Research Analysts

As part of Motu Research's commitment to building economic research capacity in New Zealand, we employ a small number of outstanding early career economists as research analysts (RA's). These are usually recent graduates in economics, statistics, or a related field who have completed an Honours or Masters’ degree. 

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Applications for research analysts (for a 2023 start) are now closed.

We will not have a hiring round for research analysts (for a 2024 start) in February 2023, as previously advised. Please check the Motu Research website later in the year for job openings.


Want to work for a small organisation conducting top quality economic and public policy research for the public good?


To be eligible for a research analyst position you must have completed an Honours or Master’s degree. Applicants with PhDs are not eligible for research analyst positions.


We are a Wellington-based organisation whose mission is to conduct top quality economic and public policy research and disseminate it to those who can use it, while building research capacity in New Zealand. Motu is the top ranked economics organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand.


Who are we looking for?

We are looking for people who want to get their hands dirty with every stage of the research process, working closely with a senior researcher with a PhD from a renowned university such as Harvard, Stanford, or the London School of Economics.

Strong candidates will have:

  • an advanced university degree (honours or master’s),
  • a curiosity about economics questions,
  • good computer and data analysis skills,
  • strong inter-personal skills, and
  • an interest in doing economic research on social or environmental issues.

What we offer

We offer a relaxed yet stimulating work environment where you will be challenged and your skills as a researcher extended. Our past RAs have gone on to high level public sector positions and to PhD-level study at top international universities.


How to apply

Applications are now CLOSED. When applications are open, to apply for a position as a Research Analyst please fill out this application form and return it along with a cover letter, a CV, and copies of all your academic transcripts to


Also, please read this document for tips on how to apply successfully.


International applicants 

We welcome applications from individuals who have completed some or all of their tertiary study outside New Zealand. However, if this is you please don’t assume we’ve heard of your university or understand how the grading system in your country works. The more relevant information you can provide us with, the better we’ll be able to assess your application.


Some examples of relevant information.


  • The economics department at [your university] is ranked second in [country] by [source, with link].
  • My GPA of 5.5 on a 6-point scale puts me on the 95th percentile of economics graduates at [university]. [link that verifies information]
  • HD is the highest grade awarded in undergraduate courses at [your university]. This grade is awarded to approximately the top 5% of students in each course. [link that verifies information].
  • My GPA of [GPA] on an [x-point] scale is equivalent to a New Zealand GPA of 8.5. [link to online GPA converter].

Other information

Motu research analysts work with a senior fellow on a Motu Research project, so these positions are unlikely to suit current Ph.D. students hoping to work on their own dissertations.


If you aren't eligible for an internship or RA position because you are heading overseas to do your PhD, you may be interested in the Statistics NZ Motu Programme for PhD Research. This will give you space at Motu for at least four months and free access to Statistics NZ's microeconomic data.

We invite you to browse our website to learn more about Motu and the types of research we do. You can read about our current and past RAs on our People page or check out the impact of our RAs

Frequently asked questions

Here are the answers to some questions you might have about applying for an internship or research analyst (RA) position at Motu. Isabelle Sin has also prepared a document with advice for submitting a great application.

Should I apply for an RA position or an internship?

RA positions are permanent full-time positions for graduates who will have at least an honours degree when they begin work. Internships are for students who have completed undergraduate studies (or are close to it), and plan to return to study at the end of summer for further study at the honours level or higher. If you’re not returning to postgraduate study then you are not eligible for an internship, and should apply for an RA position. If you already have an Honours or Master’s degree and are returning to study at a higher level next year then apply for an internship.

I’m in my second year of undergrad at university. Can I apply for an internship?

Yes, but you’re unlikely to be seriously considered unless you will have completed 300 level microeconomics and econometrics by the time of the internship.

I will have a PhD by the end of the year. Am I eligible to apply for an RA position?

RA positions are suited to early career economists who are not yet ready to conduct independent research. If you have a PhD, please apply for a Fellow/Senior Fellow position instead.

Can I work as an RA at Motu while I do my PhD?

No. RAs assist Senior Fellows on specific projects for which the Senior Fellows have obtained funding and do not perform independent research.


What are the options for career progression from an RA position? 

We hope RAs will stay with Motu for two to four years, during which time they will learn a lot about how to conduct economic and policy research. By the end of four years RAs tend to have reached the limits of the position and we encourage them to move on to either PhDs or more senior positions at other organisations. Experience at Motu is excellent preparation for further study or many government positions. There are no direct career progression options within Motu--Fellows and Senior Fellows are required to hold PhDs.


I’m a foreign student and I don’t currently have permission to work in New Zealand. Do I need to secure a work visa before I apply? 

No. If we decide to make you an offer we will help you to secure a visa. However, recent border closures due to Covid-19 have limited our ability to consider candidates located overseas. Please check whether you will be able to enter New Zealand before applying. 


Do I need to be vaccinated against Covid-19 for an internship or RA position?

Interns and RAs are required to work onsite at Motu’s Wellington office because this arrangement maximises the intern/RA’s learning experience. To protect our staff and visitors, Motu premises are accessible only to those with valid vaccine passes. We, therefore, require interns and RAs to hold vaccine passes.

How many applications do you get for these positions each year?

We usually have more applicants we would love to hire than we do vacancies, so if we don’t make you an offer it doesn’t mean your application wasn’t good.