Project Research Officer CREID (39-2019)

Hours per week: Full Time, 35 hours per week
Contract Type: Fixed Term (36 months)
Grade: Grade 6
Salary: £26464 to £34895  per annum
Closing Date: 23.59 hours GMT on Sunday 23 February 2020

Who We Are

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) delivers world-class research, learning and teaching that transforms the knowledge, action and leadership needed for more equitable and sustainable development globally.

Our Vision

We want a more equitable and sustainable world, where people everywhere can live their lives free from poverty and injustice.

What We Do

Through equitable and sustainable partnerships, we work with governments, philanthropic foundations, non-governmental organisations, academics and civil society to transform approaches to progressive social, political and economic change in ways that ultimately make a difference to people’s lives. 

We have helped foster innovative new partnerships that have generated millions of dollars in additional tax revenues in Africa that can be reinvested in countries’ national development. We have worked to provide solutions to environmental problems that build on local people’s knowledge and practices. We have highlighted the role of local communities in bringing an end to deadly epidemics like the Ebola virus.  We have nurtured hundreds of exceptional development leaders and champions including political leaders, country Ambassadors and government officials, civil society leaders and entrepreneurs.

Our reputation for research and international outlook is second to none and reflected in our performance in the latest QS World University Rankings where we are ranked first in the world for development studies, together with the University of Sussex. We are also ranked as the number one international development think-tank by the 2019 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report.

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Job Description

Reports to Mariz Tadros, Director of the Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development

Overall purpose of the role:

To support  IDS research projects through undertaking desk and field based research, undertaking data collection and analysis as directed, contributing to publications and other communication methods, and working effectively with project and cluster colleagues, including partners.

This position will be funded through the CREID programme. The Coalition for Religious Equality and Inclusive Development (CREID) provides research evidence and delivers practical programmes which aim to redress the impact of discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief, tackle poverty and exclusion, and promote people’s wellbeing and empowerment.

Currently, discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief can mean that people lack access to basic services such as health or education, experience verbal, emotional or physical violence and abuse, and be excluded from vital social and political processes. CREID believes that freedom of religion or belief is essential for people living in poverty to achieve their potential, live in dignity, free from stigma and exclusion.

Our work will produce new research evidence and develop innovative practical programmes, and is focused in Egypt, Iraq, Myanmar/Burma, Nigeria and Pakistan.

The work will be under the direction and line management of Professor Mariz Tadros, the Programme Director of CREID.  The line manager is responsible for income generation, induction, appraisal, support and ongoing management to support excellent performance, though these activities can be designated to other senior colleagues by agreement.

The Research Officer will also be a member of the Power and Popular Politics Cluster whose leader and members can be expected to provide broader intellectual support, but who are not responsible for fundraising or career progression. All Research Officers are additionally welcome to take advantage of the Institute’s mentoring scheme.

Activities will include:


Undertake a range of desk-based research, including carrying out literature reviews and other background research activities, in a timely fashion to the agreed standard.

Undertake field-based research in collaboration with research partners as appropriate.

Contribute to other research activities and project publications as appropriate.

Maintain knowledge and keep abreast of relevant debates and trends noting emerging key issues related to the subject area of the cluster/project

Liaison & Networking

Participate in and develop external networks, for example to identify sources of funding, build relationships for current and future activities, and enhance research impact.

Develop links with external contacts to foster collaboration and partnerships.

Promote the work of the Institute both nationally and internationally.

Work with the cluster/project team to plan and organise a range of events in conjunction with overseas partners and others, including report launches, debates, and high-level policy meetings.


Contribute to the production of academic publications, research reports and IDS Bulletins.

Coordinate publication processes, including books with external publishers, other printed material with external designers and printers, and internal IDS publications.

Contribute to IDS blogs, and social media, produce opinion pieces, and participate in media interviews.


Participate in cluster, project and Institute activities as required.

Liaise with colleagues and students

Build internal contacts and participate in internal networks for the exchange of information and to form relationships for future collaboration

Act as a responsible group member and develop productive working relationships with others

Project Management

Support management for in-country research activities and partners


Contribute to the process of securing funding as requested by project manager and/or cluster leader


Person Specification

Skills and experience
Selection Criteria Description Essential [E] or
Desirable [D]
by *
• A postgraduate degree related to the subject area, or equivalent work experience. E A/I
Good knowledge and understanding of current issues and debates in international development;
Excellent / good knowledge of participatory methods
• Excellent/Good knowledge and understanding of current issues and debates with regards to Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB)
• Excellent analytical and synthesis skills
• Excellent English writing and editing skills, including the ability to tailor material for different formats (web, email, etc) and communicate specialist knowledge in non-technical language.
• Ability to assimilate complex research or other relevant material quickly, assess its merits, and draw out key messages and implications for policy and practice
• Strong all-round communication skills for a range of audiences
• Strong organisational and time management skills
• Proficiency at using the internet for research
• Negotiation skills and the ability to manage client expectations
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Excellent presentation skills
Networking skills
Good facilitation skills
Arabic language skills
Good Copy-editing skills
Experience undertaking research in a developing country
Experience of working in an development or humanitarian research role
Experience of undertaking literature reviews, evidence syntheses, semi-structured interviews, and data analysis involving multiple data sources and types
Experience with qualitative and / or quantitative research methods
Experience of tailoring material for different formats such as web copy, blogs and newsletters.
Project Management
Budget tracking
Experience in preparing web copy, including articles, blogs and newsletters
Experience of working in fragile contexts
• Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and meet frequent strict deadlines
• Ability to prioritise, manage and deliver a range of conflicting immediate and longer term priorities
• Flexibility
• Ability to plan and work on your own initiative, taking responsibility for areas of work in a proactive and independent manner
• Attention to detail and pride in presentation and communication
• Demonstrable ability to thrive on team-working
• Ability to work collaboratively in multi-disciplinary and mixed skill teams and with researchers from a variety of backgrounds and in a variety of contexts
• Cultural sensitivity and the ability to work with people from a wide range of backgrounds
• Willingness to undertake travel within the UK and internationally E A/I
*A - Application I - Interview

Information to Candidates

Benefits At IDS we offer a number of additional benefits to staff. These include:

The successful candidate will be based at the Institute of Development Studies on the University of Sussex campus. The University of Sussex is located 10 minutes away from the lively and cosmopolitan seaside city of Brighton on the UK South Coast, 60 minutes away from central London, 30 minutes away from London Gatwick Airport and is surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the Sussex South Downs. Situated between the sea and the South Downs, Brighton is one of the most vibrant and unique cities on the South Coast, for more information please go to

How to apply

Please apply using the online application form.