Shared Lives Plus

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Date published: November 27, 2023

Vacancy – Senior Researcher – Closing Date Friday December 15th 2023

Salary Scale: £35,505.13 gross per annum based on full time hours
Accountable to:  Head of Strategic Advice & Development
Dept:  Strategic Advice & Development
Hours: Full Time (37 hours per week over 5 days)
Contract: 3 Years Fixed Term Contract
This is a grant funded role running for a 3-year period
Location: Home based with access to Liverpool office, and travel as required


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Shared Lives Plus is the UK membership charity for more than 6,000 Shared Lives carers, 150 Shared Lives schemes and a growing network of over 25 local Homeshare organisations. Our vision is a kinder, stronger society built on sharing our lives and our homes. We help build communities where everyone lives a full life, regardless of the support they need. We do this by turning Shared Lives and Homeshare into thriving, mainstream options, with all the right structures in place to support and guide those who want to share their lives and homes.

We are looking for an experienced senior researcher who can lead a broad range of consulting and improvement projects with national and local authority clients to assist them in growing and diversifying Shared Lives and Homeshare. The successful candidate will be skilled at both qualitative and quantitative research, project management, analysing complex performance, economic and demographic data, producing high quality presentations and reports, and facilitating and leading workshops, interviews and advisory groups to inform complex projects.

As well as a competitive salary, you will benefit from flexible working, 27 days annual leave (pro rata), birthday leave, and health and wellbeing support via Care First. At Shared Lives Plus you will join a dynamic, passionate, and inclusive team who believe that everyone should be able to choose who they spend time with and do what matters to them.

Shared Lives Plus is an Equal Opportunities Employer and we are committed to ensuring that all staff are motivated, skilled and rewarded by their work.  We welcome applicants regardless of race, religion or belief, colour, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, disability, age and other protected status as required by law. We promote and protect human rights; they are the foundation of what we do.

We want to be an inclusive place where a diverse mix of talented people want to come and contribute their unique strengths and perspectives.  We are focused on equality and believe that all the fascinating characteristics that make us different, make us more able to deliver our life-changing work with passion and creativity.

Job Objectives

The overarching objectives of this role include:

  • Support the Strategic Advice team and wider organisation to keep abreast of developments in the shared lives sector
  • Undertake desk top research support / intelligence gathering for good practice/ development ideas and support the wider NCF team with research gathering from members via survey software, including design, analysis and reporting
  • Support the Strategic Advice team to deliver research elements of projects that Shared Lives Plus has been commissioned to deliver
  • Produce short, clear concise briefing notes/ summaries/ research analysis and how to guides
  • Support the team to identify and prepare potential funding opportunities to grow this area of work
  • Contribute to the development of our organisational strategy, including income targets, growth, and our delivery plan.

Main duties and responsibilities

Research and Development

  • Develop, with the Head of the team and other colleagues from across the organisation, new commercial products, services and opportunities to expand our commercial income.
  • Develop and maintain a bank of high-quality case studies, examples, templates, visuals and references to support business development and proposal/application writing activities.
  • Undertake desk top research support / intelligence gathering to support the growth of the sector
  • Take a lead in the wider Shared Lives Plus team with research gathering from members via survey software, including design, analysis and reporting
  • Support the team to identify and prepare potential funding opportunities to grow this area of work
  • Support the Membership team with research and intelligence to support schemes and carers, developing our membership offer and maintain existing relationships
  • Support the improvement of existing data systems and analysis to make the most of all our membership and partner data

Consultancy and improvement projects

  • Support the relevant Strategic Advice project lead in the delivery of a range of funded time limited programmes, including support on project planning, overall project management, project reporting and project communications.
  • Gather evidence on the size, growth and impact of Shared Lives and Homeshare, including highlighting progress and identifying conditions of success to be relayed to a wide range of stakeholders
  • Liase, as appropriate, to manage a small group of staff or external consultants to deliver against project milestones
  • Support the delivery of a range of funded work and consultancy/development projects
  • Design and facilitate events, focus groups, workshops and presenting to local authority project groups.
  • Support and guide more junior members of the team on projects and approaches, ensuring our standard methodologies and processes are followed.

