Fixed-term Research Assistant/s – quantitative social scientist

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# Research Assistant/s – Quantitative Social Scientist for

For the web publication OurWorldInData we are looking for a quantitative social scientist/s to work as a research assistant. Research assistants will be employed according to the conditions of the University of Oxford for casual workers. We are looking for candidates start working on this project in January 2017 (or February 2017 at the latest) for a maximum of 12 weeks. The exact timing is flexible and can be discussed. Consideration will be given to either full-time or part-time appointments; but we expect a minimum commitment of 7 hours a week. The position is particularly suited for graduate students in Oxford – but it is open for anyone who is qualified and motivated to do this work. The pay is £14.40 per hour, based on a working week of 37.5 hours and applicants must possess the right to work in the UK.

# Our World In Data

OurWorldInData is an online publication that shows how living conditions around the world are changing. It is published at the University of Oxford and covers a wide range of topics across many academic disciplines: Trends in health, food provision, the growth and distribution of incomes, violence, rights, wars, culture, energy use, education, and environmental changes are empirically analyzed and visualized in this web publication. For each topic the quality of the data is discussed and, by pointing the visitor to the sources, this website also serves as a database of databases.

The idea behind this publication is to bring empirical research on how living conditions around the world are changing, to a larger audience. Specifically, we aim to produce and disseminate research on the interlinkage of long-run phenomena related to human development, including causal relations, to help the general public – including journalists, academics, and policy-makers – make better-informed decisions.

We see this project as a public good: The publication is freely available online, all data is available for download, the visualizations are available under a permissive Creative Commons license, and all tools to publish OurWorldInData are open source. The long-term plan is to establish Our World In Data as an open-access web publication, written for anyone interested in global development, and co-written with experts, presenting empirical research on changing living conditions around the world through accessible data visualizations.

Explore to see what this project is about:

The project is based at the University of Oxford’s Oxford Martin School. The Oxford Martin School is an interdisciplinary institution within the University and for this publication we work together with the School’s network of academics and the very helpful administrative team. The research programme dedicated to this publication is directed by Dr Max Roser who started to work on this publication more than 5 years ago and leads the technical and content development of the programme. Dr Esteban Ortiz-Ospina is in charge of research and content development at Our World In Data. The successful candidate/s will be working closely with both researchers.

# Main Responsibilities

  • Finding data and building comprehensive usable datasets
    • For this key task it is essential that the candidate is able to find and collect relevant data; and is then able to prepare the datasets in a reproducible fashion by using R and/or Stata. While Stata and R are the standard languages used in the project, candidates who are not able to program in R or Stata, but are able to work well in another comparable language, will also be considered.
  • Cataloguing data sources and writing standardized descriptions of these sources
  • Assisting the team in expanding the content of
  • Other, less frequent responsibilities include
    • Preparing material for presentations
    • Writing progress reports for the PI
    • Liaising with media inquiries relating to the development of the website
    • Liaising with academic colleagues relating to the development of the website

# Skills & Requirements

  • Background (masters level) in quantitative social science or statistics is essential
  • Ability to program Stata (or R)
  • Deep interest in development economics, economic & social history, and communication of research
  • Excellent written and presentational skills
  • Ability to present findings/technical information to non-specialist audiences
  • Familiarity with historical data sources and/or with data sources in development research is desirable
  • Skills in econometrics, statistics, data visualisation and web development, are useful

Duration and days: We are looking for a candidate/s as soon as possible. To ensure that we make progress the research assistant should be able to work for 2-3 days per week – ideally more – for a period of 12 weeks. Candidates who would be available for shorter contract length, but who could start soon and work full-time, will also be considered

Location and employment:

While some remote work is possible, we can also offer you an office at the University of Oxford where you will be based in Eagle House in Jericho, Oxford – a really nice part of the town.

Students at the University of Oxford are welcomed to apply and it is possible to find a flexible solution that will be compatible with your working hours and workload for your studies. We are open to requests for remote and flexible working.


How to apply: Please send a letter of application, explaining how you meet the Selection Criteria, a short letter explaining what motivates you to do this work and join our team, a CV, and the names of two referees to: [email protected]. The closing date for applications is midday Monday 9th January 2017.