Research Officer - Civil Service

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nm2277
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 10:00 pm

Research Officer - Civil Service

Post by nm2277 » Thu Aug 27, 2020 4:10 pm

Hi all,

I've recently been offered a job with Office for National Statistics as a research officer and it sounds like a really interesting role, although it's very research and stats based, and it's health related research but not really mental health related.

However, I also have been offered a job as a healthcare assistant role within an CAMHS inpatient unit. I tried applying for AP roles and wasn't getting anywhere, so the HCA application was kind of my plan B, but then I had also applied for the research officer role as a somehwat flippant attempt to get some sort of graduate job.

Both jobs seem great, but the RO one pays much better than the HCA role. However, I am not sure it will be helpful if I wanted to pursue a career as a CP. This has always been my goal and I don't want to lose sight of this. My thinking was I could always work in this RO job whilst I continue to apply for AP jobs or for PWP posts. I already have research experience from doing a placement year as an RA within a CAMHS department. I recently graduated with a first in psychology, and I've done a lot of part-time work as a support worker, including working with adults with learning disabilities.

I am just stuck between my decisions, as I really do enjoy research but at the end of the day, my goal is to be a CP.

Any help or advice would be really appreciated.

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Geishawife
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Re: Research Officer - Civil Service

Post by Geishawife » Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:24 pm

I would take the RO job. Remember, not all CPs work in mental health and it's a myth that only mental health experience is relevant when applying for the doctorate. Research experience, however, is VERY valuable when applying. The RO position gives you health experience, research experience and pays more - so I think it's almost a no brainer that you're better off taking that! Plus, it sounds like you are enthusiastic about it and being enthusiastic about our work is always a bonus.

Good luck. It sounds an interesting prospect.

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ell
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Re: Research Officer - Civil Service

Post by ell » Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:36 pm

The RO job sounds really interesting, and would set you up well for the research aspect of clinical training. As someone who shortlists for AP posts, I would be interested in someone with RO experience, as long as they also had some clinical experience to draw on. It sounds like you have that from your support worker experience so far. If you apply for AP posts in the future, as long as you don't neglect what you learnt from the support worker job in your application, then you could have a very good advantage with some RO experience under your belt as well. If I received an application from someone who had worked at ONS I would be hoping they ticked enough boxes in my shortlisting process so that I could interview them!

nm2277
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 10:00 pm

Re: Research Officer - Civil Service

Post by nm2277 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 12:07 am

Geishawife wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 6:24 pm
I would take the RO job. Remember, not all CPs work in mental health and it's a myth that only mental health experience is relevant when applying for the doctorate. Research experience, however, is VERY valuable when applying. The RO position gives you health experience, research experience and pays more - so I think it's almost a no brainer that you're better off taking that! Plus, it sounds like you are enthusiastic about it and being enthusiastic about our work is always a bonus.

Good luck. It sounds an interesting prospect.
ell wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 8:36 pm
The RO job sounds really interesting, and would set you up well for the research aspect of clinical training. As someone who shortlists for AP posts, I would be interested in someone with RO experience, as long as they also had some clinical experience to draw on. It sounds like you have that from your support worker experience so far. If you apply for AP posts in the future, as long as you don't neglect what you learnt from the support worker job in your application, then you could have a very good advantage with some RO experience under your belt as well. If I received an application from someone who had worked at ONS I would be hoping they ticked enough boxes in my shortlisting process so that I could interview them!


Thank you both! That's relieving to hear. I was a little hesitant because I worried maybe I didn't have enough clinical experience, and was why I wasn't getting any interviews for AP jobs (bar one that was non-NHS), but I think it may be that I need to work on being reflective of my support work role in my AP applications instead, so thank you, ell, for that advice.

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ell
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Re: Research Officer - Civil Service

Post by ell » Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:22 am

Make sure you explain in your application how you meet each of the criteria, and don't just say that you have something but say how you have demonstrated it, or what you do to achieve it, and that should help you with the AP applications. Sounds like obvious advice, but I've read so many applications where people just haven't done that. And mention the specific client group and why you want to work with them. All this advice is written elsewhere on the forum though, so take a look.

As I said, if I was shortlisting and came across someone with ONS experience I would be fascinated, and hope they get enough points for shortlisting for interview. But if they didn't then it wouldn't matter how much I wanted them to get through, I would have to pass over them. I think sometimes people have USPs that they think will get them to interview (we see people here saying "but I have this amazing experience" or "but I have had this unique life experience that makes me different"), but everyone has to demonstrate how they meet the criteria to get to interview.

nm2277
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Re: Research Officer - Civil Service

Post by nm2277 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 11:10 am

ell wrote:
Fri Aug 28, 2020 9:22 am
Make sure you explain in your application how you meet each of the criteria, and don't just say that you have something but say how you have demonstrated it, or what you do to achieve it, and that should help you with the AP applications. Sounds like obvious advice, but I've read so many applications where people just haven't done that. And mention the specific client group and why you want to work with them. All this advice is written elsewhere on the forum though, so take a look.

As I said, if I was shortlisting and came across someone with ONS experience I would be fascinated, and hope they get enough points for shortlisting for interview. But if they didn't then it wouldn't matter how much I wanted them to get through, I would have to pass over them. I think sometimes people have USPs that they think will get them to interview (we see people here saying "but I have this amazing experience" or "but I have had this unique life experience that makes me different"), but everyone has to demonstrate how they meet the criteria to get to interview.
This is really helpful to know, thanks so much! I will make sure to consider this when applying again for AP roles in the future.

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