Professorial Fellow – Lead Researcher

Institute of Development Studies

Fixed-Term, Full Time
Europe, UK
Posted 1 month ago

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About IDS

The International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) is a growing global policy research network dedicated to improving the quality of tax policy and administration in developing countries, with a special foucs on sub-Saharan Africa. It is funded principally by the UK Department for International Development and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and run by a global, friendly and dynamic team led by CEO Professor Mick Moore.

ICTD is part of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and based at the University of Sussex.


The Role

The Lead Researcher will design and deliver the DIGITAX research programme in association with the Policy and Engagement Consultant, and with the guidance of the ICTD CEO and the Programme Advisory Board. The research will be conducted in collaboration with stakeholders from the DFS (digital financial services), digital ID and financial inclusion industries and with tax administrators and policymakers. It will build upon several assets produced by a global Working Group organised by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, including a literature review, research agenda, expert data base, DFS tax calculator tool, and a mobile money tax country dashboard. This programme provides a unique opportunity to access and analyse data from DFS providers and tax administrations and serve in a leadership role in a greenfield research area.

The DIGITAX (Digital Financial Services, Digital ID and Tax) is a new three-year research programme funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It will investigate:
(a) the consequences of alternative methods of taxing digital financial services (DFS) in low income countries and
(b) how DFS platforms, the use of digital ID, and technology more broadly, can
contribute effectively to broadening the tax base and improving collection efficiency and equity.

Extensive engagement with policy and industry stakeholders will be undertaken at all
stages of the programme.

Professorial Fellow is the most senior research and teaching position at the Institute. Post-holders are expected to show high academic standing, to make a broad and sustained contribution to their field and discipline nationally and internationally, and to demonstrate sustained exceptional performance in research and policy influence. They will demonstrate leadership and excellence in research, engagement with policy and practice, and usually teaching and learning, secure research funding for themselves and others in their research field, and significantly contribute to the leadership, strategic direction and reputation of the Institute. The term Professorial Fellow denotes a role, but not the title of Professor which is awarded by the University of Sussex.

Person Specification and Qualifications


• Advanced research degree (PhD), preferably in economics, finance, political science, or related fields. Candidates without a PhD but with extensive research experience and a strong publication record will be considered.


• Understanding of the technology and policies of digital financial services, digital identification, and/or financial inclusion.
• Familiarity with issues of financial services and digital ID in low income countries and for lowincome populations.
• Understanding of tax policy and administration in low-income countries.


• Leadership and people management skills with evidence of proactive contribution to leadership and management current organisation
• Excellent research skills, including analytical and synthesis skills, as well as data analysis.
• Excellent interpersonal skills.
• Diplomacy and a professional approach when dealing with external partners and funders (from both Global North and South).
• Good communication skills, including English language verbal and writing skills.
• Well-organised, with the ability to prioritise work in order to meet competing deadlines.
• Excellent presentation skills, with the proven ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with students, colleagues and external audiences.
• Excellent organisational and administrative skills.
• Excellent IT skills, with the ability to produce high-quality learning support materials.


• An international reputation in the field of study.
• Significant track record of influential publications in reputable journals and other appropriate media of similar standing.
• Experience of successfully leading large externally-funded research projects
• Extensive experience of quantitative research, particularly applied and policy-relevant research
• Experience of management of primary research projects in low-income countries, particularly in economics, finance, political science, or closely related fields.
• Experience in linking research and policy, and effectively communicating research findings to both academic and policy audiences.

Job Features

Job CategoryHigher Education and Research
LocationBrighton, UK
Contract TypeFixed Term for 3 years
Closing DateMay 24th

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Job Features

Job CategoryHigher Education and Research
LocationBrighton, UK
Contract TypeFixed Term for 3 years
Closing DateMay 24th

Apply Online

Sarah Engerer

Principal Consultant - UK