Assistant Economist

Location Edinburgh
Main Work Stream Operations Division 
Reports to
Chief Economist

Job Purpose

Plan, manage and carry out various economics projects, work packages and analyses to contribute to Economics department research and analytical outputs for the seafood industry, government and other stakeholders.



  • Delegated responsibility for monitoring direct spend against budget for projects, as defined in PIDs and agreed with Head of Team.  
  • Arrange for and supervise temporary staff and contractors as required.

Principal Accountabilities    

  • Manage and undertake economic research and analysis projects and work packages, to deliver high quality, relevant outputs, including reports and presentations, economic impact assessments, industry surveys and reports, and European Data Collection Framework data submissions, to external and internal customers. Includes: output design; literature reviews; choice of research methodology; data collection design and implementation; data entry, management and analysis; report writing; output quality assurance; publication and dissemination of outputs, gathering feedback.
  • Build, maintain and update economics industry data sets and evidence bases to ensure Seafish has up-to-date and accurate data available for analysis when required.
  • Provide and encourage uptake of economic evidence for various UK and EU strategic and economic initiatives, to ensure that the expertise of Seafish Economics supports business and policy decisions.
  • Design and conduct bespoke data analyses in response to queries and answer queries relating to economic evidence bases from industry, government and other stakeholders so that Seafish can ensure that unbiased economic evidence is used in support of decision-making by policy makers and stakeholders.
  • Conduct research from secondary sources and write reports to provide relevant information to Seafish, industry and government stakeholders.

Planning and organising 

  • Plan and organise allocated projects and work packages, with appropriate input from stakeholders and colleagues, and with guidance and advice from senior team members. Adjust plans as necessary and appropriate to suit changes in circumstances.
  • Plan own workload within agreed projects, prioritising outputs as necessary.
  • Plan and supervise work of temporary staff, consultants and contractors, as required for projects.
  • Organise service provision from consultants and other suppliers, adhering to finance procedures and rules.
  • React to requests for research, analysis and comment from stakeholders and from line management. 
  • Guidance can be taken from Seafish mission, corporate plan, annual plan, team annual programme plans and budgets.
  • Utilise project management, finance and recording systems. 

Decision making and judgement

  • Use of judgement in planning projects, conducting research, drafting reports, design and layout of tables and graphics for reports.  Decisions relating to sources of information and how pertinent they are to the research being conducted.  Guidance provided by aims of project or senior team members or other senior colleagues.
  •  Use of judgement and decision making in supervising the work of other staff or contractors.
  • Use of judgement when collaborating with external stakeholders and interviewing members of industry for research.
  • Use of judgement in prioritising work with conflicting deadlines for outputs. 
  • Use of judgement regarding design of primary research and reports.
  • Judgement and decision making within planning and management of projects, especially liaison with key customers and stakeholders to ensure delivery of fit-for-purpose project outputs.
  • Use of judgement when assisting with recruitment and supervision of temporary staff and contractors.

Essential internal and extrernal working relationships

  • Other Seafish staff members from all areas of the organisation, especially economics and communications.
  • Civil servants at Defra, Marine Scotland and the Marine Management Organisation fisheries statistics team.
  • Members of industry bodies and individual business owners and managers.
  • Fisheries economists and other researchers from other organisations in the UK and overseas.
  • EU civil servants, such as DG Mare and Joint Research Centre. 

Knowledge, skills and experience required

  • A degree, preferably in Economics or with a strong Economics content.

Some experience of:

  • Contributing to all aspects of economic research projects.
  • Quantitative data analysis and presenting findings.
  • Use of MS Excel, pivot tables and formulae. VBA skills would be an advantage.
  • Data management experience, including handling large data sets.
  • Intermediate level use of MS Access or similar.
  • Report writing skills, intermediary level
  • Preparing and delivering presentations of research findings.
  • Dealing with clients and customers, determining their needs and proposing suitable solutions in a professional servicetype environment.
  • Taking minutes and/or actions at technical meetings
  • Primary data collection e.g.  interviewing
  • Gaining knowledge of the UK fishing quota management systems and other rights to fish
  • Working with the Marine Management Organisation IFISH data set
  • Gaining knowledge of UK fisheries management rules, regulations and policies, in each devolved administration
  • Participation in working groups of the European Commission's Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee of Fisheries
  • Working with UK official government fisheries statistics

Special features

  • This job will involve some travel around the UK and elsewhere in Europe. Driving licence desirable.

The closing date for this role is Wednesday 2nd August 2017.

If you'd like to apply please email your CV and covering letter to

Please don't hesitate to get in touch with us at the email address above if you have any questions about this role.

To find out more about our vision, purpose and Seafish Values, take a look at our Corporate Plan.

Thank you for your interest in Seafish - we look forward to hearing from you!