We are recruiting in Edinburgh
Rocket Science is committed to making a difference to the lives of people and communities across the UK.
We help Government, its agencies and the charity and voluntary sector make this difference by :
- Providing evidence and insight to design services, review performance and evaluate impact
- Developing systems, structures and partnerships that work together seamlessly to deliver great outcomes
- Designing investment and funding programmes to ensure services and support reach those that need it most
- Optimising social and best value through innovative and practical ways to make their money go further
- Supporting organisations they work with or invest in to improve their impact and become more resilient
Since 2001 we have worked with over 500 organisations using ‘rocket science’ to deliver practical solutions for complex problems.
Rocket Scientists offer great insights, know the challenges and say it like it is. Catch up with our latest thinking on our blog:
August 18, 2015
Health – a question of Sport?Give health a sporting chance So the NHS is going to be bankrupted by an obesity epidemic, participation in physical activity despite the ‘olympic effect’ has fallen prompting a government consultation into why this is the case and sitting at your desk all da...
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July 14, 2015
Bigger and stronger? How will the third sector fare under the new Government?So George Osborne’s July Budget has been and gone. Did it tell us much about future funding of the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector? The answer is not really. There were, of course, many announcements that will have an impact on VCSE organisation...
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July 2, 2015
BIG Assist approved supplierRocket Science announced as BIG Assist approved supplier BIG Assist is a programme for infrastructure organisations in the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector; delivered under contract to the Big Lottery Fund by the National Council for Voluntary Organisatio...
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Rocket Science was set up in 2001 by four experienced consultants, each with a national or international reputation in their areas of expertise. Since then, the company has made quite an impact. We have built a strong reputation for our knowledge, experience, analytical insight, great customer focus, honesty, hard work and eye for an innovative solution. Professionalism is a given. We are easy to work with - and outside work, we are not without our 'little weaknesses.'
Pick your Rocket Scientist:
I have spent most of my career in London. I live in, have represented and written about the East End which has given me an appreciation of the challenges of effecting social change. Since setting up Rocket Science’s London operation in 2001, I have had the privilege of working with some amazingly talented people and a wide array of clients across the public, private and voluntary sectors. We have now extended the company’s research and consultancy services to encompass programme and grant management, developing long-term collaborations with different partners, including London Voluntary Service Council, the Black Training and Enterprise Group and Teachers’ Development Trust.
I have spent most of my professional life developing, designing, reviewing – and sometimes even implementing and managing – programmes and strategies to reduce unemployment. I have seen the impact that getting a job can have on people and their families and the wider community – I can’t think of anything more rewarding.
Recently my work has focused on responding to some worrying trends. The depth of the recession seems to have created a downward ratchet in some of more deprived areas – with a bigger gap opening up between their economic health and scale of unemployment and national trends. This is raising a set of new questions – for example, how to help young people broaden their horizons and gain the skills and confidence they need to thrive in places unfamiliar to them.
A fully fledged member of the Institute for Common Sense when it comes to developing strategies, reviewing policy, helping organisations with their business development strategies and evaluating impact and value (money and social).
Focused and practical I am passionate about improving the well-being of communities and individuals and know that you can create a win/win situation when it comes to designing and delivering services by helping to shift perspectives and drive social innovation.
I love to help people develop their own skills and capacity through training and facilitation so they can develop and own their solutions, as well as debunk theories and concepts to make them accessible to all. I do the odd bit of bid writing but enjoy wider business development and testing my own capacity for learning by taking the plunge into new technologies (not quite there yet)!
More about Caroline
I like to think I’m an unusual blend of being good with numbers and good with words, too. What I’m really interested in is making sure information – whether it’s words or numbers – is set out in a way that’s easy to understand.
I am Rocket Science’s newest member of staff, having joined on 17 November 2014. My background has been developing and designing £100m+ funding programmes for the Big Lottery Fund (BLF). These programmes focused on issues such as community regeneration, reaching the hardest to reach and tackling disadvantage.
The areas that I’m most interested in are policy analysis; data analysis; working in partnership; design of / consultation on strategic level funding programmes; and making sure these funding programmes work in practice.
Outside of work, I’m a Trustee at the Toby Henderson Trust, a Northumberland charity for children with autism.
I’m a problem solver at heart, I love the challenge of pulling apart an issue and putting it back together better than it was before. As an economist and public policy practitioner, I focus on the use of evidence when designing and evaluating policy, spending projects and agency performance management. I also have experience in how Business Cases can improve capital investment decisions.
I have a passion for the environment, particularly on how to make well informed decisions that balance the economy and environmental protection. I believe the key to improving both economic welfare and environmental quality is through innovating the way we use and protect the environment.
I love to help people understand complex systems, by providing clear and insightful analysis of quantitative and qualitative data and by helping people see the big picture with systems mapping tools.
I am particularly interested in employability and skills, welfare reform and healthcare, and helping people to understand the ways in which these areas are crucially interlinked.
I work on the principle that transforming the delivery of services requires us to really understand how they work. I am fascinated by the way that a systems view, underpinned by common sense, data analysis and data visualisation techniques, can transform the way that we – and the organisations we work with – see and understand the systems that govern the health, employment and well-being of the people most in need in our society.
I like to see decisions made, projects formed and changes happen. I am interested in how people interact with processes and how those processes can be designed to be painless and efficient.
