Research and Training Associate - J-PAL Global

United States
Language Requirement 
Start Date 

J-PAL is recruiting a Research and Training Associate to contribute to its mission of promoting evidence-informed policy. This position is based at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. 

This position is part of J-PAL Global’s Research, Education, and Training team--a diverse and integrated group that works together in a fast-paced, collaborative environment. We grapple with questions of privacy and research transparency and the challenges that arise in protecting subjects while promoting free access to research data; we apply and train others in applying quantitative measurement techniques and data analysis methods; and we equip policymakers as well as researchers with the necessary knowledge to conduct rigorous impact evaluations.


Your work provides the foundation and direction for J-PAL’s growing research and training efforts. 

In this position, you will have the opportunity to work with some of the top researchers at MIT and around the world while publishing research data, assisting with data analysis for research projects, and designing, organizing, and conducting courses for policy partners.  You will build out data analysis tools and new reference and teaching materials, and you will help train researchers, research staff, and policymakers in staff trainings, executive education programs, and online courses. We interact with high-level policy makers from governments, foundations, and NGOs, and we work closely with staff from our regional offices in Chile, France, India, Indonesia, and South Africa--and travel frequently to those locations--as well as staff from J-PAL’s partner organizations, like Innovations for Poverty Action and the Center for Effective Global Action.

Other specialized job responsibilities would include:

  • Developing new tools for J-PAL research projects (including the development of codes, packages, programs, etc) that increase the efficiency of research staff;
  • Researching and designing new teaching modules and prepare presentations, case studies, and manuals to train researchers, research staff, and policymakers on randomized evaluation methods;
  • Assisting in the planning, organization, and execution of in-person courses and workshops;
  • Conducting data analysis for user surveys and innovative experiments that test the efficacy of J-PAL’s online courses;
  • Contributing to greater research transparency and open data efforts by documenting and preparing research datasets for publication and building tools that streamline and facilitate these tasks for our research partners;
  • Supporting J-PAL’s online course portfolio, including MIT’s new MicroMasters program, by setting up course scheduling, assisting students with data analysis assignments, and coordinating with others at MIT to successfully run each course;
  • Other assignments as needed as the position grows.

Professional Development

The Research, Education, and Training Group invests in your professional development. As a Research, Education, and Training Associate, you will learn, engage, travel, and grow.

  • Learn: The Research, Education, and Training Group supports a culture of learning, with opportunities to attend weekly MIT–Harvard Development Seminars and take classes for credit at MIT or elsewhere with our generous tuition assistance program.
  • Engage: Associates have the opportunity to work with J-PAL affiliates and directors, as well as interact with Field and Data Research Associates alongside senior Group members.
  • Travel: Associates have the opportunity to present at J-PAL’s regional offices and participate in a unique “Associate-to-Field” international experience supporting on-the-ground research.
  • Grow: Associates can expect to join a peer group eager to build institutional knowledge and pass on lessons learned. Associates receive one-on-one mentorship from senior Group members and are eligible for internal promotion after two to three years with J-PAL. Such promotions are based on performance and ability.


As a member of the MIT community, you benefit from more than just your salary.

J-PAL hires highly qualified staff and rewards them accordingly. Total compensation packages are competitive for the non-profit international development field with excellent MIT benefits, including comprehensive health insurance, a 401(k) match and pension-based retirement plan, tuition assistance, commuter benefits, MIT community discounts, a generous vacation policy, and more. We like working at MIT and think you will too.


Your technical expertise, strong communication and organizational skills, passion for translating research into action, and interest in international development make you an ideal candidate for Research and Training Associate.

  • Education: You hold at least a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in economics, political science, education, public policy, international development, or other related fields. Significant training in and a strong technical understanding of randomized impact evaluations is necessary. Do you have a demonstrated academic interest in international development policy and/or study abroad experience? Even better.
  • Experience: At least 2-3 years of relevant economic experience is preferred, including quantitative data analysis. Experience in conducting field research in developing countries with a background in randomized evaluations is a plus.  Demonstrated coursework and/or study or work abroad are required.
  • Skills: You are comfortable learning computer applications, including Salesforce.  Knowledge of data management, data analysis, and econometrics is required.  PowerPoint and Excel required; must have good command of Stata, or have knowledge of R, Python, or other analytics programs plus the ability and willingness to quickly learn Stata.
  • Communication Skills: You are detail-oriented and have advanced writing skills. You should be comfortable with presenting to technical and non-technical audiences and preparing tailored teaching materials. You are precise, clear, and creative.
  • Organization: You are a strategic thinker. You can handle multiple projects at once, meet deadlines, and effectively manage your time.
  • Attitude: You love learning. You have a strong interest in poverty alleviation policy and research as demonstrated by coursework and/or study or work abroad.  You are self-motivated, work hard, and enjoy working in teams.

How to Apply

Ready to join a team of supportive, engaging, and fun colleagues? Have permanent U.S. work authorization? Apply now.

Please note this position is not eligible for any type of visa sponsorship. 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA Common Application, choose the Training job category, then select “Research and Training Associate - J-PAL Global”. 

Given the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview