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Researcher/Senior Researcher

Researcher/Senior Researcher

November 15, 2022


The Charter Cities Institute (CCI) is a non-profit that empowers new cities with better governance to lift tens of millions of people out of poverty. We are hiring a Researcher/Senior Researcher to strengthen and complement our growing Research team. The Researcher/Senior Researcher will work with the Research team under the Head of Research, conceiving of, researching, writing, and communicating how charter cities can help solve many of the most pressing global development challenges of the 21st century.


The Charter Cities Institute is a small team, so the Researcher/Senior Researcher will need to be comfortable working on larger, flagship research projects as well as smaller, more ad hoc research outputs (e.g., blog posts, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc). The role will also involve writing technical assistance documents, concept notes and policy briefs on tight deadlines. The ideal candidate should have experience in an international development organization, multilateral, and/or development-adjacent think tank working both with high-level research and on-the-ground project execution.


CCI has offices in Washington, D.C. and Lusaka, Zambia, as well as researchers based in London. We have recently expanded our engagement with governments across Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in Nigeria and Kenya. Candidates from any location are welcome to apply, and those located in or with easy access to the locations indicated above are strongly encouraged to apply.


Responsibilities of Researcher/Senior Researcher

  • Research: The Researcher/Senior Researcher will be responsible for conceptualizing, researching, and drafting well-written research papers, policy briefs, reports, handbooks, and other written outputs. The aim of these pieces is to demonstrate the promise of charter cities as a policy solution to some of the world’s most intractable issues (e.g., migration/refugee crises, urbanization, industrialization, poor governance, poverty, informality, climate change, environmental degradation, gender inequality, and others). The Researcher/Senior Researcher will also be encouraged to leverage their networks in the international development and other relevant communities to engage in co-authored works and cross-promotional research activities with other development research teams/individuals, and to apply for research grants.
  • Technical Assistance: In addition to conducting original research, the Researcher/Senior Researcher will be responsible for formulating, researching, and drafting technical assistance and advisory outputs for city developers, governments, and other CCI partners to aid in the delivery of charter city projects. This work may include, but is not limited to, legal gap analyses, model laws, policy recommendations, impact evaluations, economic analysis, monitoring and evaluation, project management, and other outputs and activities.
  • Project Management: The Researcher/Senior Researcher will be given substantial autonomy in directing and owning the research projects he or she works on from conception through to (and including) dissemination. This will include overseeing other researchers, research assistants, and interns assigned to individual projects, and ensuring the final research output is delivered in a timely, efficient, and maximally impactful manner.
  • Research Dissemination: Work with the Head of Research, Head of Communications, and Executive Director to pinpoint optimal distribution channels for each research output to maximize dissemination, audience reach, and overall impact (e.g., particular media outlets, think tank policy briefs, events, book volumes, scholarly journals, podcasts, YouTube videos, conferences, etc).
  • Events: The Researcher/Senior Researcher will work with the executive team to help plan and execute events. In particular, the Researcher/Senior Researcher will help organize events (or panels within larger events) that involve research- and policy-oriented participants, especially from international development organizations and multilaterals. These events or panels will aim to highlight charter cities as a promising development policy tool.
  • Funding: The Researcher/Senior Research will work with the Heads of Development and Research, and other researchers, to identify sources of funding for research and participate in writing grant applications.
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Networking: The Researcher/Senior Researcher will represent CCI at various events, strive to participate in speaking opportunities, and identify additional opportunities to boost the brand and impact of CCI.




  • PhD preferred (Senior Researcher) or Master’s (Researcher), in economics, political science, international development, or other relevant social science. Candidates with backgrounds in development/infrastructure finance, urban planning, Global South cities, and other relevant experiences are especially encouraged to apply.
  • Experience in international development (ideally at a policy-oriented multilateral).



  • 3+ years of experience in a research role (Researcher); 7+ years (Senior Researcher).
  • Experience in writing grant applications.
  • Experience in quantitative research, such as proficiency in econometric analyses using common statistical software packages like R, Stata, and/or Python and/or in qualitative research, such as conducting interviews or surveys.
  • Experience managing research projects and teams (Senior Researcher).



  • The ideal candidate should have advanced writing skills, including not only experience producing well-written research papers, but also experience simplifying and translating complicated subjects into clear and concise language easily digestible by policymakers and wider lay audiences.
  • The job is likely to involve extended spells working at home, so the ideal candidate should be self-motivated with a demonstrated record of independent research.
  • The ideal candidate should have a set of relationships that can be leveraged for co-authorship, events, and other collaborations to increase the reach of ideas about charter cities.
  • The ideal candidate should be able to communicate effectively, including representing CCI at events, conferences, workshops, and policy dialogues and presenting research findings.
  • The ideal candidate has a high level of attention to detail, as CCI’s research projects often involve many moving pieces and stakeholders.
  • The ideal candidate is intellectually curious and enjoys discussion, debate and giving critically useful feedback on the work of colleagues.


The Charter Cities Institute greatly values our office culture. Our staff is intellectually curious and enjoys exploring a wide variety of topics, not all of which are directly related to charter cities, including through a monthly book discussion. We’re a small team, so we frequently go out to lunch as a group, among other social activities (this is not required).


Salary – negotiable based on experience.


The role is for a full-time position. The Charter Cities Institute offers health insurance, dental insurance, and 401k. Please send a cover letter, a resume, and a writing sample (all in PDF) to [email protected] or apply below.