Research Fellow

University of Birmingham - School of Government and Society

Do you have a talent for clearly and concisely communicating research to policy-makers and practitioners? The position of GSDRC researcher is exciting and unusual, offering experience in and exposure to development policy and research at the highest level. GSDRC researchers are constantly engaged with current development issues, work closely with major international development agencies, and are directly involved in informing and influencing international policy and practice.

The GSDRC is well-known internationally for achieving high policy impact by delivering timely, policy-relevant research to clients. GSDRC researchers carry out desk-based research and analysis in response to requests from bilateral and multilateral development agencies. We work for multiple clients, with the majority of our work being for DFID through a programme called Knowledge for Development (K4D) in partnership with six other organisations. 

Researchers are responsible for delivering high quality, policy relevant research within short timeframes. The research requests that we deal with cover a wide range of governance, social development, conflict, and humanitarian topics, and researchers must have the flexibility and willingness to engage rapidly with a variety of subjects. The work involves quickly understanding and clarifying clients’ needs, getting to grips with new subjects and issues, consulting a wide range of experts, carrying out Internet and library searches, and compiling clear, comprehensive reports.  Research outputs typically take the form of short literature reviews, but longer analytical papers are also commissioned by our clients.  Examples of research outputs are available at  The role will be of particular interest to early- or mid-career researchers with excellent communication skills who wish to progress further in policy-relevant academic research.

We are currently seeking a researcher with expertise in one or more of the following areas: public sector management, public financial management, political economy analysis, economic development, labour markets, private sector development, livelihoods, aid policy or development finance. An understanding of gender issues and disability inclusion will be important in all of these areas of work. In your application, please explain clearly how your professional experience and qualifications relate to your chosen areas of expertise. 

Successful candidates will have: a postgraduate degree and professional experience relevant to one or more of the above areas; a broad understanding of current and emerging priorities and debates in international development; and practical experience working in an information service, communications or research role. You will also need excellent analytical skills, time management, flexibility, the ability to work on your own initiative, attention to detail and negotiation skills. The ability to engage with academic literature and publish academic papers in French or other languages would be an asset.

Please visit to learn more about the centre. This post is offered initially as a one-year fixed-term contract but may be extended subject to availability of funding.

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £29,799 to £38,832. With potential progression once in post to £41,212 a year.

To download the details of this position and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button below, please quote Job Ref 31237Z15 in all enquiries.

For further information please contact Brian Lucas (

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Midlands of England