(Senior) Research Economist / Country Programme Economist
Advertiser: Institute for Fiscal Studies
Field(s) of specialization: Development; Growth - Public Economics
Position type(s): Other nonacademic
Location of job: 7 Ridgmount Street, London, United Kingdom
Degree required: Masters
Job start date: Flexible
Job duration: Continuing/permanent
Application deadline: 6 Jan 2023 midnight UTC (no longer accepting applications)
Current search status: Reviewing applications
Posting end date: 6 Jan 2023
Ad text:

(Senior) Research Economist / Country Programme Economist

Institute for Fiscal Studies

  • Team: Research
  • Salary: £55,000 - £70,000
  • Location: London
  • Closing: 11:59pm, 6th Jan 2023 GMT

Job Description

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) is seeking candidates for the Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TaxDev), for two roles:

i) An experienced Research Economist or Senior Research Economist with an interest in rigorous academic research on tax and/or social protection policy in low- and middle-income countries;

ii) A policy-oriented Country Programme Economist, to help lead our analysis and capacity building on tax policy in our partner countries, as we seek to embed economic analysis in their tax policymaking processes.

Candidates can apply for one of the two roles or for both. For a suitable candidate, with an interest in both academic research and high-quality policy analysis, the roles could potentially be combined.

1. About the Institution

The IFS is Europe's leading independent microeconomic research institute. Our goal is to promote effective economic and social policies by better understanding how policies affect individuals, families, businesses and the government's finances. We communicate our findings widely, impacting upon the policy debate, the media and policymakers.

The Centre for Tax Analysis in Developing Countries (TaxDev) is the focal point for the IFS's group of economists specialising in public finance analysis in low- and middle-income countries. We work closely with Ministries of Finance (MoF) and Revenue Authorities in several countries in Africa and South Asia, including Ethiopia, Ghana, Rwanda and Uganda, and with an international network of academic researchers. The Centre is jointly delivered with ODI, and is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). More information can be found at https://www.taxdev.org/.

2. The Research / Senior Research Economist Role

The postholder will lead, initiate or participate in research projects at the intersection of public finance and development economics, working closely with researchers at IFS, ODI and TaxDev's network of research affiliates.

Main Duties

A Research Economist will:

  • Conduct cutting-edge, policy-relevant research with a view on presenting in academic conferences and publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

  • Occasionally input into the policy work with partner governments; explore and grow synergies between the research program and partner governments' policy interests.

  • Develop research ideas and proposals for funding applications for their own work.

  • Contribute more generally to the intellectual life of the IFS and TaxDev, e.g. through brainstorming, participation in reading groups and internal seminars.

In addition, Senior Research Economists also:

  • Line-manage a junior Research Economist, ensuring they have an engaging and high-quality set of research projects, and supporting their development and career progression.

  • Help shape the research agenda of the TaxDev programme as a whole, contributing to larger-scale research projects and funding applications.

3. The Country Program Economist Role

The postholder will oversee TaxDev's programme in one or several of our partner countries working closely with policymakers at their MoFs and Revenue Authorities, other TaxDev colleagues working in our partner countries and other researchers in the TaxDev and wider IFS team. This exciting work programme involves rigorous conceptual and empirical policy analysis, stakeholder liaison, dissemination activities and strategic project management.

Main Duties

  • Lead the rigorous analysis of policy questions presented by MoF counterparts, including conceptual analysis, data gathering, empirical analysis and presentation and dissemination of findings.

  • Manage and deepen the working relationship with MoF counterparts with a view to informing policy design, building their analytical capacity and embedding the use of policy analysis in government.

  • Line-manage a country-based team member who works directly with the MoF, providing feedback on their work, and ensuring their development and career progression.

  • Contribute more generally to the intellectual life of the IFS and TaxDev, e.g. through brainstorming, participation in reading groups and internal seminars.

4. Person Specification

For both roles:

  • A Master's degree or PhD in economics or public policy with a strong economics focus, and demonstrably strong economic reasoning.

  • At least three years of experience in government, research (including appropriate doctoral studies), international development or another relevant area.

  • Strong skills in quantitative analysis and programming, e.g. in STATA or R.

  • An interest in public finance and development issues, and a strong motivation to bridge the gap between academic research and issues of practical policy design.

  • The ability to effectively manage complex projects, from inception to delivery.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to work effectively and proactively with a wide range of eternal stakeholders, including government partners and researchers.

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to communicate economic concepts and research findings with policymakers.

For the (Senior) Research Economist role, an active research agenda in public finance and/or development and a record of producing research for peer-reviewed journals is desirable but not essential.

For the Country Programme Economist role, previous experience of working in a low- or middle-income country, and/or experience working in a Ministry of Finance, Revenue Authority or related organisation is desirable but not essential.

5. Salary, Contract and Location

The successful applicant would be offered a permanent contract, a competitive package of benefits and a salary in the range of £55,000-70,000 per annum, based on experience and skills (and possibly above this range for exceptional candidates).

The postholder would be based at the IFS office in London but can expect to travel internationally several times for short periods each year to facilitate research and/or work with our partners. The IFS recognises the benefits of hybrid working, with the potential to work 1 - 2 days per week from home, in consultation with the relevant line manager.

The position is open to international applicants and the IFS would help support a UK visa application where required.

6. Application Process

Candidates should apply using the Applied online application form. You will be asked to:

  • Upload a copy of your CV (max. 2 pages) in pdf format.

  • Complete three short statements - each of no more than 250 words - outlining how your educational and professional background align with the job description and person specification and prepare you for the role, and why you are interested in working for TaxDev and IFS, including how this role fits with your short- and medium-term career goals.

Interviews in person or online will be held after 15th January 2023.

7. IFS Commitment to Diversity

We aim to foster a respectful and inclusive environment, in which people from all backgrounds feel welcome and valued. We offer a range of family friendly, inclusive employment policies, and flexible working arrangements wherever possible, so that staff can work in ways that suit their personal circumstances. Read more here.

8. Personal Data Disclaimer

IFS will manage this recruitment process. Details of the IFS's privacy policy can be found here .

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