• Research position at IQS School of Management

Applications are invited for a short-term research assistant position at the IQS School of Management. The successful candidate will work on a project named “The future of future” about youth unemployment in Spain. Candidates must be reading for an MSc or PhD in Economics, International Development or Development Economics. They should also have strong quantitative methods skills and excellent written and spoken English.  The main tasks, overseen by Dr Flavio Comim and a team of four senior researchers at IQS, will include (but not be limited to): compilation of datasets, literature review and data analysis. Knowledge of social data science methods is desirable as well as familiarity with current debates on youth unemployment, labour markets, capability approach, poverty and inequality topics. The successful candidate will benefit from opportunities for developing skills and knowledge.

The position is full-time and will have a duration of 5 months with a temporary contract. It will pay a monthly gross stipend of 1,200 € plus 100 € of extra allowance for meals. We welcome applications from national and international candidates.

Research topic

The future of a country is its people, in particular its youth. More investment in education, research & technology and youth employment policies would seem to be natural ways in investing in the future. This seems especially important for those societies, such as Spain, that have already passed the point of their demographic bonus. Nevertheless, what we have seen not only in the last 2007-08 financial crisis but also in the current epidemiologic crisis is that public policies have not been particularly concerned with the future prospects of the youth in the country. In fact, recent data suggests that the reality of many young people in Spain consists of unemployment, lower wages, part-time jobs, lack of support for continuous education. Just to illustrate with a figure before the current crisis: 50% of 20-30 year-olds, with a university degree in Spain, was earning less than 1,000 euros (INE, 2019).

But what would be the solutions? Should Spain change its education system? Or perhaps redesign its employment policies? Instead, should it support companies, incentivizing them to hire young people? Or concentrate in capacity-building programs to develop newer skills for those vulnerable youth groups? Alternatively, should the country change the way that people contribute to its pension system? How could new mechanism designs improve the workings of labour markets pro-youth? Should proposals such as the one by Thomas Piketty of distributing a lump-sum of money to all young people be seriously considered? (so that they can invest in their education or in their businesses?).

This project will investigate what young people say in their social networks and assess these results from an ethical and economic perspective. It will use Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach to investigate the freedoms that the youth enjoys (or not) to choose alternatives that they have reasons to value in terms of technology development, labour conditions, range of opportunities and building of productive resilience.


You must submit the following documents:

  • Cover letter explaining the candidate interest and suitability for the position. It should also indicate availability of living in Barcelona during the period Oct 2021-Feb 2022 (apart from the Christmas and New Year celebrations).
  • CV.
  • Contact details (including email) for two referees. Reference letters might be requested for shortlisted candidates.

Application deadline: Friday 27th August 2021

Academic enquiries can be made to Dr. Flavio Comim (flavio.comim@iqs.url.edu).

Administrative enquiries about applications should be addressed to rrhh@iqs.url.edu

Interviews for shortlisted applicants will be scheduled after the application close date. The University actively supports equal opportunities, respect for diversity, transparency and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.