How to apply if you want to become a researcher and writer at Our World in Data

At Our World in Data we are looking for researchers and writers to join our team. In this role, you will contribute to our research, you will have the opportunity to lead your own independent project, and your work will be published here on this online publication.

Our website is a platform that provides the data and research to make progress against the world’s largest problems: We currently have more than one million visitors every month, rank within the top results in Google Search for key queries, and are cited in hundreds of articles, reports, books, lectures, videos and talks every year. 

We are open to considering candidates with any background, as long as they have the skills and motivation to do the job well. We are flexible regarding time availability and location.

We do not have an internship program, but we do consider candidates interested in joining us for fixed-term research projects. The minimum commitment is 3 months.

The skills we are looking for

Our goal is to accurately describe the largest problems the world faces; to explain whether and how the world is making progress against them; and – if the research allows this – to detail how progress in the future can be achieved. 

The topics we have covered are here and those we intend to cover are here. The ideal colleague for us is someone who follows the academic research on the topics they care about closely, who knows the empirical evidence well, and is able to work with the data to write about it in a clear and accurate way.

Writing about global development with reference to empirical evidence is the core skill that we are looking for. This sounds easy, but over the years we realized that it is is really not; there are very few people out there who do it well. Communicating in an understandable and engaging way without sacrificing scientific accuracy is not trivial.

Our audience includes both experts and non-experts, and our work is used across many education levels, from schools to graduate courses in the world’s best universities. This means we need to write in straightforward language that is understandable, whilst providing a deep and accurate perspective on the current scientific views of each topic. 

We are looking for a very specific profile that combines three core qualities: solid knowledge about state-of-the-art research the ability to write for a non-expert audience; and a passion for a broad range of general-interest topics related to global problems.

We get many applications and we want to be clear that the selection process is tough. But we also don’t want to discourage you from applying! It’s not an easy job, but it is a very rewarding one. Everyone in our team enjoys the work and atmosphere very much. We are fortunate to be able to work for a large and enthusiastic audience. Here is a recent testimonial that Hannah Ritchie wrote for an earlier job opening.

If you are interested in this role, there are two other pages that are particularly relevant for you to take a look at:

  • Our jobs page here.
  • And our mission page here.

How to apply

If you feel you fit the profile described above – are knowledgeable about the research literature that is relevant for our mission and you have the right skills – send us your CV, a sample of your written work, and your ideas about what research area you would like to work on, to jobs@ourworldindata.org. There is no deadline – we periodically review applications and  fill new openings, so we are always happy to receive applications. We try to reply to all job applications within one month.

The sample of written work should be shorter than 1,000 words. It should give us a clear indication of your ability to write about important and complex academic research on global development, for a general non-expert audience. You can submit something that has or has not been published,and you can submit something you have already written for another purpose (e.g. university coursework). The only condition is that you are the author.

A key part of our work is creating and publishing data visualizations alongside our articles. So we are also interested in your skills to communicate data through charts. If you submit a sample of written work that includes a data visualization, that’s a great addition. However, this is not a formal requirement at this stage.

We look forward to hearing from you!