Associate Research Director – Trade, Investment and Productivity

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

NIESR has a long record of leading research on productivity and trade. Our research focuses on improving the measurement of production, understanding the influence of education, training & skills on economic performance, the drivers of firm behaviour and innovative capacity and the changing nature and role of external trade in developing competitiveness and also changing the patterns of employment in the UK.

We are looking to appoint an Associate Research Director with strong quantitative skills to manage our Trade, Productivity and Investment directorate. This directorate focusses on a number of themes, such as: the impact of Brexit on the economy, issues affecting trade in services and financial services, housing, taxation and debt, as well as productivity analysis.

Some of the current research questions under consideration are: Why is the UK less productive than similarly advanced nations and what can be done about it? How the gains from economic growth are distributed and why does this matter? What drives firms’ investment patterns and what is the role of institutions, firms and financial intermediation in explaining trends and cycles in productivity? These questions have gained far greater significance since the global financial crisis with the decline in productivity growth (especially in many leading OECD countries) and the stagnation of income faced by many families. Understanding these challenges are key to policy making and our future prosperity.

The position will be offered as a full –time permanent contract with a salary range of £55,000 – £85,000 FTE per annum (depending on experience), membership of the USS pension scheme as well as 30 days annual leave, starting as soon as possible. We will consider applications from candidates wishing to undertake a job share, a full or part-time secondment or on a part-time basis in conjunction with an academic post.

Further Information

For an informal discussion or further information, please contact the Director, Professor Jagjit S. Chadha, , or on 020 7222 7665 or Research Director Professor Peter Dolton on 

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] ARD P&T’. The covering letter must also specify the approximate date you would be available to start work and give details of four referees.

Closing date for applications is midday on 20th January 2018.
Interviews will be held w/c 26th January 2018.

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

Job Description

Main Purposes of the Job:

Develop, design and lead on a number of concurrent research projects within area of expertise productivity and trade. Actively cultivate external networks/future sources of funding and develop research proposals so that funding targets are achieved for own role, other team members and for NIESR. Contribute to and implement NIESR strategies and policies. The production of well-regarded research in top journals with impact and citations is expected.

Key Responsibilities:


  • Actively develop networks/leads for potential sources of funding and engage with senior contacts at strategic level
  • Support senior colleagues in developing alternative sources of funding
  • Prepare and draft research bids and proposals with support from other team members, regularly and consistently.


  • Oversee the design of research programmes/models, the setting up and conduct of research using appropriate methodology, with input from colleagues/guidance from the Director or Research Director as appropriate. Engage in relevant research projects. Responsible for timely project delivery in research area.
  • Lead and manage a team of researchers to achieve the project objectives.
  • Project manage research activities and grant conditions for own areas and ensure progress reports are submitted, as required, to funders.
  • Ensure team is appropriately funded, individually and collectively.


  • Prepare and present findings of research activity for peer review. Submit high quality academic and/or policy research output for academic publications, reports, model features, and newspaper or website articles.
  • Oversee activities where research is being led by other team members.
  • In tandem with the Director or Research Director, plan and implement strategy to disseminate/promote research more widely and achieve maximum impact on public, policymakers and opinion-formers.
  • Present research findings to internal and external audiences/funders at conferences/seminars, supporting less experienced team members.

Staff Management and Development

  • Lead, manage and support direct reports and teams. Ensure appropriate staff are recruited, motivated and developed, including carrying out appraisals, providing training and advising on professional development.
  • Direct reports: Economists/Senior Economists in team.


  • 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


  • PhD in economics or another relevant quantitative social science;
  • High level research capability with extensive knowledge of a range of research techniques and methodologies; particularly quantitative and econometric approaches;
  • Reputation for research expertise within a subject area with evidence of recognition of achievement for high quality research output.

Desirable Experience

  • Experience of research excellence in subject area.
  • Experience of managing research projects and teams.
  • Experience of achieving impact through disseminating findings;
  • Experience of writing proposals and bringing in funding for self and others.

Skills & Attributes

  • Commitment to high quality research in the core NIESR areas;
  • Highly motivated with the ability to manage own projects and those of team to meet deadlines and the ability to structure workload so that time is allocated efficiently between research, communication and funding proposals;
  • Well-developed leadership and management skills;
  • Proven ability to raise significant research funding for own role and others;
  • Ability to develop senior external contacts to promote NIESR and influence/engage with potential funders;
  • A high level of critical thinking with the ability to analyse results and to support others in carrying out these tasks;
  • Ability to communicate complex information in a clear and coherent way to a range of audiences.
  • Ability to write complex reports and papers accurately and clearly.
  • Ability to communication/present research verbally to individuals and groups with impact;
  • Ability to work with members of other teams if research-led funding opportunities imply the need for cross-topic co-operation;
  • Ability to work collaboratively and as part of a team as well as the ability to impact NIESR-wide strategic issues and to play a part in the overall management of NIESR