The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is the world leader in conducting evidence-based research in developing countries. Their mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence.
They are currently running a winter recruitment drive (96 total positions) which ends on at 6am EST January 8th. Applications submitted during the drive will be reviewed and short-listed candidates will be contacted. During the rest of the year, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
What is the position?
Research Associate (RA) positions last 1-2 years, and come in two types. Field RAs (38 positions available) are based around the world, managing field implementation of specific research projects. University-based RAs (8 positions) are primarily based in North America, focusing on data analysis of research projects.
What are the benefits of the position?
- Work directly on J-PAL research programs, which are used by Givewell and other organizations to determine the most effective global poverty interventions (a top cause).
- Cultivate high-quality research skills. Other organizations pay J-PAL to teach them these program evaluation techniques.
- Work in a developing country, which can be very useful if you want to work in international development.
- Build a network and career capital for evidence-based development work. Many NGOs now have full time positions for Monitoring and Evaluation.1 Some RAs go on to top PhD programs or start their own impact evaluation NGOs.2
- It’s paid!
Overall, if you’ve already got a graduate degree, this looks like a good way to start a career in evidence-based international development.
However, note that we have not performed an in-depth investigation of the pros and cons of this job – this assessment is based on our background knowledge and what we’ve read about the positions online.
Who should especially consider applying?
People who would like to work in international development, have been trained in econometrics and advanced math, and have a relevant degree. Other important qualifications include:
- Flexible, self-motivated, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player.
- Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations
- Knowledge of Stata (strongly preferred) or other data analysis software is preferred.
Application process and more information
Most positions require you to complete the JPAL/IPA common application which allows you to select the types of positions and locations for which you would like to be considered. Some positions have specific application requirements, explore the full list of available positions.