Research Associate, Education, Morocco Employment Lab, Morocco - J-PAL MENA

  • Morocco
Start Date (Earliest):
Start Date (Latest):
Length of Commitment:
One year

I- Job summary

The Morocco Employment Lab (MEL) is looking to hire a Research Associate to coordinate its research efforts to foster a culture of evidence-based policymaking in Morocco, conducted by a team of international researchers. This position will be based in our offices at the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic campus in Rabat.

About the research project

This research project is a randomized evaluation conducted by J-PAL affiliated and other international researchers: Andreas de Barros (University of California Irvine), Marc Gurgand (Paris School of Economics), Rebecca Thornton (Baylor University), Hosam Ibrahim (University of Minnesota), Sarah Chloe Deschenes (The World Bank).

The subject of the evaluation is an intervention implemented by the Ministry of National Education, Preschool and Sports (MENPS) of Morocco that seeks to place students from teacher training programs as tutors in middle schools. The objective is to study how employing these teacher trainees as tutors to address weak fundamental skills can impact student learning and skills, as well as the effect of placing teacher trainees on teacher selection and future quality.

About the Morocco Employment Lab (MEL)

Launched in September 2020 as part of a joint partnership between the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and Center for International Development (CID), the Morocco Employment Lab (MEL) seeks to create a culture of evidence-based policymaking in Morocco through rigorous impact evaluations and capacity building. MEL has a foundational focus on employment but it is expanding its work in other sectors, such as education, firm growth, agriculture and social protection.

About the position

The position offers an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the design and implementation of impact evaluations as well as data collection, management, and analysis, in an organization undertaking cutting-edge development research. 

Research Associates work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to: designing survey questionnaires, conducting qualitative research, running pilot tests, refining the design and the survey instruments of the study, managing survey teams, negotiating contracts with survey firms, checking and analyzing data, cleaning data and assisting in the preliminary analysis, assisting in the writing of project reports and policy memos, and coordinating with the local partner running the program under evaluation. 

The position is designed to help the selected candidate prepare for graduate-level studies in economics, quantitative education research, and/or further professional opportunities in impact evaluation. Alumni who worked with the study's investigators in similar positions have gone on to Ph.D. and Masters programs at Harvard and the University of Chicago, for example.

This position is based in Rabat, Morocco.

II- Key Responsibilities 

The Research Associate is responsible for the supervision of the project and its successful implementation in the field, which includes:

● Propose and, as appropriate, implement innovations in the different stages of a project in coordination with Principal Investigators

● Maintain and grow effective relationships with partner organizations

● Oversee and lead the field research activities, including the implementation of the evaluation, according to the research design in coordination with partners

● Liaising with field staff running the evaluations and collaborating with them including travel to research field sites

● Conduct background research in conjunction with field research activities

● Designing survey questionnaires, conducting qualitative research, refining study design and surveying instruments

● Supervise in person or phone data collection and ensure the good quality of the data

● Assist with the preparation of administrative databases

● Assist with data cleaning and preliminary data analysis

● Any other work assigned by Principal Investigators

He/she will also be responsible for ensuring good communication and organization on a daily basis:

● Facilitate, strengthen and maintain effective and efficient communication as the primary contact point with Principal Investigators.

● Provide periodic updates on project activities to PIs and subject experts

● Participate in the planning and design of any outreach activities

● Ensure that project activities are on schedule and prepare project update reports according to agreements with funders and partners

III- Requirements

● A Master's Degree in economics, public policy, math, statistics or related technical fields including training in microeconomics, econometrics, statistics, and advanced mathematics

● Graduate-level coursework in economics is a plus

● Experience with living in Morocco or a developing country is a strong advantage

● Previous experience in development research preferred

● Very strong quantitative, organizational, and communication skills are necessary

● Fluency in French and an excellent command of English (compulsory). Arabic command is a plus

● Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player

● Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations

● Prior experience working with large data sets and programming in Stata, SAS, R or other statistical programs is necessary. Familiarity with randomized controlled trials is a strong plus.

How to Apply

If you are interested, please share your CV and cover letter with Jamila Ayoub at [email protected] following these instructions: (1) In the subject line: Include your full name: first (given) name followed by last (family) name, followed by job title : “Research Associate- Education-Tutoring project- Employment Lab, Morocco”, and also through our JPAL Common Application.

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