Policy and Research Officer

Working Hours:
Monday – Friday, 37.5 hours per week

Ashton Recruitment require a Policy and Research Officer for our client based in Belfast.


Position: Policy and Research Officer

Location: Belfast City Centre

Duration: Permanent

Rate of Pay: Salary on request

Hours of Work: Monday – Friday, 37.5 hours per week


Duties (not limited to):

  • Collaborate with the Policy and Communications Officer Manager to create and execute a stakeholder mapping and engagement strategy, aimed at enhancing the client’s relationships with influential decision-makers.
  • Provide high-quality monitoring of parliamentary activities and political insights, offering guidance to key internal stakeholders regarding political developments and proactively identifying pertinent issues, debates, and events relevant to the profession.
  • Maintain an up-to-date and well-organized repository of research and information related to legal and policy matters pertinent to the client. Promote internal awareness of policy risks, opportunities, or developments that necessitate further attention or escalation.
  • Generate concise, accurate, and timely written briefings for senior colleagues on policy positions of interest and relevance to the client.
  • Draft initial responses for Policy Consultation, facilitating timely input and review from others.
  • Cultivate and sustain productive relationships with external stakeholders, collaborating with internal colleagues to effectively convey positive messages about the client’s policy initiatives.
  • Assist in the coordination of corporate events and conferences as needed to promote the client’s work. This includes overseeing the functions and events of the Policy and Communications Team and liaising with other departments as necessary.
  • Monitor objectives, targets, and performance indicators pertaining to the client’s policy and public affairs endeavours.
  • Represent the client by attending events and meetings, making appropriate contributions, and reporting back on outcomes.
  • Support the Communications and PR Officer in creating content for the client’s weekly and monthly internal and external e-newsletters and publications as required.


 Essential Criteria

Qualifications and Knowledge

  • Education to degree level with an award of 2:1 or above in a related discipline e.g. law, politics, social sciences or equivalent professional experience.
  • Knowledge and understanding of Northern Ireland’s government and political structures.
  • Knowledge and understanding of research methodologies, statistical and analytical techniques, including qualitative and quantitative technique.
  • Knowledge of the legal and justice sectors within Northern Ireland.



  • At least one years’ experience in a policy/research role.
  • Experience in using research to develop reports/briefing papers to inform policy decisions.
  • Experience in preparing policy and research information that supports informed decision making in line with Corporate Plan objectives.
  • Experience in preparing briefing papers, reports, policy statements, correspondence, speeches and presentations tailored to specific audiences and situations.
  • Experience in undertaking bespoke pieces of research that inform policy development, strategy planning and consultation responses.
  • Experience in engaging with policy teams in partner organisations to inform the clients policy development.
  • Experience in analysing policy, numerical and other information to understand and interpret complex issues to determine actions required.
  • Ability to analyse, understand and effectively communicate policy direction.
  • Experienced user of Excel, Powerpoint, MS Office and survey software.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with the ability to communicate with people at all levels.
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to build and maintain working relationships with other team members and with external stakeholders.
  • Organised and able to prioritise and manage several pieces of work at any one time.
  • Ability to work under pressure and to agreed timelines.
  • Proactive with an ability to work on their own initiative as well as contributing to the wider projects/priorities of the team to ensure that objectives and performance targets are met.
  • An ability to work collaboratively and to contribute to the wider work of the client.
  • A keen interest in local current affairs/politics/policy and the government and legislative structures and processes in this jurisdiction.
  • A willingness to support work which promotes access to justice, the rule of law and the work of the independent referral client.
  • An ability to observe confidentiality and respect sensitive information.


Desirable Criteria


  • Training/qualification in research methodologies and/or statistical, analytical techniques, consultation and engagement techniques.



  • Experience of providing advice to senior managers and leadership team.
  • A knowledge of the legal and justice sectors and the public policy issues that influence it.
  • Experience of organising high quality events for political and other stakeholders.


Ashton Recruitment is acting as a Recruitment Agency


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