January 10, 2023

Researcher in Higher Education



Based in Barcelona, you will work full-time as researcher in the field of higher education policies, exposed to a very dynamic and international environment, contributing to the development of the company's advising work. 

You have a research background (with a PhD and post-doctoral experience) and are perfectly proficient in English.

You are looking for a professional experience that:

  • provides you with a strong sense of purpose and meaning: you will be contributing to the development of evidence-based solutions for Higher Education policies
  • values teamwork and collective contribution over individual performance
  • enables you to grow, learn and develop within a challenging and supportive environment
  • uses research and scientific evidence as a tool to support policies
  • offers a long-term professional perspective 

SIRIS Academic is preparing an application for the Torres Quevedo Program for the position of a researcher in the field of Higher Education to participate in a R&D project of relevance to the company's advising work.

We are therefore looking for a candidate for a joint application to the 2023 call of the Torres Quevedo Program (deadline to submit the application: February 21st 2023).

Torres Quevedo is a R&D grant of the Spanish Government aimed at the recruitment of a post-doctoral researcher within a company. The recruited researcher will work on an applied research project in a topic of priority interest for the enterprise. The position is for an indefinite full-time position, co-funded for the first 3 years by the Spanish Ministry of Science. SIRIS Academic has already been awarded with 3 Torres Quevedo in the last 5 years (100% of success score). 

Some of the possible research topics include:

  • How to best design and implement instruments for project-based funding of European higher education institutions, such as Excellence initiatives or European University Alliances;
  • How and when to develop national research priorities;
  • Impact models and frameworks at the intersection of research and education (combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies);
  • How to govern university systems, alliances and collaborations, with a special emphasis on institutions spread across different European countries;
  • How to effectively develop study programs in higher education, or how to specifically develop research-based study programs

Whom we are looking for

Based in Barcelona, you will work full-time as a researcher, with a focus in Higher Education. With a background in Humanities or Social Sciences or a closely related area, you are looking for the opportunity to bring your insights and methods to the world of understanding higher education strategies and policies. 

You want to have a strong positive impact on society and you enjoy discussing strategic issues and advising on policy and strategy. You will be part of a multidisciplinary, international team of public policy experts, data scientists and data engineers, a world-wide network of international specialists.

You have a background in sociology, economy, education studies, philosophy, law or political science, with an interest in public policy or organisational management. 

Perfect working knowledge of English is required. Working knowledge of other languages is a plus. You have good writing and communication skills.

You have strong organisational skills, and ability to work both autonomously and within a diverse and multidisciplinary team.

If the project is selected, you are expected to start during Autumn 2023 (negotiable based on availability). You live in/around Barcelona and/or are willing to move to Barcelona upon the signing of the contract. 

SIRIS Academic’s recruitment processes integrate a commitment towards gender equality, diversity and inclusion.


Full time position (40 hours/week). The position is indefinite. We offer a possibility of partial remote work.

Hiring Process
  1. January 27. Deadline for applications. Applications should include 1) a CV including at least 2 academic references; 2) a cover letter. Both must be addressed to jobs@sirisacademic.com with “Researcher in Higher Education” in the email subject line.
  2. February 1 to February 7: Online interviews for preselected candidates
  3. February 10: final interviews and final selection 

Final submission of the proposal has to be finalised on February 21st

  • Salary range depending on experience and in line with spanish research standards
  • All work and travel related expenses are covered by SIRIS Academic
  • Workstation in a shared office + laptop
  • A beautiful and lively office in downtown Barcelona, based on 2 floors, with 360º views and nice perks
  • Free fruits, coffee, biscuits, chocolate and many more treats
  • Informal dress code
  • Fully-equipped installations including cooking facilities, sofas, recreation rooms
  • Complimentary Health insurance
  • Relocation/moving budget as a contribution to cover part of the related expenses
  • Working hours flexibility and support to work-life balance
  • Specific bonus tickets to cover either public transportation, childcare, catering or gym membership
  • Extra-holiday on employee’s birthday
  • Ethical and sustainable working environment
  • Opportunity to work in a dynamic, dedicated, multicultural, multi-lingual and passionate team of professionals
  • According to internal policy, SIRIS Academic may distribute a fraction of the yearly profits among all employees in the form of a salary bonus
Who we are and what we do?
We are a consulting firm. We work with decision makers in the public or non-profit sector, and provide them with insights, processes and tools, which challenge them to think and enable them to accomplish their mission better.Our services can take many forms: a strategic or analytical report, a business intelligence tool, a participatory workshop, a coaching session, the moderation of a discussion, a political recommendation, etc.But if the form varies, the core is always the same: what matters to us is to help leaders make better, more informed and more accountable decisions for the benefit of the citizens.

How? We approach problems as researchers: questioning systematically, proposing models, looking for evidence. We never defend a position which we have not tested as deeply as we can. We provide decision-makers with the tools and arguments to make decisions but we also understand that their job involves political compromises and that the ideal decision is not always either possible or optimal.

Who? Born from research, our team of 45 people is a colourful mix, with specialities ranging from archaeology to physics, and philosophy to biology. Our team is held together by a strong ethical vision, based on the respect of the contribution of everyone, the belief in collective wisdom, and a deep curiosity.

Where? Based in Barcelona, we work with leaders and senior management in over 25 countries, helping analyse potential, build capacity and shape strategy for institutions such as philanthropic foundations, the European Commission, agencies and governments and over 200 Universities and Research Centres across the continent.

With whom? Our clients are leaders and managers in universities, regional governments, ministries, research organisations, not-for-profit foundations, etc.

In which sectors? Currently, most of our activity focuses on the sectors of higher education and research, science & innovation policy.

And… why? Deep down, we want to make the world a better place by improving public policies. We are strong believers in the power of science-based evidence, participative approaches and accountability processes to improve the way public policies are designed and decisions taken, day after day.