Predoctoral Field-Based Research Associate (One Year) – Democratic Republic of Congo, UC Berkeley

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
Start Date (Earliest):


We are looking for qualified applications for the position of Research Associate to work on research projects in development economics and political economy in Kananga, Democratic Republic of Congo. This is an opportunity to gain field research experience in development economics and political economy, managing large-scale randomized controlled trials. You will also acquire management and analytical skills in this role. The position will require significant commitment, and long hours in a poor, remote setting.

This 12-month position will be based in Kananga, DRC. The entire period will be devoted to field research activities as described below. The position is particularly suitable for individuals who anticipate pursuing a PhD in economics or other quantitative social sciences. 

Project description: 

The Research Associate will work on several ongoing research projects, including but not limited to the following topics: 

(i) The interaction between legal and fiscal capacity in weak state settings. An RCT, in collaboration with the provincial Ministry of Justice and a Congolese NGO, seeks to examine how increasing access to justice moderated by formal and informal actors shapes crime, property rights security, and the tax-based social contract between citizens and the State. 

(ii) The effects of progressive taxation on compliance, revenues, and the social contract. An RCT, in collaboration with the provincial Government and the provincial tax revenue department, will examine how a more progressive property tax system shapes revenue through two key mechanisms: (a) a tighter correspondence between liability and ability to pay, and (b) higher compliance due to improved perceptions of the fairness of the tax system. 

Responsibilities of the Research Associate:

  • Managing the daily work of a team of French-speaking field enumerators (leading training sessions, enumerators follow-up, survey reports, field and survey equipment preparation, etc.)
  • Preparing and managing survey instruments with Excel and SurveyCTO
  • Extraction (SurveyCTO) and Cleaning (STATA) survey data collected daily
  • Regular monitoring of project databases to maintain and improve accuracy and consistency of data collection
  • Cooperating with local implementation partners in the government and civil society.
  • Handling communications with local stakeholders and Principal Investigators
  • Preparing frequent progress reports and briefings to keep Principal Investigators informed of developments in the field
  • Contributing to financial management and accounting tasks including expense tracking, archiving, forecasting, and financial reporting


  • Master’s degree in economics or a related field (required)
  • Quantitative skills and experience with Stata (required)
  • Familiarity with randomized evaluations and econometric methods (required)
  • Fluency in French: native speaker or advanced fluency (required)
  • Excellent organizational, and communication skills (required)
  • Experience with Survey CTO (desired)
  • Experience with ArcGIS/QGIS (desired)
  • Detail-oriented, able to work independently and take initiative (desired)
  • Experience living in a developing country (desired)

Duration: Summer 2024 – Summer 2025. 

Primary supervisors: Jonathan Weigel (University of California Berkeley), James Robinson (University of Chicago)

Secondary supervisors: Augustin Bergeron (University of Southern California), Marina Mavungu Ngoma (The World Bank Group), Joana Naritomi (London School of Economics), Gabriel Tourek (University of Pittsburgh), Samuel Kapon (University of California Berkeley), Binta Zahra Diop (Stanford University), Eva Davoine (University of California Berkeley), Gabriel Granato (University of California Berkeley), and other collaborators.

How to Apply

Send a CV and cover letter in English to Robin Benabid Jegaden ([email protected]) using the subject “Predoctoral Field-Based Research Associate, UC Berkeley”.