Click 'Accept all cookies' to agree to all cookies that collect anonymous data.
To only allow the cookies that make the site work, click 'Use essential cookies only.' Visit 'Set cookie preferences' to control specific cookies.
Social research aims to provide high quality research-based evidence and advice for Ministers and Scottish Government officials to inform policy development and implementation.
Social Researchers support the development, implementation and evaluation of the Scottish Government's policies.
Social researchers help generate new ideas and open debate, challenge assumptions, beliefs and attitudes, test policy ideas and develop a deeper understanding of issues affecting Scotland.
Their core functions include:
understanding the factors which motivate and constrain the behaviour and practices of individuals and organisations in society
reviewing, interpreting and synthesising evidence, and providing research based advice
robust policy evaluation, identifying what works for whom and why
estimating the distributional and equalities impacts of policies
monitoring social trends to identify future challenges and priorities
working with other analysts to ensure the social and cultural impacts of policies are assessed and integrated into decision-making
engaging with the academic and wider research community to bring expert knowledge into the policy making process
advising government on social research methods and research ethics
commissioning external research projects
disseminating research findings and encouraging their wider use
Social researchers work closely with other analysts in the Government including statisticians, economists and operational researchers, and across all areas of Scottish Government responsibility including Education, Justice, Health and Social Care, Social Security, Environment and Climate Change, Economy, Equality, Transport, Communities and Local Government, and Culture and External Affairs.
The Chief Researcher is head of profession for all social researchers in the Scottish Government, and also leads the Office of the Chief Researcher which provides a strategic, corporate and professional support function.