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Research Economist

Institute for Fiscal Studies - Team: Research

Closing: 11:59pm, 6th Nov 2022 GMT

Job Description

At IFS, we recruit top-quality economists. We specialise in the economic analysis of public policy, bridging the gap between purely academic research and issues of practical policy design or evaluation. As a new recruit, you will carry out in-depth economic research and communicate your findings to politicians, journalists, academics and others such as campaigning groups and professional organisations.

We will support you in developing your skills, through further study and ad hoc training and by giving you opportunities to get involved with all aspects of research and communication right from the start.

If you join us with an undergraduate degree but no further degree - as many do -, you will be encouraged to study part-time for a Masters degree in economics with financial support from the Institute. Your fees will be paid by IFS, and you will receive a mixture of paid and unpaid leave to attend classes and to study.

We welcome applications from:

  • those expecting to graduate with an extremely good degree in economics;
  • graduates with an extremely good degree in economics who are expecting to complete an MSc; or
  • exceptional economists with some experience in research, in academia, public or private sectors. 

Candidates who are studying for or have completed a PhD are also welcome to apply and will be considered for a Research Economist role. If you consider it relevant, please include information about your doctoral research in the on-line application form; you may include a link to a website where your papers are available.

IFS researchers have established a strong record in the analysis of public policies in the UK and elsewhere, including developing countries. Applicants should therefore have studied economics in considerable depth, and should be strongly motivated by an interest in economics and its practical application.

Research Economists are paid on a scale, £35,000 to £54,000. A new graduate with no previous experience can expect to start on £35,000; a candidate with a postgraduate degree would start at around £38,000.

Any offer of employment is subject to the eligibility to work in the UK. The role is eligible for a Skilled Worker visa, and the IFS will support the application for relevant candidates where needed.

Application process

As part of our efforts to increase diversity among our staff, IFS uses BeApplied, a job application platform designed to encourage applicants from all backgrounds and to decrease bias in the hiring process. The application form is in three parts:

1.  Diversity

The application form initially gathers diversity information; BeApplied collect this at the start of the application, as they have found it is more likely to be completed by candidates at this stage. But you do not have to answer these questions or allow this information to be included in the aggregate statistics if you prefer not to.

The diversity information is not linked to candidate’s individual application details: we use it to track the aggregate characteristics of applicants and their progress through the application process, year on year. It helps us understand which groups of people may be underrepresented and take steps to remedy this.

2. Information about you

As well as practical information, such as contact details, visa status and any reasonable adjustments needed, we also collect information about academic performance at school and university. Because a large component of the role is academic research, this information about performance will contribute to our shortlisting decisions.

You will need to provide details of all the modules you took, or are currently taking, during any past and current degrees. If you have or are doing a higher degree, there is an opportunity to provide more information about your publications or other research outputs.

3. Aptitude and suitability questions

Two further questions are included to help us judge your suitability for the role.

  • An economics-based question, which is designed to be similar to the kind of question you would come across as a Research Economist at IFS. We want to find out how candidates apply their knowledge of economic theory to policy questions and how they explain their ideas in a non-technical way.
  • A question about why you are interested in social policy research and IFS in particular.

How we shortlist

Shortlisters will initially read and score the answers to the two aptitude and suitability questions. These will be anonymised and read separately from the other information about candidates.

At the next stage, these scores will be available along with the full candidate information you have provided (although without names of candidates): the scores will be considered, alongside your academic performance, to reach an initial longlist for interview.

We will ask a long list of 50 to 100 candidates to carry out a short online aptitude test. This is used primarily to give us extra information about applicants and allow candidates to demonstrate their potential, in particular if their academic background does not reflect their abilities. It will not be used automatically to screen out candidates with lower scores.

Shortlisters will then use names and, for example, information about the university and the type of school attended, to help ensure that a diverse pool of candidates is invited to a first-round interview. A smaller group of candidates will be invited back to a second interview.

Saving the application

You will be able to save the application and return to complete it later if you want to. You’ll receive an email when you save the form with a link to return to it.

More information about our selection process and interviews can be found here.

Location: London
Salary: £35,000 to £54,000 Grade: Research Economist
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Permanent
Placed On: 23rd September 2022
Closes: 6th November 2022
   
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