Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice (VPSJ): Research Assistant

Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice (VPSJ)

Research Assistant

Full-time, 12 month contract


Research Assistant with the Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice (VPSJ), working as part of the Research Team at the Minimum Essential Budget Standards research centre. You will contribute to, and support, the on-going social research on the cost of a Minimum Essential Standard of Living for households in Ireland.

This represents an opportunity to gain practical experience of the research process, and first-hand insight into the practical application of research to the social policy development process.

As part of the Research Team, tasks will include, but are not limited to

  • Analysis of the MESL expenditure and income data.
  • Participating in meetings to discuss the research with relevant stake holders and organisations which make use (and support) the MESL research.
  • Contribute to the writing of research reports, working papers and other outputs relevant to the MESL research.
  • Take part in the development of submissions on the MESL work to relevant policy consultation processes.
  • Communicate findings of research at seminars, roundtables, stake holder meetings, etc.
  • Represent the VPSJ and MESL research at policy forums and events.
  • Research and draft materials for our websites and newsletters.

Skills & Qualifications


  • A third level qualification in social science/political science/sociology/social research/social policy or a related field.
  • Excellent research and writing skills, clear communication and presentation, and strong organisational skills.
  • Knowledge of Irish Social Policy, the social welfare system, and key trends in poverty in Ireland.
  • Ability to work on own initiative and as part of a small team.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Office, particularly Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
  • Strong commitment to social justice.


  • A relevant post-graduate qualification in social science / social research / social policy or related field.
  • A proven track record in carrying out research to publication standard.
  • Experience of working in a policy and/or research environment.
  • Knowledge of, and interest in, current social policy and social justice issues an advantage.
  • A demonstrable interest in income adequacy and poverty in Ireland.
  • Experience of working with socially excluded or marginalised communities.


The role is full-time (37.5 hours per week, standard hours are 09.00 – 17.00 Monday – Friday). There may be some requirement for some availability outside of these hours.

This is a 12-month fixed term contract, which may be renewed subject to additional funding. The annual salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications.

The post will be based at the VPSJ's offices in Ozanam House, Mountjoy Square, Dublin 1.


  • To apply please send a CV and short cover letter outlining your suitability for the job and how you meet the person specification to
  • Include the subject line “Application Research Assistant 2020”
  • Closing date for applications is Friday 31st January 2020
  • It is anticipated that interviews will be held on Friday 7th February


The VPSJ works for change in the social and economic structures which contribute to inequality, poverty and social exclusion. The Partnership was established in 1995 by four national organisations, Society of St Vincent de Paul, Daughters of Charity, Vincentian Congregation and Congregation of the Holy Faith. The partners provide ongoing direction and support to the VPSJ, and are represented on the Board of Management and Trustees.

The VPSJ’s distinctiveness comes from the Vincentian focus on people who experience disadvantage and commitment to working with people living with social and economic exclusion, in order to bring about the change needed for a more just and inclusive Ireland.

The key activities of the VPSJ focus on Minimum Essential Budget Standards research to provide evidence to inform policy development and on the facilitation of an Active Citizenship / Voter Education programme across the country.

In response to working with individuals struggling to make ends meet, the VPSJ was driven to undertake the research to establish what is needed for a standard of living that meets the physical, psychological and social needs of individuals and households at a minimum but acceptable living – adopting the Consensual Budget Standards methodology.

This budget standards research is the only work of its kind in Ireland. It establishes a direct measure of what is required to enable a socially acceptable minimum standard of living for 90% of households across Ireland. The data compliments other poverty measures and informs policy discussions. It is utilised by a broad range of national organisations working with, and on behalf of, those experiencing poverty and inadequate income.

See,, and for more information.


Dublin 1

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