Research Associate – Democratic Republic of the Congo - University of California San Diego

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
Start Date (Earliest):
Start Date (Latest):
Length of Commitment:
Less than one year

Research Associate – Democratic Republic of Congo


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, including experience implementing surveys and behavioral experiments. 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 2–6-month position will be based in Kananga, DRC, and will be divided into two periods with distinct responsibilities. The first period will be focused on managing the field research projects, while the second will be devoted to desk research-based activities, such as helping with literature reviews, data cleaning, and analysis. The position targets individuals who anticipate applying for PhDs in economics or other quantitative social sciences.

Project description:

The Research Associate will work on several ongoing research projects on the effects of kinship and family organization on individuals’ economic behaviors and beliefs. This project will consist in implementing surveys and behavioral experiments to obtain individual-level measures of psychology, religion, family organization, and people’s attitudes toward liberty, freedom, and democracy.

Responsibilities of the Research Associate:

  • Managing the daily work of a team of French-speaking field enumerators
  • Preparing and leading training sessions in French for field enumerators
  • Preparing and managing Open Data Kit (ODK) survey instruments
  • Cleaning survey data collected daily (Stata)
  • Maintaining project databases
  • Conducting regular analysis of project data to improve collection accuracy and consistency
  • Preparing frequent progress reports to keep Principal Investigators informed of developments in the field
  • Keeping detailed records of activities to ensure transparent project implementation
  • Handling communications with local stakeholders and Principal Investigators
  • Assisting the Principal Investigators in data analysis as needed
  • Preparing briefings and reports as requested by the Principal Investigators
  • Conducting literature reviews on topics relevant to the Principal Investigators’ research
  • Performing financial management tasks including expense tracking and financial reporting


  • Master’s degree in economics or a related field
  • Strong quantitative skills and extensive experience with Stata (experience with Python and ArcGIS/QGIS preferred)
  • Excellent management and organizational skills
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills
  • Fluency in French required (native speaker or advanced fluency)
  • Being detail-oriented and able to work independently
  • Familiarity with econometric methods
  • Experience living in a developing country

Duration: 2-6 months, starting in July 2023

Supervisors: Augustin Bergeron (Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Southern California), Sara Lowes (Assistant Professor of Economics, University of California San Diego), and Nathan Nunn (Professor of Economics, University of British Columbia)

Benefits: A monthly salary will be provided, and all expenses will be covered during the duration of the position, including travel, health insurance, housing, food, etc.

How to Apply: Send a CV and cover letter in English and French to Michele Bernadine ([email protected]) using the subject “Research Associate – Kananga, DRC”.