work independently, use own initiative and work under pressure, possessing good time management skills (desirable)
  • Knowledge/experience of Public Health research methods/evidence based practice (desirable)
  • Membership of a professional body e.g. Market Research Society (desirable)



Our offer

Alongside a competitive salary, we offer an excellent benefits package including:

  • 28 days Annual Leave (increasing upon years of service) plus bank holidays
  • Generous Employer-Contribution Pension Scheme
  • Free Travel on rail and buses across West Yorkshire with the M-Card (Zones 1-5)
  • Flexible working practices with Health & Wellbeing initiatives to ensure you achieve the best work/life balance and career goals.

We have also recently undergone a major office refurbishment and have bright, airy, modern office space, with all latest technology, and just a 2-minute walk from Leeds Train Station. We also have agile working options too if you would rather work from home, or another suitable location, as well as a generous flexi-time scheme.

To apply

If this sounds like your next role, please upload your anonymised CV to our online application form telling us why you would be a great fit for our role.

Apply by 11:55pm on Sunday 10 July 2022.

Further Information

The Combined Authority is passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that promotes and values diversity. We know through experience that different ideas, perspectives and backgrounds create a stronger and more creative work environment that delivers better outcomes. We welcome applications irrespective of people's age, disability, neuro-divergence, sex, gender identity and gender expression, race or ethnicity, religion or belief, sexual orientation, pregnancy or maternity. or other personal circumstances. We have policies and procedures in place to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and consistently at every stage of the recruitment process, including the consideration of reasonable adjustments for people who have a disability and/or who are neuro-divergent. To find out more about inclusivity at the West Yorkshire Combined Authority please visit our dedicated webpage.

Applicants with a disability are guaranteed an interview, subject to the minimum criteria being met.

Candidates will be notified of invitation to interview by e-mail and interviews will be carried out either by phone, video or face to face. If you have any difficulty with the type of interview you are invited to, please inform the recruiting manager at your earliest convenience to enable them to consider an alternative solution.

Please note that whilst it is our policy to recruit at SP1 for all appointments, which is the salary stated above, each role includes career salary progression, with incremental increases applicable in most cases, on an annual basis.

Successful applicants to roles which have been identified for Vetting will be subject to all relevant vetting checks at the appropriate level and any job offer will be conditional on successful vetting. All applicants must meet the necessary vetting requirements but should be aware that it is not always possible to carry these out on persons who have not been resident within the UK for the last three years. In these instances, applicants may be refused, where it is not possible to vet them to the appropriate standard.

Due to the high volumes of applications we receive, we are unfortunately unable to respond to every applicant. If you have not heard from us within four weeks of the closing date, please assume that on this occasion your application has not been successful. We do however thank you for your application and encourage you to continue looking for roles on our Careers with Us website page.

Candidate information will be retained by the Combined Authority for six months unless you make a request for this to be deleted.

Terms and conditions

Applicants are advised that the Combined Authority is currently in consultation with employees and Trade Unions to review the Terms and Conditions of Employment and Staff Benefits.

The detail of the proposals for change, will be discussed with the successful candidate at the point of offer.