Invitation to tender: Development of applied best practice research guides

The ODI is looking for a supplier to research and develop the content for a range of best practice guides of different quantitative, qualitative and user research techniques, as part of our R&D programme

Tender reference: RDPM-002

Contact: [email protected]

The objective of this work is to produce a series of applied, pragmatic best practice guides to articulate best practice for research methodologies when conducting research projects openly. This means sharing the background, purpose and methodologies of the research openly, and potentially inviting open (public) collaboration on both the design of the research and its execution. It could also, for example, involve openly sharing the results of the research incrementally (as it progresses), or at its conclusion and again, inviting comment and feedback on both the methodology and the outcomes.

These guides could be in the form of checklists, guides or frameworks and should be tailored to enable practitioners without a specific research background. The focus will be on qualitative and user research techniques.

The supplier is required to develop all content for these research guides through independent research and consultation with the ODI team.

Summary and timeline

  • Aim: To give members of the ODI’s team and the wider community, a set of flexible research tools and templates that they can ensure they are conducting research to best practice standards in an open manner.
  • Audience: The primary audiences will be ODI team members, but we will openly publish the work for the benefit of the wider ODI network
  • Duration: February – March 2018
  • Value of award (excl. VAT): Up to £15,000
  • Costed proposals due by: 8 Feb at 12.00 (UTC)
  • Contract awarded: 9 Feb
  • ODI brief winning company: 12 Feb
  • Final work delivered by: 30 Mar
  • Tender reference: RDPM-002
  • Contact: [email protected]

Terms of payment

50% of the agreed value of the award will be paid mid way through the contract, and the remaining 50% will be paid upon completion of the work, including satisfactory responses to all feedback from the ODI.


The ODI is delivering a three-year R&D programme, funded by Innovate UK. The programme focuses on projects that it believes will progress strategically important areas: building data infrastructure, improving data literacy, stimulating data innovation and building trust in the use of data. It will enable the UK to build on its established strengths in data and data analytics, break new ground in creating value from data across industry, and ensure that the UK remains at the forefront of data innovation globally.


The selected supplier will be required to research and develop the content for a range of up to 10 best practice guides of different quantitative, qualitative and user research techniques and topics including:

  • Forming your research question
  • Selecting the right research method to answer the question
  • Analysing data and generating actionable insight
  • Selecting a representative sample
  • Research administration checklist: information sheets, consent forms, recruitment tracking, storing data
  • Selection of Research methods. We will agree the final list with input from the winning bidder but we are thinking of techniques such as:
  • Participatory design
  • Surveys
  • Interviews (directed, non-directed and ethnographic)
  • Grounded theory
  • Ethical Inquiry
  • Usability tests (moderated, unmoderated and guerilla)
  • Literature reviews
  • Stakeholder mapping

These should take the form of a checklist, guide or framework which enables a team member on a research project to understand the strengths and limitations of each technique, and follow key pointers for best practice (do’s and don’t). Information should include pragmatic advice on topics such as sample sizes and how to verify results. 2 pages per guide max.

The ODI is committed to working in the open so all tools need be created with a view to open research techniques and will be published under an open licence, for reuse by the wider community.

To be delivered by 23 March 2018.


The successful bidder will work in collaboration with the ODI’s R&D Programme Manager to ensure that the materials created are in keeping with the overall needs of the team.

The ODI will, where possible, provide space to work in our offices in London, when members of the successful contractor wish to work onsite. There is an expectation that the successful contractor will work closely with the ODI team, which includes regular face-to-face meetings and being available remotely (eg skype, email, slack).

Form of tender response

Interested parties should submit a costed proposal (in English) to [email protected] which includes:

  • the tender reference in the email subject line
  • a short (no more than 5 pages) explanation of your proposed approach (eg methodology, scope), including why you are well-placed to do the work
  • a description of the team who will do the work, including bios in addition
  • the costing should be at activity level, but feel free to provide more detail
  • a writing sample of a similar research report or impact study

If you have any questions about the tender, please contact [email protected] quoting the tender reference. The ODI reserves the right to make both anonymised questions and answers public or shared with other organisations having stated their interest.

Decision criteria

All proposals will be assessed as described in our public procurement policy. In addition, for this procurement we will be looking for:

  • A collaborative approach
  • An understanding of open research