Senior Economist

Oxford Policy Management
  • Location
    Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Sep 15

Position description

OPM is looking to add to its Office of Chief Economist due to increasing work and changes in the portfolio. This has been a pivotal team to many of our projects managing their own portfolio as well as supporting may other projects on certain components.

The main business components of OCE are (i) large research projects and (ii) economics. OCE also has special thought leadership responsibilities within OPM, and we are looking for someone who can build on the work done previously. You will lead and take part in the Technical Communities of Practice (TCOPs) for research and economics. There is currently a research hub and with growth, there will also be an economics hub, that we would be keen for this role to take a leading role in.

Whilst this will be the main component of the role the senior economist also support economics components on large research projects.

OCE is the leading team in the development of OPM in this niche market – with most of the competitors are universities or multilateral organisations, we have made the most of our differentiation to remain successful and deliver high quality research. Our strengths are efficient management, and an emphasis on relevance and getting evidence into use. With a combination of good governance and high-quality personnel who can collaborate and communicate well with senior academics to ensure deliver of high quality research.

Key Primary Responsibilities

  • Lead or support on delivery of economics services to projects run by other practices; within our practice, Research & Evidence; and to projects which are led by OCE – often a project is team-led by OCE even though it is project-managed by another practice. The economics hub is small but senior and works with staff across other practices to guide and quality control bids and project delivery.
  • On thought leadership and branding, OPM needs to present itself to the world as thoughtful and alert, at the forefront of thinking in key areas and ahead of the game on key events. Drawing on its own work, that of the TCOPs and the wider organisation, OCE plays a key role in generating content which contributes to this aim.
  • The Senior Economist (SE) will be guided by the Chief Economist onto a programme of work on delivering projects and also on helping to acquire new work.
  • The SE needs to be able to take on technical leadership of a range of economics and broader development related work and must be sensitive to the needs of the client and the OPM manager of each project.
  • The SE will be asked to work at searching for suitable opportunities and contributing to bids, or to help develop the governance and technical approaches in the design of bids and proposals in partnership with other practices or MERL. 
  • The SE will also be asked to help make the Economics Technical Community of Practice work in terms of being a centre for sharing excellence and developing methods and standards and building a resource of economists across all practices as well as OCE. 
  • Finally the SE needs to work with the Chief Economist and comms to deliver a suitable thought leadership output.
  • The manager will agree and keep under review a suitable division of time between these responsibilities of finding and delivering invoiceable work; working with others to improve standards on invoiceable work; investing in acquisition of new work including across other portfolios; and providing services to the corporate centre, ie thought leadership.

Person Specification

Professional/Technical Skills, Knowledge & Experience:

  • hold at least a Master’s degree in economics and preferably a PhD in economics or a closely related subject;
  • have a track record in using economic skills to generate evidence for policy or managerial decisions – this should include most of –
    • the ability to design and implement or commission surveys and research which will be useful evidence;
    • the ability to interpret secondary data including sourcing and analysing macroeconomic data but also critically interpreting microeconomic data by paying attention to how it has been generated
    • experience with public expenditure work
    • experience with cost benefit analysis and other appraisal techniques
    • the ability to use a range of analytical and modelling techniques to make predictions, projections and forecasts
    • the ability understand and see the usefulness of advanced techniques including advanced data science techniques (ie what should we use this for?)
    • to integrate important qualitative information, understand where it is needed, where it has been omitted or what its implications are when it is available.
    • to ally analysis and information from different fields and to develop OPM/OCE’s unique political-economy/institutional approach.
  • be experienced at delivering work of a very high quality.
  • be experienced at communicating the implications of evidence and results to policy makers and other decision makers;
  • have the ability to supervise, mentor and motivate staff (even though there may be no direct reports), including the ability to coach junior staff in technical issues and in the appropriate quality of work;
  • have excellent interpersonal and written communication skills;
  • demonstrate strong organizational skills;
  • demonstrate influencing skills and be persuasive;
  • eligibility to work in the agreed home location;
  • fluent in spoken and written English;

Application instructions

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