Research Associate, Social Networks - J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL Office 
Language Requirement 
Length of Commitment 
One year
Start Date 
March 01, 2019

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) J-PAL was established in 2003 as a research center at the Economics Department at MIT. Since then, it has grown into a global network of researchers who use randomized evaluations to answer critical policy questions in the fight against poverty. J-PAL is propelled by a first-rate team dedicated to research, policy, training, and other vital work, supporting J-PAL's mission to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence.

J-PAL South Asia, which is based at the Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) in India, analyses and disseminates research results and builds partnerships with policymakers to ensure that policy is driven by evidence, and that programs proven effective are scaled up. We have a growing number of partnerships in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Project Descriptions

These are a set of projects working on developing new methodologies to infer social network structures, examining how groups of individuals in a social network form beliefs and aggregate information, and understanding barriers to information diffusion within a network. The projects work on thematic areas such as financial inclusion, labour markets and affirmative action. The results from these projects can then be used by policymakers to design efficient and cost-effective information campaigns.

Research Associate Roles and Responsibilities

The RA will work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Designing survey questionnaires, conducting qualitative research, running pilot exercises, refining study design and surveying instruments.
  • Managing teams: Recruit, train, and supervise both field-based and data operations teams consisting of project assistants, field managers, field-based surveyors, data entry operators and other field and office staff.
  • Overseeing implementation of the evaluation in accordance to the research design, in association with our partner organization.
  • Maintaining relationships with partner organizations at both headquarters and field levels
  • Supervising data collection and data-entry, and ensuring data quality and productivity.
  • Assisting with data cleaning, preliminary data analysis, and preparation of documents and presentations for dissemination
  • Reporting to PIs on all of the above mentioned activities.
  • Maintain compliance with all J-PAL protocols and policies.

Desired Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor's/ Master's degree in economics, social sciences, mathematics/statistics, public policy, or related fields
  • Experience-0-2 years
  • Experience in developing country
  • Excellent management/ organizational skills and able to solve unexpected problems
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • Working knowledge of Stata, Matlab (strongly preferred)
  • Familiarity with RCTs
  • Demonstrated experience managing a team
  • Flexible, self-motivating, independent and manages multiple tasks efficiently
  • Ability to deal with unstructured and changing environments
  • Attention to detail

Note on Work Authorizations: Candidates must have work authorization to work in India.  This covers citizens of India, Nepal, or Bhutan, Persons of Indian origin (PIO), and an Overseas Citizens of India (OCI).  

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select "Research Associate – Social Networks Suite” and include two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose, CV, and transcripts. Note that applications with incomplete submissions will not be considered.

Also send an email to Shreya Sarkar at marking a copy to Piyush Tank at following these instructions exactly:

  • In the subject line: Put your full name, first (given) name followed by last (family) name.
  • Attachments: Please attach ONLY your CV and Cover Letter.

Please do not include any text besides the position line(s) in the body of the e-mail.  Adding extra text will interfere with the processing of your application.

Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for a written exam and interview(s)