Intern - Data Analysis - J-PAL LAC

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About J-PAL

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Formed by a network of more than 750 academics around the world, J-PAL measures the impact of programs with randomized controlled trials and uses these results to influence the design of public policies. To date, the J-PAL network has carried out more than 1,640 evaluations in more than 95 countries. 

J-PAL organizes its work into three main areas:

Research: We partner with donors to create initiatives that provide funding for research. We also implement RCT from data collection to data analysis.

Public policy: we summarize the results of the investigation, create alliances and provide technical assistance to governments.

Training: We lead the executive training and develop a rigorous online education to build knowledge in the region.

The local grounding of J-PAL is essential for its success. The seven regional J-PAL offices are located at leading universities on five continents. In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, J-PAL LAC is headquartered at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC Chile). J-PAL LAC also has Memoranda of Understanding with Insper, for work carried out in Brazil, and with the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala, for work in Central America.

In 2019, the founders of J-PAL, Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, won the Nobel Prize in Economics "for their experimental approach to alleviating poverty." 

About the team, project, or initiative you would be working with:

J-PAL LAC is seeking to hire an Intern to work remotely on a project focused on improving our current data collection efforts to track RCT-focused research papers implemented throughout the LAC region. 

This position provides an opportunity to work closely with the research team of the J-PAL LAC office, as well as collaborating with the Policy and Communications team on how to increase the reach of new journal publications and their impact in public policy. Lastly, the results from this internship will be presented to the region’s Scientific Directors.

Summary of the Role:

As an intern for the Research vertical in J-PAL LAC, your responsibilities will be centered around improving and updating our current efforts to track all relevant publications of the J-PAL network of researchers and their projects implemented in the region. 

The main objective of this internship is to create a fully updated database with accurate information about the publication record of researchers of the J-PAL network. This tracking system will be used by the Research and Communications verticals to disseminate the evidence generated through their papers and leverage it to influence policymaking in the region.

Application Requirements:

Education and experience: Currently working on their Bachelor's degree in Economics, Public Policy, Computer Science, Data Science or related fields. 

  • The ideal candidate has interest in working as a Research Assistant in the field of development economics and has a good understanding of the work that J-PAL does implementing and disseminating RCT-focused Impact evaluations.

Languages required: Comfortable in Spanish and/or English

Application deadline: Jul 10, 2024

Direct Reporting: Olaf Oseguera(Research Associate)

Who will be reporting to you: None

Responsibilities include but are not limited to

  • Data Collection and Management: Gather key data regarding new publications, including authorship, publication date, and relevant keywords. Ensure the accuracy and completeness of collected data.
  • Integration with Existing Systems: Integrate the publication tracking database with J-PAL’s existing databases and tools. Collaborate with IT and other relevant departments to ensure seamless integration.
  • Testing and Quality Assurance: Conduct thorough vetting of the tracking database to identify and fix bugs or inaccuracies. Implement quality assurance measures to maintain the reliability of the database.
  • Documentation and Training: Document the database updating processes, including sources, key steps and encountered challenges. Provide training to relevant team members on how to use and maintain the tracking database.



  • Intermediate to advanced skills in Excel and Google Sheets is required. 
  • Basic to intermediate programming skills in Stata, R, or Python software is recommended, along with experience managing databases.
  • Ability to analyze and interpret data accurately is required.
  • Strong problem-solving and communication skills are required. 
  • Attention to detail to ensure data accuracy and completeness.
  • Experience in academic or research environments is a plus, as well as familiarity with J-PAL’s work and research focus areas.
  • Understanding of academic publication processes and databases (e.g., Google Scholar, PubMed, Web of Science) is a plus
  • Interest in working with web-scraping techniques and tools (e.g., Beautiful Soup, Scrapy) is a plus. . 
  • Experience using basic AI tools and applying them to improve efficiency in repetitive tasks, data collection and processing is strongly recommended. 

Autonomy and style of work: The ability to work independently and show frequent updates on tasks assigned. Ability to present findings and work to research staff, executive and scientific directors.

Experience with Statistical packages: Basic to Intermediate

Familiarity with impact evaluation methodologies: Intermediate

How to Apply

How to Apply:

If you are interested, please follow these steps:

Please fill the following application form. You will be asked to answer relevant questions and upload a CV and a short motivation letter (both in one single PDF). You can send your materials either in English or Spanish.

What is expected from your cover letter

One-page cover letter in the language you are most comfortable with, clearly stating your qualifications for the various responsibilities and the reasons for your interest in J-PAL. Feel free to share aspects of your life that might not be easy to spot on your CV but might make you a good candidate!

What is expected from your CV

Ideally in 1-2 pages, in the language you are most comfortable with.

Given the volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.

Steps expected for shortlisted and final candidates

  • Round of interviews: yes
  • Final Interview: yes

We want to get to know you as a professional and as a human being. We also want you to succeed. We might also ask for additional information or add extra interviews. If that is the case, you will be informed as soon as possible, to be respectful of your time. 

The process exists because we believe that, in an unequal region like ours, not all people have the same chances, and, often, CVs are not enough to demonstrate talent and motivation. In addition, it is an opportunity for you to understand our work well. We believe that these two ingredients are the secret to a successful partnership.

The team is also happy to accommodate your needs, to make sure you feel at ease during the process. Just ask us!