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Joining the SI Research Team - What Do I Need To Know?

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Sports Interactive is looking for avid Football Manager players to join the ranks of our Assistant Researchers in a variety of territories and leagues across the world. 

Interested parties need a keen interest in football, and (preferably) strong knowledge of their local clubs and leagues. You need to regularly watch first-team games and be the sort of person that devours any snippet of information about their club or domestic league, whether it’s a team’s financial status or their competition history. 

You need to be prepared to watch youth and development sides (where possible) and have a desire to ensure that backroom staff and young players are represented as accurately as possible in the game. Assistant Researchers are expected to understand the inadequacies of the players, clubs and leagues they research and to be sensible about their skill level.

Being an Assistant Researcher is not a paid role, but it can be very fulfilling, as attested by our Wolverhampton Wanderers researcher Dave Azzopardi: "It's great to see all my hard work in a game that thousands of people play every day,” he says. “Even just interacting with other Assistant Researchers is intriguing, as you learn the way they watch football and how they interpret what they see into Football Manager."

Many Assistant Researchers have shown that the role can also lead to other opportunities within the world of football. Some have gone on to scouting roles at clubs such as Hertha BSC, Watford and Plymouth, some work with football agencies and data analytics companies, while others have used their experience to move into sports journalism and media. Another common progression is to Head Researcher, with the vast majority of people working in this role having started as an Assistant Researcher. Others have gone on to permanent roles within Sports Interactive, in areas such as QA and Research.

Assistant Researchers are currently required for a number of clubs, leagues and territories, including: 

•    England (as at November 2023: Bristol Rovers, Wigan Athletic, Wycombe Wanderers and numerous clubs in the National League including Altrincham, Boreham Wood, Chesterfield, Eastleigh, Ebbsfleet United, Maidenhead Utd, Maidstone United, Oxford City, Solihull Moors and Wealdstone, plus many lower non-league clubs)
•    France
•    Germany
•    The Netherlands
•    Argentina
•    Denmark
•    Wales
•    Switzerland
•    China
•    Rest of Asia
•    Norway

It is a basic requirement that any applicant is a regular FM player, someone who understands how the game and its data works. You will also need basic IT skills to operate our online database and to keep in contact with the relevant Head Researcher throughout the season.

If you are interested in learning more about the role and the application process, as well as seeing a full list of current vacancies, please read our Frequently Asked Questions below. 

Edited by Dean Gripton
updated English club list 22/11/2023
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Frequently Asked Questions

What do Assistant Researchers do?

Assistant Researchers are an important part of the scouting process for Football Manager, making our in-game database as up to date and accurate as possible. They analyse and rate players, staff and make sure numerous other pieces of information related to football clubs are accurate.

What’s a Head Researcher (HR) and Assistant Researcher (AR) and what’s the difference?

HR’s take responsibility for an entire nation or region in game, meaning that they oversee all the data and work directly with our in-house Research department. AR’s work within this framework, providing support for the HR’s by scouting specific teams, leagues or in some cases even nations to make sure all the information is up to date and correct.  

How can I get involved?

By contacting the Head Researcher and providing details on how you could be able to assist. Some countries/clubs require specific help and are advertised as such via the Available Research Vacancies part of our forums. Within here you’ll be able to see how to contact the HR and what information you’ll need to apply.

What benefits are there if I’m accepted into an AR role?

Whilst the roles are unpaid, if work is done to a high standard you will be eligible to receive a free copy of the forthcoming version of Football Manager. Once you’ve proven yourself you can also be put forward into our Private Testing program for future and advance versions of our game, meaning you’ll be one of the select few who see the game before anyone else outside of the studio.

It’s also something good to put on the CV/Resume and some of our researchers have gone on to work within scouting and data teams within football at clubs around the world. Others have even ended up working here at Sports Interactive, some as coders, some as QA and some in our in-house research team.

What kind of skills do I need to have to become an Assistant Researcher?

As a starting point you need to have a keen interest in both football and Football Manager. We also like our ARs to regularly watch first team games and ideally if they can youth team football to have a comprehensive understanding of any team they’re scouting.

As well as the above you also need at least basic IT skills to operate our online database and to keep in contact with HRs and other ARs as and when required.

Are there any guides or support for me if I do get the role?

Absolutely. Once appointed you can view our Researcher Guidelines within our Online Research Database (ORDB) which explains a number of things, ranging from how to use the ORDB down to what every in-game attribute represents.

I don't have the time to be an Assistant Researcher but still would like to contribute, is there any other way I can get involved? 

Yes! If you notice something wrong with our in-game data or think you can help we have our Database and Research Bugs Forum which allows all users to provide feedback on our in-game data. The main thing we ask is that people remember that much of the data is subjective and to respect everyone’s opinion. 

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