Research Placements for University Students

undertaking meaningful research that will support our work in Private Sector Development whilst gaining a practical qualification

Challenges Worldwide is offering you the opportunity, as a talented and self-motivated student, to undertake a meaningful research project on enterprises and markets in emerging economies.  

 As a successful applicant, you will work in a vibrant, quickly-growing organisation with a fast-paced and collaborative culture that puts impact first. Located in the heart of Edinburgh, Challenges’ global HQ is an exciting hub of activity related to emerging markets, business growth and development.  

 Our student Research Analysts are expected to work largely independently or in small groups, with a mixture of in-office and remote working. The programme is structured by a professional qualification with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). Our Level 5 qualifications in Professional Consulting will give you the tools to complete your work with us to a professional standard – whilst giving you a qualification that is well recognised and regarded by employers.  

Visit for more information about our training and qualifications.

Features of our programme

Challenges Worldwide put enterprises first, directing our focus on prosperity and not poverty. We know our network: through the ICS programme, we have worked closely with over 500 SMEs and put 80 days of work into each.

Network of 500 SMEs

Challenges has directly supported the growth of over 500 SMEs, chosen specifically for their social and/or environmental impact and ability to grow. 

Data to analyse

You’ll have access to Challenges’ database, with 80 days of diagnostic data for each enterprise in our network.

UK & Africa

With offices and staff based in Edinburgh, and 4 African cities you’ll be able to tap into local expertise wherever you choose to complete your research.

Benefits to you

With complete flexibility around your degree and working commitments, our Research Analysts enjoy a bespoke programme tailored to their interests. Benefit from conducting meaningful research with established partners – all while earning a built-in qualification from the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

Get a Qualification

Boost your CV and professionalise your academic experience. Through a CMI accredited Level 5 Certificate or Diploma in Professional Consulting, vocational consulting qualifications are built into both programmes.

Do more with your Dissertation

Don’t let your research gather dust in a library. Your work will have a tangible impact, contributing to Challenges’ ongoing work and driving our decision-making process.

Access is Easy

Get introduced to the right people immediately. With Challenges, you’ll have access to our data, expertise, and diverse local networks – so you can spend less time setting up interviews and more time making an impact.

Current Opportunities

There are two Research Analyst opportunities available: UK-based (undergraduates and postgraduates) and International (postgraduates only).




UK based

Sub-Saharan Africa







Completed Research

Challenges Worldwide is proud to have worked with university students for over 5 years now. To see some examples of previous research undertaken, click on the blogs below.

Universities We Have Worked With

Denver logo
Strathclyde Logo

Questions? We want to hear from you!

Use the contact form below to send us an enquiry or call our Edinburgh office on 0131 564 1588


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