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Jobs at the Overseas Development Institute

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ODI - Research Officer/ Senior Research Officer

Type of contract
Humanitarian Resilience and Gender Programmes
Risk and Resilience
Research Officer: £28,015 - £33,419; Senior Research Officer: £33,420 - £39,896
Closing date
06 Jul 2018

Research Officer 1 or 2 R&R China

The rise of China as a global power, an emerging consumer market and an investment opportunity has been widely discussed and documented among China watchers, investors and economists for decades. However, President Xi’s ambitions for a new era in Chinese influence and China’s extensive ‘one belt, one road’ initiative, combined with a world where the rate, frequency, intensity as well as physical nature (e.g. digital versus natural world) and geographical location of risks is ever changing, has brought the question of what China’s emerging role in world affairs means in terms of addressing complex global risks.

ODI is looking to recruit a Senior Research Officer to play an important role in:

  • supporting the Head of Programme in developing ODI’s China Strategy and in building a funded body of work on China’s emerging role in the international world order
  • and developing foresight capacity within the team, including forecasting of political, economic, environmental and social trends in China.


Main duties and responsibilities

Research and Funding

  • Lead on business development, strategy and development of research proposals, expressions of interest and full project proposals in the thematic area, together with programme staff.
  • Conceptualise, manage and produce technical inputs to ODI publications and strategies.
  • Undertake travel overseas for research-related purposes.

Project Management

  • Under the direction of the Head of Programme, liaise with and report to donors and partners, managing budgets and consultants and the inputs of other project partners.
  • Supervise junior research staff, Associates and interns in the thematic area.

Policy advice, public affairs and dissemination

  • Author and co-author research reports, policy briefs, blogs and other documents for publication.
  • Represent ODI in public affairs around thematic area, including organising workshops and public events, presentation of research results at international fora, conferences and meetings.


  • Contribute to ODI’s collegiate life through intellectual exchanges with other team members, ODI programmes and interest groups.

Person specification


Knowledge and Qualifications

  • Post-graduate degree and PhD in relevant discipline i.e. Chinese studies.
  • Demonstrable extensive knowledge of Chinese domestic and/or foreign policy. Candidates with an understanding of China’s economic and financial policy are encouraged to apply. An understanding of the strategic direction of China’s military modernisation would also be an advantage.
  • Demonstrable understanding of a range of issues in the Asia-Pacific with clear China country expertise.
  • Highly qualified candidates will demonstrate ability to cover emerging geopolitical volatility in new frontiers such as space, Polar regions, the deep Ocean and cyber space.
  • Ability to understand key political, economic, energy, security, historical and social trends shaping the current and future international system.


  • More than 5 years in-country experience.
  • Significant experience in establishing and maintaining networks with key individuals, government agencies and institutions in China.


  • Fluency in English and Mandarin Chinese and ability to read a wide range of Chinese language materials.
  • Strong qualitative analytical skills.
  • Proven ability to pursue research funding on China and leverage funding for own projects
  • A demonstrated capacity for policy advisory or public affairs work, based on an analytical approach, and an innovative and creative communications ability.
  • Strong interpersonal and problem-solving skills with the ability to negotiate successfully with a wide range of stakeholders, demonstrating cultural and political awareness.
  • Capacity to write clearly for a range of audiences, and excellent organisational and oral communication skills.
  • Strong time management skills.
  • Excellent IT skills.
  • Willingness and ability to travel internationally, which may include overnight and weekends.
  • Excellent project management skills, including managing a complex and varied workload and responding with confidence to evolving problems.


  • Highly qualified candidates will demonstrate ability to cover emerging geopolitical volatility in new frontiers such as space, Polar regions, the deep Ocean and cyber space.
  • Experience in building partnerships with private/public sector entities in China.
  • A history of engagement in major policy processes such as UNFCCC, SDGs, Parliamentary Select Committees and/or international initiatives.
  • Regular contribution to public affairs e.g. media interviews, opinion pieces etc.
  • Internationally recognised expert in their chosen field.


Key Relationships and Contacts


Head of Risk and Resilience Programme, Risk and Resilience staff and Associates


Major donors, bi-laterals and multilateral organisations, including FCO, DFID, the World Bank/IMF, UN agencies, bi-laterals, developing country governments, international and national NGOs. Academic institutions and individuals. Public institutions with an interest in Chinese policy (schools, professional groups). Media as appropriate.

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