Closing date for applications: Sunday 21st August 2022

The International Centre for Tax and Development (ICTD) at IDS is seeking to appoint a Post-Doctoral Researcher in International Tax.

ICTD’s International Tax programme focuses on three interrelated areas: applicability of international tax standards to lower-income country contexts and consideration of simplification measures; negotiation and evaluation of bilateral tax treaties by lower-income countries; and the politics of multilateral tax negotiations. The programme has historically focused on corporate taxation, but is now also examining the taxation of wealthy individuals in the context of exchange of information standards and mutual assistance agreements.

Our research is interdisciplinary, and candidates from a range of disciplines will be considered, including political economy, public policy, international relations, law, economics and accounting.

ICTD is part of The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) which delivers world-class research, learning and teaching that transforms the knowledge, action and leadership needed for more equitable and sustainable development globally.


£37,362 to £49,384

Post Type

Full Time

Contract Type

Fixed Term (24 months)

Closing Date

23.59 hours BST on Sunday 21 August 2022



Job Description

The researcher will have three areas of responsibility:

  1. Play a central role in the international team conducting a two-year, six-country research project: “A national lens on international tax standards in lower-income countries” (40%).
  2. Pursue their own research agenda on topics relevant to ICTD’s international tax research programme (40%).
  3. Provide ad hoc support for ICTD’s portfolio of international tax research projects, communications and policy engagement. This includes, for example, providing feedback on ICTD-supported research projects, reviewing working papers, writing blogs and policy briefs, and helping to organise research workshops (20%).

Overall purpose of the role:

Post-Doctoral research posts at IDS provide the opportunity for recent PhD graduates to develop further research experience, in collaboration with more senior colleagues. This is seen as a transitional position between a PhD and a longer-term research career. The position should also provide opportunity for the Post-Doctoral post holder to write and publish, either collaboratively with others, or drawing from their own work, but the time and structure of this will depend on the nature of the funding for the post.

The Post-Doctoral Researcher will undertake an agreed programme of work, normally over a two year period, suitable to their funding source. For some, this might be a single postdoctoral fellowship or post-doctoral research position in a project; others might work on a portfolio of projects. They will also contribute to the development of new research projects and may also undertake consultancy assignments directly related to their area of expertise.

The work will be under the direction and line management of ICTD’s International Tax Research Lead, who is an IDS Research Fellow. The line manager is responsible for induction, appraisal, support and ongoing management to support excellent performance, though these activities can be designated to other senior colleagues by agreement.

The line manager will support the Post-Doctoral Researcher to achieve a programme of published work and in the second year of the post, to identify and pursue suitable future funding opportunities, building up independent fundraising skills. The income target is currently 192 days. In the event that funding at the expected level is not secured, a number of supportive steps will be followed, as set out in the RARO/PDR policy.

The Post-Doctoral Researcher will also be a member of a Governance cluster whose leader and members can be expected to provide broader intellectual support, but who are not responsible for fundraising or career progression.

Post-Doctoral Researchers will have a ‘career progression review’ towards the end of their two years in post, conducted by a designated small group of IDS research leaders and managers, to take stock of performance and advise on career development prospects.

All Post-Doctoral Researchers are additionally welcome to take advantage of the Institute’s mentoring scheme.


The responsibilities of the Post-Doctoral Researcher include:

Research activities

  • Undertake a range of desk research, including carrying out literature reviews and other background research activities in timely fashion to the agreed standard.
  • Undertake field-based research as appropriate.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of key literatures and methodologies relevant to international taxation.
  • Write up literature reviews, formal reports and other syntheses of projects, including web topic guides, issue papers and other documents as required in accordance with the agreed specifications.
  • Produce high quality publications, aiming at a minimum of one article-length piece during each year of the post-doctoral fellowship
  • Assist with managing projects in collaboration with hub staff and the relevant research leader, including budgets, timelines and outputs.

Networking and liaison

  • Build and maintain networks and relationships with clients, funders and partner organisations.
  • Promote the work of the Institute both nationally and internationally.
  • Develop links with external contacts to foster collaboration and partnerships.


  • Work on all aspects of effective communication outputs, including social media, media interviews, and the production of high-quality publications.

Teaching and Learning

  • Contribute to post-graduate teaching and the production of on-line teaching material.


