Research and learning officer

On Think Tanks Research Officer

On Think Tanks is the leading global source of information, ideas, advice and services for policy research centres, or think tanks. Funded in 2010, OTT has a global team and we work with think tanks, thinktankers and their funders and supporters in all regions.

The role

OTT’s research and learning officer will work (remotely) as part of a global network of researchers and practitioners working to promote the generation, communication and use of evidence in policy across the world. S/he will be called to work on projects for different audiences: including funders, research institutes, policymaking bodies, academics, civil society organisations and the private sector.

The research and learning officer will work with OTT’s director of research and learning in support of OTT’s long-term research strategy and outputs; but s/he will also be involved in other short to medium terms research projects  at a time and will be working under the guidance of different senior associates. This will offer the opportunity to quickly gain experience and knowledge about multiple aspects of the evidence informed policymaking field, but requires an ability to multitask and self—organise. 

The research and learning officer will have the following competencies

Personal qualities:

    • Self-motivation.
    • Self-organisation. The ability to manage time and resources and work with tight deadlines efficiently.
    • The ability to coordinate tasks amongst different activities and report to strategic positions within the team.
    • Flexibility to adapt to different responsibilities and to engage with a variety of audiences.

Key skills and requirements:

    • Graduate degree in social sciences
    • Ability to gather and analyse quantitative and qualitative data
    • Strong synthesis and writing skills
    • Excellent communication and writing skills, and willingness to respond to queries and requests in a timely manner
    • Multitasking skills
    • Excellent IT skills (Word, Excel, Power Point plus survey and qualitative/quantitative research software, ideal)
    • Ability to work in a team AND ability to work on own initiative and remotely
    • Fluent in English and competency in others. Fluency in a language other than English would be desirable.

Previous experiences:

    • Experience in producing high quality (published – think tank or consultancy style) research outputs in a short period of time and for different audiences;
    • Experience working in a think tank or a policy research institute.


    • Good sense of humour
    • An interest in contributing to the growth of OTT by promoting new initiatives.
    • A positive disposition to engage with academics, thinktankers and think tank leaders from all parts of the world.

Specific roles and tasks

The research officer will perform these tasks with the support from OTT’s research and learning director, OTT’s director, and other senior staff. S/he will have to also work closely with the Communications Director and digital communication manager. S/he will be lined managed by the director of research and learning.


  1. Research and resources
    • Undertake pieces of research annually to publish in OTT´s working paper series. The research will be defined with the director of research and learning and will respond to OTT’s agenda and current projects.
    • Produce research/knowledge products (from OTT´s projects or other sources) as needed and indicated by line manager such as producing annotated bibliographies, literature reviews, best practice documents, undertaking surveys and interviews, data analysis and preparing reports.
    • Contribute to the development of research proposals, expressions of interest and full project proposals. And participate in externally funded research when needed and indicated by line manager.
    • Work in the development of OTT resources (e.g. g. Think Tank Health Check and How to set up a TT manual).
    • Work with communications for publishing and dissemination of products.
  1. Academic engagement and working paper series
    • Map academics (and their work) and keep updated the database of academics focused on think tanks and evidence informed policy.
    • Invite authors to submit their work to the WP series (or best practice series).
    • Keep a record of think tank related research and share on OTT’s social media (in coordination with communications).
    • Write short commentaries or reviews (OTT articles) of selected identified papers.
    • Work with communications to launch and annual social media call for papers.
    • Participate in the Academic sessions at the On Think Tanks conference.
  1. Open Think Tank Directory
    • Support the update of the Open Think Tank Directory, review and approve new submissions, promote its update by think tanks.
    • Support in campaigns (three a year) to promote the update of the directory by think tanks (in coordination with communications).
    • Support in the development and writing of the Think tanks state of the sector publication.
  1. General tasks
    • Write articles for On Think Tanks.
    • Disseminate the work done for On Think Tanks, representing OTT in external events, conferences or webinar.
    • Participate in internal OTT calls and coordination meetings.


    • Support in the development of the learning strategy
    • Contribute in the development of learning proposals and participate in external learning projects
    • Support in the execution of the school for thinktankers (online, city version or project versions) as well as other learning initiatives as required
    • Support with the advertising and selling our learning activities.
    • Plan and participate in webinars, courses and the OTT fellowship as indicated by line manager and/or other senior staff.


To apply, please submit your cv and a one-page cover letter about why you are interested in this job. You may include up to two writing samples in your application. Please send everything to [email protected] with the subject line: Research and learning officer.

Time commitment and remuneration

    • Hours: Full time 20 days a month.
    • Salary: depending of experience.
    • Contract type: Consultancy – long term