Economist / Senior Economist - Education and Labour

National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) is one of Britain’s most influential and prestigious independent research centres. It specialises in applied social and economic research, combining high academic standards with relevance to policy making. Further information about NIESR is available at

We are looking to appoint graduate/post graduate economists with strong quantitative skills to work in our Education & Labour Directorate and to support further research projects across the Institute. The Education & Labour Directorate is concerned with the economic impact of education and labour market policy, applying research designs like Random Control Trials, econometric impact assessments or structural modelling to large scale data, especially data from Government registers.

The posts would suit candidates with excellent academic qualifications in economics or a quantitative social science, who have secured a good Master’s degree in Economics; are close to completion of a PhD; or have recently been awarded a PhD. These posts will provide opportunities for producing and/or contributing to publishable research in these areas. The successful applicants will have strong numerical skills and a good understanding of applied econometrics, including practical application skills, confidence in handling a range of quantitative data and experience with Stata or R. Good self-organisational skills, the capability to write well and the ability to convey complex analysis to an interested non-specialist audience are essential.

The positions will be initially offered as a fixed term contract for 12 months with a salary of £26,500 - £35,000 per annum (depending on experience), membership of the USS pension scheme as well as 30 days annual leave, starting as soon as possible.

To Apply

Applicants should provide a full CV and a covering letter of no more than 2 pages, explaining their suitability and interest in this post, to: Ruth Hallesy via email: with the subject line ‘[Name] E&L Application’. The covering letter must specify the approximate date you would be available to start work and any visa requirements.

Closing date for applications is midday on Tuesday 7th November 2017.
Interviews will be held on the week commencing 13th November 2017.

Due to the large number of applications we usually receive, only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

Job Description

Main purposes of the job:

Designs and carries out economic research; develops areas of expertise; leads on smaller research projects or elements of larger projects; contributes to business development and general activities of the Institute.

Key responsibilities:

Research projects

  • Supports the design of research projects.
  • Prepares and conducts research using appropriate methodology.
  • Conducts focused literature reviews.
  • Conducts complex review of qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Delivers research activities.
  • Provides general research assistance and research related administrative activities.
  • Prepares and drafts research bids and leads on some elements of proposals with senior support.
  • Builds and maintains knowledge of data and survey releases, economic current affairs and relevant political developments.

Project management and reporting

  • Collates and edits findings of research activity for senior review.
  • Drafts progress reports on research for funders as required.
  • Reviews summary findings from junior colleagues.
  • May lead on a number of small projects or discrete elements of larger projects.

Dissemination and communications

  • Drafts and submits high quality and/or policy research output for academic publications, reports or articles, conferences and events, including content for digital media.
  • Presents research findings to external audiences/funders at conferences/seminars as part of the wider team.
  • Develops a network with stakeholders including collaborators, funders and policy-makers.

Staff management

  • May co-ordinate the activities of 1 or 2 junior staff
  • Supports and coaches less experienced team members.


  • Contributes to the overall activities of their research team/wider NIESR team as required.
  • Undertakes any other duties related to the job purpose which may be necessary to the work of the role.
  • Represents NIESR in a professional manner to stakeholders and all audiences.
  • Is flexible within the broad remit of the post.
  • Responsible for the health, safety, welfare of self, other members of staff and visitors.
  • Attends and participates in NIESR’s performance, development and training programme.
  • Abides by NIESR's organisational policies, codes of conduct and practices.
  • Provides support as required to the Director and the Chief Operating Officer.

Person Specification


  • Masters/PhD in economics or another relevant quantitative social science, or equivalent;
  • Knowledge of, and experience in applying, a range of quantitative and econometric research techniques and methodologies;
  • Experienced in relevant software packages e.g. Stata or R
  • Knowledge in specific research areas such as productivity, innovation, entrepreneurship, business performance, labour markets, educations and skills, policy evaluation or related areas.

Desirable Experience

  • Experience of delivering research projects using complex datasets;
  • Experience of handling a range of quantitative data and experience with Stata or R;
  • Experience of project managing small research projects;
  • Experience of leading on some, or elements of, research proposals and obtaining funding through grant applications;
  • Experience of achieving impact through disseminating findings;
  • Experience of co-ordinating the work of junior staff.

Skills & Attributes

  • Excellent written English and strong communication skills;
  • Keen attention to detail and ability to drive the meeting of deadlines;
  • Highly motivated with the ability to manage own workload to allocate time efficiently;
  • Ability to work collaboratively and as part of a team, showing respect to colleagues at all levels of the organisation;
  • Strong project management skills;
  • Interest in real world economic and policy developments.
  • Strong critical thinking with the ability to process and challenge new information;
  • Ability to deliver funding proposals that win funding.