Postdoctoral Fellow - Inclusive Financial Innovation Initiative - J-PAL Southeast Asia

  • Indonesia
Start Date (Earliest):
Start Date (Latest):
Length of Commitment:
Two years

J-PAL Southeast Asia, based at the Institute for Economic and Social Research at the University of Indonesia (LPEM-FEB UI), seeks a qualified applicant for the position Postdoctoral Fellow for the Inclusive Financial Innovation Initiative (IFII) who is interested in supporting the exploration of evaluations in the Digital Financial Inclusion sector in Indonesia and expanding J-PAL’s training and capacity building portfolio. The Inclusive Financial Innovation Initiative (IFII) aims to generate evidence on what digital financial services (DFS) work, why they work, and how they can be deployed to maximize impact.

The Postdoctoral fellow will support the Policy and Research team’s engagement with governments, civil society, and academic stakeholders to disseminate evidence; conceptualize policy-relevant research; and catalyze scale-ups and replications of effective projects related to Digital Financial Inclusion.

Training and capacity building activities focus on introducing policymakers to randomized evaluation methods; building data analysis and field research skills of evaluation specialists, researchers, and research staff at J-PAL and its partner organizations; and hosting training workshops for practitioners on topics including how and when to conduct randomized evaluations, generalizing insights across settings, and applying evidence to inform policy.

The Postdoctoral Fellow may spend up to 50 percent of their time on independent research. They will be eligible to apply for funding from J-PAL’s research initiatives. This is a unique opportunity to work directly with senior leadership at J-PAL, interact directly with high-level external stakeholders, co-author articles in high-profile publications, and get a ring-side view of strategic planning and leadership at an innovative and growing organization.

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

Independent research (50 percent of role)

  • Carry out or contribute to original research projects related to the topic of Digital Financial Inclusion utilizing the randomized evaluation method

Project Development

  • Support formulation of open research questions related to Digital Financial Inclusion in Indonesia and its role in alleviating poverty, including through supporting implementing partners with a needs assessment and data analysis to inform the design of an evaluation.

Capacity Building/Training Portfolio

  • Lecture, TA, and in some cases serve as course coordinator for online, open-enrollment, and custom trainings including Evaluating Social Programs and other offerings.
  • Ensure high continued quality, precision, and accuracy of existing course content through updating lectures and case studies.
  • Support the Training group in developing new training courses related to generating and applying evidence from randomized evaluations that engage diverse audiences without compromising -- possible examples include introductions to randomized evaluations for philanthropists and donors, guide for applying evidence contexts (applying a generalizability framework), workshops on using evidence for journalists.

Research public goods (conditional on organizational need and time available):

  • Contribute to improving uptake and use of research transparency activities, such as trial registration, data publication, and replication.
  • Lead efforts to support randomized methods research and the development of new tools for J-PAL research projects (such as the development of code, packages, programs, etc.) that increase the efficiency of research staff.


  • The ideal candidate should have strong writing and communication skills, ability to remain highly organized despite ambiguity, interest in working with the senior management of J-PAL Southeast Asia, and passion for international development.
  • Education: A PhD in economics, public policy, or a related field.
  • Experience: Demonstrated experience in starting new, policy-relevant research projects and have at least one working paper, preferably related to Digital Financial Inclusion, with published journal articles an advantage.
  • Communication: Thoughtful, clear, and concise communicator. The candidates should be comfortable engaging with senior leadership and providing direct upward feedback. Able to adapt communication style to suit different audiences to ensure intentions and messages come across clearly.
  • Organization: A strategic thinker, able to handle multiple projects at once, meet deadlines, and effectively manage your time, have a clear and strong vision and appreciation for how the work contributes to the productivity of the organization.
  • Willingness to travel: This position requires travel to meet with senior policymakers in governments, NGOs, foundations, and international development organizations.
  • Language skills: High-level of proficiency (fluent or native) in English and Indonesian.
  • Working permit: Indonesian citizenship or already have a working visa to work in Indonesia.
  • Commitment: The ideal candidate will be able to stay at J-PAL for at least three years
  • Note on Work Authorization: The candidate must have work authorization in Indonesia (either by being an Indonesian national or otherwise).

How to Apply

How to Apply

Please send an email with your application before December 1, 2022 to [email protected] following these instructions exactly:

  1. Use the following as the email subject line: “J-PAL SEA Post-Doctoral Fellow IFII”. Please do not include any other text in the body of the e-mail. Adding extra text will interfere with the processing of your application.
  2. Attach PDF copies of your CV, your academic transcripts and diploma, a cover letter no longer than 500 words, and the full transcript of your job market paper. The cover letter should discuss how you meet the aforementioned position requirements, emphasizing relevant skills and experience, as well as why you are interested in working with J-PAL SEA on RCTs and how this experience will contribute to your future career plans and research interest.

Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Interested candidates are advised to apply at the earliest. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted for interviews.