Working Practices

  • Engage in continuous self-development and training.
  • Work in a way which promotes diversity, equality of opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice.
  • Operate at all times in a way that is consistent with Shared Lives Plus’ legal responsibilities including health and safety legislation and guidance.
  • Work in accordance with Shared Lives Plus aims and objectives, policies, and procedures and to promote a positive image of the organisation and its members.


  • Undertake such other duties as may reasonably be required, commensurate with the level of the post and the needs of the organisation.

Person specification:

  • Educated to degree level or similar or have significant relevant experience and transferable skills that you can demonstrate
Experience and skills
  • Excellent project management skills including adhering to timelines, budgets and reporting against outcomes
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, and the ability to work effectively in partnership with colleagues, Shared Lives Plus members and external stakeholders
  • Strong research and analysis skills in order to research a range of topics, prepare short briefings and reports with the ability to summarise complex topics for suitable audiences
  • Ability and experience of using a range of research tools, such as survey software, and data analysis tools, including strong excel skills
  • Excellent literacy, digital literacy and communication skills
  • Compassionate about public services and improving social care and support for people who draw on support and care
  • Developing proposals, including discussing our key offers with senior stakeholders
  • Co-production of service design with people with lived experience
  • Strong analytical skills and problem-solving ability
  • Excellent presentation, communication and report writing skills.
  • Skilled budget management
  • Effective organisation and time management skills.
  • Able to work flexibly and creatively using own initiative.
  • An understanding of Shared Lives and Homeshare and the philosophy underpinning our work
  • Understanding of regulatory framework and care sector
  • Knowledge and understanding of relevant government policies in social care.
  • An understanding of the ways in which support to people can be funded, commissioned and delivered.
  • Knowledge of the challenges and opportunities facing the statutory and voluntary sectors
  • Possess a positive, problem-solving can do will do approach to work
  • Commitment to empowering people who use services and their families, promoting their rights and services which are user-led, personalised and self-directed
  • Tolerant and understanding with a positive attitude
  • Energetic, tenacious, and friendly, a person who enjoys meeting new people and building relationships
  • Confident, positive, and innovative
  • A true team member who is willing to help and support colleagues in a small team
  • Demonstrable commitment to working in ways which promote equality of opportunity and diversity
  • Commitment to continuous professional development.
  • Ability to work the hours dictated by the needs and demands of the job (occasionally including evenings)
  • Able to travel as and when required by the job, including some overnight stays across the UK.


Values and Behaviours

Shared Lives Plus considers its culture to be a supportive, encouraging and empowering one. The culture is based on our values – these are listed below along with we feel this would look like for this role:


  • We take time to understand from different perspectives
  • We seek and give both positive and constructive feedback, ensuring our feedback is authentic and relevant – both praise and learning
  • We can be relied upon to do what we say we will
  • We take responsibility for our teams, maintaining a ‘no blame culture’, while ensuring staff are accountable and can learn from their mistakes
  • We are open when we cannot meet expectations and give an honest explanation that builds mutual trust


  • We are respectful of colleagues and their perspectives
  • We are open about our mistakes and take responsibility for our actions, seeing these as opportunities for learning
  • We take responsibility
  • We listen and seek to understand colleagues and customers, including when their priorities and thinking is different from our own

Sense of Purpose

  • Our mission is at the heart of everything we do, and we work co-operatively with colleagues to achieve our joint purpose an objective
  • We portray a positive image of the organisation
  • We learn and develop and help others to do so
  • We recognise that all behaviour is meaningful, whether positive or negative
  • Meetings – we are punctual, we have read the agenda and prepared my thoughts, we have addressed any actions

Zest and Energy

  • We look for opportunities to innovate and to make positive change happen
  • Our doors are always open, and we support colleagues if they have problems
  • We respond positively to new situations and opportunities
  • To find solutions we have to recognise the obstacles to see the way to solving the problem/issue


To apply

If you would like to be considered for the role then please submit your CV along with a covering email/letter based on all the details in the job description and person specification telling us why you feel you’re the right person for the role to Stephanie Cryer, HR Business Partner at by the 15th December 2023.

The closing date for applications is Friday 15th December 2023 at 5:00pm.

First and Second Interviews will be held between the 2nd January to the 12th January 2024.

You can find out more about what it means to work at Shared Lives Plus via this link Working for Shared Lives Plus – Shared Lives Plus