Head of Qualitative Research Kurdistan

Posted over 1 year ago by MSELECT
Location Erbil, Iraq Job Type
Salary Sector Consultancy

MSELECT is hiring a Head of Qualitative Research Kurdistan for one of its International Market Research clients in Erbil, the ideal candidate must have a Min 5 years’ experience conducting in-depth interviews, focus groups and online discussions. Ideally should have moderated focus groups.
Description of team and role
We explore what people in Kurdistan think and feel and, as far as possible, why they think and feel as they do. We pay close attention to the frames and the narratives at play – the stories by which people organised information and interpret events. Our main interest is thoughts and feelings in relation to politics. We track what matters to people and why, all the time taking a broad view on the currents of opinion.

The Head of Qual will be involved in overseeing all aspects of the research cycle, including identifying research objectives, designing and overseeing research projects, analysing results and communicating findings. In addition, the Head of Qual will also conduct projects hands on as do other members of the qual team. The Head of Qual will be responsible for ensuring quality research outputs, timely deliverable, staff training and development, process improvement and representing the business internally and externally on all things qual.


Qualitative research management:

  1. Oversee the smooth running of the Qual schedule for all clients, projects and LOOs
  2. Lead qualitative thinking in the company such that the company staff and clients look to you for advice and guidance on all things qual. This is expected to include staying up to date with best practice qualitative research practices and thinking, facilitating internal training and development, reviewing and enshrining best practice approaches to research design, analysis, reporting and processes.
  3. Team management of international qualitative researchers, supporting more junior researcher’s professional development and ensuring quality control for projects led by team members
  4. Work closely with Head of Field Operations to ensure proper management of and engagement with the Kurdish moderators and field staff
  • Help local staff develop research capacity
  • Develop/introduce new research methods in an environment relatively new to research ensuring research methods are culturally appropriate
  • Ensure local staff are engaged and working efficiently


  1. Manage qualitative research projects through all stages of the research process, including: o Translating strategic questions and objectives into research projects
  • Determine appropriate methodologies and sampling structures
  • Brief local recruiters on recruitment
  • Produce discussion guides for Kurdish moderators to explore what Kurds think and feel. Brief moderators before research to communicate research objectives, and ensure the guide is clear
  • Analyse transcripts and produce reports addressing defined research objectives, keeping in mind broader strategy
  1. Communicate research findings both internally and externally – presentations, reports and briefings


Maintain and incorporate qualitative institutional knowledge:

  1. Develop content knowledge of current affairs and local social political and cultural issues:
  • Maintain awareness of current affairs through reading and attending regular media briefings
  • Work with research and media team to develop an understanding of how current affairs shape opinions and affect research findings.
  1. Provide feedback and guidance on qualitative analysis and approaches, ensuring that institutional knowledge is retained

Client Liaison

  • Lead qualitative response to Requests for Proposals and Quotations
  • Represent the business from a qualitative point of view to help clients to identify their issues, problems, needs or aspirations
  • Articulate and define these issues, problems, needs or aspirations
  • Identify where qualitative research can help address these issues, problems, needs or aspirations.


  • Maintain qual team integrity and team morale.
  • Support Managing Director in ensuring contractual requirements are delivered
  • Identify recruitment needs and work closely with Managing Director to find solutions to those needs
  • Manage day-today needs of the team and keep the trains running on time
  • Overall responsibility for signing off qualitative research expenses and supplier costs, focusing on minimising direct costs without impacting on quality or staff

Skills and Experience

  • Min 5 years’ experience conducting in-depth interviews, focus groups and online discussions. Ideally should have moderated focus groups.
  • Likely have a degree in psychology, marketing, politics, sociology or other social sciences.
  • Proven track record of delivering highly insightful qualitative research reports and presentations.
  • Ability to assimilate large amounts of information, both in terms of analysing transcripts in light of specific research objectives and identifying subtle currents of opinion over longer time periods
  • Working to fast paced and shifting deadlines and priorities.
  • Ability to think quickly and practically to troubleshoot problems that may arise with the research
  • Be responsive and sensitive to changing strategic context and priorities; flexibility in research agenda
  • Sensibilities to develop an understanding of how Kurdish people think and feel (and why) and the multiple factors (location, age, gender, political affiliation, media consumption, history etc.) that inform this
  • Active interest in different cultures, society, people and politics.
  • Strong written communication skills and sensitivity to writing for non-native English speakers
  • Strong verbal communication skills and patience to offer clear direction to local staff; willingness to share and explain their research skills with others


As a team we value curiosity, integrity and a desire to trail-blaze. The individual should be able to deal with the pressures of a small team and intense environment. We are looking for someone who will become an active member of the team, self-sufficient and willing to pitch in with the logistical side of running a house and office in Kurdistan.

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