Junior Consultant

Higher Education | Higher Education policies and systems

Whom are we looking for

Based in Barcelona, you will work full-time as a junior consultant. With post-graduate education or relevant professional/research experience, you are interested in the sector of higher education, including vocational education (and, ideally, you have some knowledge and understanding of higher education systems and/or policies, in Europe or elsewhere). In particular, you are willing to go deep into understanding the issues and the changes that the sector is currently facing, and how, as a consulting company, we can help higher education actors in accomplishing missions that range from territorial development to widening participation. 

You are curious, proactive and eager to dig deep into strategic questions and analytical challenges, and to bring your insights and methods to the world of higher education, research and innovation strategy, analytics and policy.  Although our team members can and do participate in projects in a variety of topics, the current offer is aimed mainly at candidates with interest in the Higher Education sector. Some knowledge and/or previous experience in the domain would be a plus. 

You want to have a strong positive impact on society and you enjoy discussing strategic issues, advising on policy and strategy and you have very high quality standards and professionalism. Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches, you are interested in using data to support your consulting activities (see: http://unics.cloud/), and in interacting with software engineers and data scientists. From your academic or professional experience, you can demonstrate capacities in data analysis (spreadsheet-level) to build quali-quantitative arguments. Skills in advanced quantitative methods / data science / programming (Python, R or similar) or  interview/workshop or facilitation techniques would be a plus. 

Perfect working knowledge of English is required. You also have command of French and at least one other European language.

As a project team member, you will write reports and elaborate technical proposals, for which you will have high standards when it comes to writing, defending an argument and engaging in dialectics, looking for data and gathering evidence to build a case.

You may also contribute to a combination of the following: review literature, do surveys and interviews, or moderate participatory workshops. With good communication skills, you feel comfortable interacting with senior management of institutions, and with multidisciplinary project teams at SIRIS.  Compatibly with travel and mobility restrictions, you may regularly travel to meet our clients and stakeholders (up to twice or thrice a month, 1 to 3 day trips).

We will provide the possibility for you to explore different themes and aspects of the work of a consultant and will appreciate initiative and independence. In a few months, you are expected to be autonomous and eventually take on a project-management role.


CV and cover letter must be addressed to jobs@sirisacademic.com with “Consultant in the Higher Education sector – February  2021” in the email subject line before February 28th.

Selection Process and Calendar

  1. Deadline for applications: February 28th. 
  2. During March, sequential selection phases
    1. First interview (via conf call)
    2. For short-listed candidates, written test (a short multilingual written test with project-inspired exercises, to demonstrate skills in gathering evidence, analysis and communication of insights)
    3. Final round of interviews for selected candidates (ideally in person, if allowed by current travel and mobility restrictions; travel and accommodation covered by SIRIS)
  3. Final selection: Late April.


Full time position (40 hours/week).  Our hiring model includes a trial period of 6 months, the extension of which is confirmed in a feedback and assessment session. After 2 years at most, the contract becomes permanent.


  • Salary depends on experience and is in line with industry standards (more info).
  • All work related expenses will be covered by SIRIS Academic.
  • Workstation in a shared office + laptop.
  • Relocation/moving budget as a contribution to cover part of the related expenses (if applicable).
  • A beautiful and lively office in downtown Barcelona, with 360º views and nice perks.

Context: who we are and what we do

What? 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, interactive data visualisations, a participatory workshop, a coaching session, the moderation of a discussion, a strategic recommendation, etc.

But if the form varies, the core is always the same: what matters to us is to help leaders and stakeholders make better, more informed and more accountable decisions for the benefit of society.

How? We approach problems as researchers would: 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 32 people is a colourful mix, with specialities ranging from archaeology to physics, and philosophy to biology. Together, we represent 7 nationalities and speak many languages. 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 mostly in Europe, with a strong base in Spain, France and Italy, and activities in the UK and Germany.

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

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

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.

What we expect from SIRIS team members







What you’ll encounter at SIRIS

Challenging job

Strong ethical values

Constant questioning

Freedom to explore

Diverse and interesting team

Rather flat organisation with limited hierarchy