Data Research Associate - J-PAL South Asia

Language Requirement 
Length of Commitment 
Two years
Start Date 

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (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 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, collects data, 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 Description:

The project titled “Reducing Anaemia using Rice Fortification at Scale” (URICE) is a is an impact evaluation of an intervention aimed at reducing anaemia and other micronutrient deficiencies by providing multi-nutrient fortified rice through the Tamil Nadu Government's Public Distribution System (PDS). The Principal Investigators (PIs) in this project are Profs. Grant Miller from Stanford University, Aprajit Mahajan, University of California Berkeley, Alessandro Tarozzi, Universitat Pompeu Fabra Barcelona and Reynaldo Martello, Emory University.

This project is under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the Government of Tamil Nadu with J-PAL to institutionalize the use of evidence in policymaking by evaluating innovative programs, strengthening monitoring systems, and enhancing the officials’ capacity to generate and use data. J-PAL affiliates will participate in the formulation and evaluation of many of the state’s anti-poverty programs.

The URICE project is seeking a proactive individual who is a quick learner, loves working with data and is willing to take on new challenges.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Data cleaning and management
  • Develop scripts in Stata to do analyse survey data and identify trends across time for all on going data collection efforts
  • Review and vet project datasets and maintain an efficient data documentation system
  • Work with other members of the team to reconcile any gaps or errors in the data
  • Data anaylsis and synthesis
  • Liase with members of the project team by sending them statistics as and when required
  • Generate aggregated views of the data for various stakeholders – the Principal Investigators, government partners and the senior management team at J-PAL South Asia
  • Assist in documenting data collection efforts, including any issues and key decisions taken for improvements
  • Assist in writing of reports for internal and external stakeholders (donors, government)
  • Travel to project sites as necessary to observe and understand primary data collection
  • Collaborating with J-PAL South Asia’s data team and on behalf of the team if required
  • Supporting the team with data quality checks on ongoing data collection
  • Assisting with applications to local and international institutional review boards
  • Other programming or technical support tasks as assigned by the Research Manager (Data)
  • Support implementation of data collection procedures as required
  • Conduct desk research

Desired Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree in economics, social sciences, public policy, or related fields (Master’s degree preferred)
  • Relevant experience of at least 1 year performing statistical analysis
  • Extensive experience with a statistical analysis package such as Stata or R (Stata preferred).
  • Knowledge of SurveyCTO/ digital data collection
  • Extensive knowledge of regression analysis - candidates with Master’s degree are preferred.
  • Proven analytical skills, including, specifically, skills working with quantitative data using econometric methods
  • Solid understanding of research project design and processes
  • Excellent management and organizational skills along with strong quantitative skills
  • Fluency and excellent communication skills in English
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player
  • Ability to work independently with self-directed effort
  • Familiarity with randomized controlled trials (preferred)
  • Experience living in a developing country (preferred)

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 "Data Research Associate - J-PAL South Asia” and include resume, cover letter, transcripts, and two recommendation letters. Note that applications with incomplete submissions will not be considered.

You are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application. Given the volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.