  • The Post-Doctoral Researcher will be a member of the Governance Cluster and will have opportunities to participate in the activities of the wider cluster
  • Contribute to the strategic development of IDS, and taking part in IDS-wide discussions and debates
  • Carry out other IDS-related and ad hoc tasks as required
  • Contribute to the collegial life of IDS
  • Participate in cluster/department and Institute activities as required. Act as a responsible group member and develop productive working relationships with others


  • Depending on their main funding source and its expectations, the Post-Doctoral Researcher will have opportunities to develop and seek funding for other research studies, including participating in and leading the development of new proposals.
  • Identify and pursue new funding sources.
  • Assist with, and increasingly, lead, the development and writing of bids and proposals
  • Build relationships which are likely to lead to funding

The Post-Doctoral Researcher position is a fixed term position, normally for two years. Individuals will be expected to start to diversify their funding and pursue funding opportunities in their second year. With support and training the aim is for the Post-Doctoral researcher to develop their own portfolio of work. It is anticipated that for the right candidate this role will eventually lead to the possibility of application to a Fellowship position at IDS, subject to a vacancy arising and meeting the required standards as assessed by the Fellow Review and Promotion Board.

Person Specification

Skills and experience


  • PhD in political science, international relations, public policy, law, economics, accounting or other relevant discipline.
  • Demonstrate appropriate record of academic outputs.


  • Broad, varied and in-depth knowledge of the theoretical and practical literature international taxation.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English.


  • Substantial work, research and/or programme experience on international taxation or related themes, such as global economic governance or public financial management.
  • Experience of production of research outputs, demonstrated by appropriate record of working papers and reports.
  • Experience of designing and conducting a research study including secondary and primary research.
  • Experience of working independently to conduct empirical research.
  • Experience of literature review and working with ‘grey literature’.
  • Experience of data management and analysis.
  • Experience of turning research findings into policy-relevant outputs (eg policy briefings, blogs. Social media, presentations).
  • Experience in the development of research proposals.
  • Experience of teaching at university level and development of teaching materials.


  • Excellent analytical, research methods (qualitative and/or quantitative) and writing skills, demonstrated by a record of projects, publications and reports.
  • Ability to translate academic knowledge into policy and practice-relevant outputs.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including:
  • Ability to work with researchers from a variety of backgrounds and in a variety of contexts, including overseas.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in multi-disciplinary and mixed skill teams (e.g. researchers and practitioners).
  • Skills in negotiation, problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Strong organizational and time management skills, including the ability to manage a complex workload.
  • Production of teaching materials for post-graduate students.
  • Use of ICTs for dissemination of research methods and findings.
  • Spoken and written communication abilities for a range of audiences.
  • Languages (spoken and read beyond English).


  • Self-motivated, goal-oriented, enthusiastic and entrepreneurial attitude.
  • Demonstrated capacity for leadership and innovation in the field.
  • Commitment to team and collaborative working.
  • Problem-solving approach.


  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally.

Information to Candidates

Benefits At IDS we offer a number of additional benefits to staff. These include:

  • a competitive salary, including cost of living awards and incremental increases on an annual basis as per policy and the option to join our pension scheme.
  • interest free travel loans, following successful completion of a probationary period
  • support in attainment of a relevant professional qualification in line with the Professional Development Policy
    childcare fund
  • competitive maternity and paternity policies that offer compensation above the statutory minimum
  • 24 days annual leave per year (pro-rata for part-time), plus public holidays and up to 6 non-negotiable closure days
  • enhanced sickness pay entitlements
  • support with relocation costs for staff joining us from outside the EU
  • eligibility to use the University of Sussex gym and sporting facilities at staff rates


The successful candidate will be based at the Institute of Development Studies on the University of Sussex campus. The University of Sussex is located 10 minutes away from the lively and cosmopolitan seaside city of Brighton on the UK South Coast, 60 minutes away from central London, 30 minutes away from London Gatwick Airport and is surrounded by the beautiful countryside of the Sussex South Downs. Situated between the sea and the South Downs, Brighton is one of the most vibrant and unique cities on the South Coast, for more information please go to

How to apply

Download the Vacancy Particulars here.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please apply through the IDS jobs portal.