International Research Analyst (Ghana or Rwanda) – Role Description 

Information for 2017/18 Students about international research analyst opportunities

Challenges Worldwide is an international development NGO focussed on building the capacity of small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in emerging markets. We have supported over 2000 SMEs across 40 countries, seeking to generate income, sustainable economic growth and impact. 

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 – either as part of a postgraduate dissertation or as a standalone research project. The programme is structured around a professional qualification with the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).  

 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.  

 The content of the research undertaken will be based on your interests. If the project is to contribute towards a dissertation – for example, to enable you to gather primary data as part of your research – you will largely decide the direction of the placement. If you are unsure of their research interests or would prefer to contribute towards Challenges’ work growing SMEs in developing contexts, we would provide the research brief for you.  

 The overseas placement can be completed in either Ghana or Rwanda. It can be combined with our student UK Research Analysts programme, to a combined total of 9-20 weeks, or can be a standalone project.  

 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.  


  • International research that will have a tangible development impact and/or contribute towards a postgraduate dissertation 
  • Experience working abroad with an international organisation  
  • Complete flexibility around your study/work schedule 
  • Obtain a professional qualification from the Chartered Management Institute at a significant discount 

 Programme Structure

The programme will be between 6 and 10 weeks, according to your availability and research requirements. You’ll work with 3-4 SMEs in Ghana or Rwanda that are directly relevant to the research needs. For the cost of a qualification and a contribution towards staff time, you will receive: 

  • Learning content and support in completing a globally-recognised professional qualification  
  • Support from Challenges HQ  before, during and after your programme 
  • Contacts and meetings with the relevant partners on the ground 
  • Help constructing your research brief, with fortnightly reports to monitor your progress 

 To complement your research, you will have access to the learning material for a Level 5 qualification in Professional Consulting, accredited by the CMI. To professionalise your experience with Challenges, you can choose between either a Certificate (2 units) or Diploma (6 units). See for the most up-to-date prices for the programme. 

 Please note:  

  • The price does not include logistics of your travel. You are responsible for funding and arranging your flights, vaccines, insurance, transfers, accommodation, spending money, travel insurance etc.  
  • Challenges Worldwide holds no responsibility for your health and safety or insurance 
  • If completing the research placement as part of your dissertation, you will need to ensure it fulfils all of the institutional requirements of your particular department/university 

 Key Competencies required include: 


  • Working towards a postgraduate degree (Masters or PhD) 
  • Previous experience of writing a dissertation 
  • Strong report writing and analysis skills  
  • Strong cross-cultural communication skills 
  • Ability to set and achieve goals independently 
  • Strong work ethic, reliability and professionalism 
  • Interest in international development and private sector growth 


  • Experience working internationally 
  • Defined area of interest to research (previous examples include: solar power, supply chain logistics) 


Sub-Saharan Africa







For more information: contact Taryn Cornell using the contact form below or phone 0131 564 1588