UNU-WIDER is looking for Research Assistants in Pretoria, South Africa: Apply!!

Research Assistant (Administrative tax data | Big Data)


Vacancy: Research Assistant (Administrative tax data | Big Data)

Closing date : 12 May 2024 GMT + 2


Through the collaboration of UNU-WIDER, the National Treasury and the South African Revenue Service over the past few years, South African administrative micro tax data has been made available for research purposes. This puts South Africa at the forefront of big data research for development and puts the country in a novel position relative to other developing (and some developed) countries. The tax data — the global best practice in some avenues of research — has opened avenues for research in areas and topics that were not possible before in South Africa.

UNU-WIDER is looking for research assistants to build and expand the tax administrative and other microdata available at the National Treasury – Secure Data Facility (NT-SDF) in Pretoria. The research assistant(s) will work closely with the Data Developer at the NT-SDF.

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Duties and responsibilities

  • Update the various tax datasets held at the NT-SDF on a rolling basis 
  • Continually improve and expand the datasets  
  • Perform quality assurance checks and analyse trends in the data
  • Assist in drafting, reviewing, and revising documentation related to the data
  • Provide research assistance through data analysis, literature reviews, drafting documents 
  • Assist researchers with data related queries and review their data output to ensure data confidentiality
  • Assist with day-to-day operations of running the National Treasury – Secure Data Facility 
  • Other duties as requested by the supervisor related to the research and administrative work.


  • Master’s in economics or Econometrics. Candidates who are close to completing their Master´s will also be considered
  • Excellent skills in statistical software STATA (i.e., able to work with loops, globals, directories and writing STATA programs)
  • Knowledge of SQL, R, Python and ArcGIS is an advantage
  • Excellent analytical and drafting skills
  • Fluent in oral and written English
  • South African nationality, or the necessary residence, and work permit for South Africa


The Research Assistant will be issued a one-year consultancy contract with UNU-WIDER (renewable up to another year, subject to satisfactory performance). The Research Assistant will receive a total of USD25801.08 for the contract period to supplement living expenses while stationed in Pretoria, South Africa. No extra payments for housing or living expenses will be made. Project-related costs will, however, be covered by the project.

Application should include

•    Short personal statement (max. 1 page)
•    Curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages)
•    Academic record 
•    Sample (max. 200 lines) of originally written Stata code that clearly demonstrates your coding level

Evaluation process and criteria

Each application will be reviewed based on relevant experience and personal motivation. Only the final decision on whether an application is accepted or not will be communicated to applying researchers. Applicants may be requested to participate in an interview technical assessment

Application submission procedure

The application must be submitted electronically. Deadline for applications is 12 May 2024 at 23:59 (GMT +2). Interviews will be held as quickly as possible thereafter.

Short-listed applicants must be willing to undergo a competency exercise as part of the selection process.
The position is open from 1 July 2024, or as soon as possible thereafter.
Apply here.

Further questions should be addressed to [email protected]Download full job description

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