I want grants to enable impact; it shouldn’t be difficult to give money away. I believe that the administrative side of grant making should be as straight forward as possible to leave space and energy for recipients to get on with the more complex and important task of making an impact and for grant makers to be able to focus on adding value with coordination, support and insight.
My goal is to make sure there is real, robust evidence behind every recommendation and conclusion in every evaluation we do.
I am always looking for ways to improve our evaluation and assessment work, using innovative tools and approaches whether that’s in survey and interview technique, data visualisation, or statistical analysis. Our best work combines rigorous quantitative analysis with qualitative understanding, and I like to be in the middle of it, stitching it together.
I am a big fan of straight talking in plain English. Our work should be accessible and understandable to anybody who might be interested, not just those in the know.
At Rocket Science, I work across many projects, which keeps me busy! I like being part of a project’s evolution and the different stages of work that are involved. I love getting things in order, making sure the projects are running smoothly and ensuring targets are met. I am also partial to organising occasional events.
I have a real interest in social enterprise and grassroots social change and hope to learn more about this and incorporate it into my work with Rocket Science.
As the sole member of the company support team, my role and goal is to service the wide ranging administration requirements of the business, offices and staff. By successfully doing so, management and staff should feel less distracted and inhibited and, therefore, better placed to deliver the high quality client service they’re expected to. My broad experience in many facets of business combined with a strict professional upbringing and training has served me well in this particular role.
Improving Public Services
Rocket Science offers a range of skills and experience to improve the way public services are designed, commissioned, delivered and evaluated.
We don’t advocate particular methods or thinking, but what we do provide is the evidence, insight and a roadmap for creating successful solutions to difficult and entrenched problems.
Evaluating programmes, process and impact
We are experts in designing and delivering evaluations. We have evaluated over £200 million of BIG Lottery funds, as well as employment, skills and economic development programmes worth in excess of £100 million including ESF and other EU funding.
Researching, mapping and scoping
Whether you need the evidence to develop a business case or insights into how communities are responding to a policy issue, we use a wide range of social research methodologies to help you understand the issues.
Analysing cost benefit and value for money
Assessing the cost benefit of an approach or an assessment of whether you are getting value for money requires a sophisticated process of measuring the return alongside understanding wider impacts.
We are one of Scotland’s leading advisers on using a systems approach to improve service performance and creating a more coherent support structure for clients.
Co-production and commissioning
We help service users and residents to design services that work for them and support commissioning and procurement teams ensure maximum social return from their providers.
Much of our work focuses on working with clients and partnerships to improve their performance. This can involve strategy reviews, strategic partnerships and focused work to enhance performance against contract targets.
Reduced public funding and a ‘more for less' funding culture means that organisations delivering public services are on a journey of transition and transformation - they need to be innovative, resilient and strong. Rocket Science builds the strength and sustainability for organisations in all kinds of ways.
Interim help and mentoring
When you need an extra pair of hands, a fresh perspective or dedicated mentoring, our staff and associates can provide interim support to help design and mobilise projects.
Facilitation and event support
Our facilitation work ranges from running small bespoke workshops and meetings through to public consultations, larger events and conferences.
Developing bids and tenders
Rocket Science has helped organisations bid for public service contracts worth well over £1bn from agencies including: DWP, MOJ, BIG Lottery Fund, SFA, BIS and local authorities.
Action learning and sharing knowledge
Action learning is a highly effective way of empowering people to learn and share their experiences to help them improve processes, delivery and performance.
Building skills and confidence
We design and deliver training programmes to build skills and confidence as part of our portfolio of capacity building support to create stronger organisations.
Rocket Science works with partnerships at every stage of their development from starting and struggling through to reviewing their focus or understanding their impact.
1 to 1 advice and support
Through support programmes such as VCS Assist and Village SOS we provide 1 to 1 advice and support for community and voluntary organisations throughout the UK.
Diagnostic and support tools
We help organisations identify their strengths and weaknesses, using a range of diagnostic tools and practical support to develop their plans for growth and sustainability.
Adding value to funding and investment
Did you know that Rocket Science
- has designed and assessed funding programmes worth over £100 million?
- has directly managed grass-roots and capacity building grant funds worth nearly £10 million?
- provides full end to end support for funders and investors from designing and assessing programmes through to managing and evaluating grant programmes?
We bring a practical and inclusive approach to the design and management of funds, helping to reach and build the capacity of 'below the radar' frontline organisations and facilitate collaboration to widen the impact of investments.
We have a track record of grant programme management and evaluation on behalf of different funders – statutory bodies, charitable trusts and foundations, as well as private companies in the form of corporate social responsibility initiatives.
We are committed to “intelligent funding”, facilitating learning between funders and supporting organisations to deliver on their outcomes.
Need an evaluation partner? You’ve come to the right place
Any evaluation needs to show funders, commissioners and the people you work with the difference you have made, (your impact) - But we know that many organisations find evaluation a difficult thing to do.
We are experts in evaluation techniques and impact assessments and have worked on major evaluations for the BIG Lottery Fund and Office for Civil Society, for trusts and foundations, national charities, government agencies and local authorities - But we are also practitioners so we understand the everyday challenges facing organisations as they deliver services and support.
We have created a simple framework and approach for an evaluation to work alongside and add value to project delivery. By working with us you get the techniques and expertise at your fingertips, coupled with a practical, grounded process and an interested, supportive partner by your side.