Research Associate - Education Policy Reforms in India(Multiple states) - J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL South Asia
  • India
Start Date (Earliest):

Project Title:


Principal Investigators:

Prof. Karthik Muralidharan, Prof. Abhijeet Singh and Prof. Mauricio Romero


India State: Raipur, Delhi/Lucknow and Chennai

Start Date: June/July 2024

Length of commitment: 14 months

Education: Bachelors in economics, Statistics, Education or related fields

Language requirements: English, Hindi and Tamil (as applicable)

Organization: J-PAL South Asia at IFMR

Number of Positions – up to 3 positions

About J PAL

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Anchored by a network of 194 affiliated professors at universities around the world, J-PAL conducts randomized impact evaluations to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty. J-PAL South Asia, based at the Institute for Financial Management and Research in India, leads J-PAL’s work in the South Asia region. J-PAL South Asia conducts randomized evaluations, builds partnerships for evidence-informed policymaking, and helps partners scale up effective programs.

Over more than ten years of existence, J-PAL South Asia has conducted 193 ongoing and completed randomized evaluations. Project Description: These positions relate to a portfolio of research on education reforms in India, based in JPAL South Asia, that is led by Profs. Karthik Muralidharan, Abhijeet Singh and Mauricio Romero.

These evaluations are concentrated in four main thematic areas:

(i) Improving the implementation of private school quotas in the Right to Education Act

(ii) Improving foundational literacy and numeracy in primary schooling

(iii) Understanding the structure and demand for preschools and

(iv) Large-scale school transformation in the public sector. 

 These positions are based in multiple states, reflecting the spread of projects. In 2024, we expect projects to primarily be based in Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.  This multi-year research agenda is funded through different research funders. In particular, two positions are funded through the What Works Hub for Global Education, a joint initiative supported by the UK’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One position is funded through the European Research Council through the EDINCLUSION project (PI: Abhijeet Singh), specifically to study private school quotas in the Right to Education Act 2009.   

Research Associate’s Job Description 

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

Research Associate’s Roles and Responsibilities: 

The RA will 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 exercises, refining study design, and surveying instruments.  
  • Managing teams: Recruit, train, and supervise both field-based and data operations teams consisting of project
  • assistants, field managers, field-based surveyors, data entry operators and other field and office staff.   
  • Overseeing the implementation of the evaluation in accordance with the research design in association with our partner organization.
  • Maintaining relationships with partner organizations at both headquarters and field levels.
  • Supervising data collection and data-entry and ensuring good quality of the data at each of these two stages.     
  • Assisting with data cleaning and preliminary data analysis.   
  •  Assisting in the preparation of documents and presentations for dissemination
  • Reporting to PIs on all of the activities mentioned above

Desired Qualifications and Experience

  • A Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Statistics, Education or related fields.·      
  • Experience living in a developing country is a strong plus
  •   Excellent management and organizational skills along with strong quantitative skills.
  • Fluency and excellent communication skills in Hindi/Tamil and English.·      
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player
  • Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations  
  •  Knowledge of data analysis in Stata.
  •   Familiarity with impact evaluations and randomized controlled trials, in particular, preferred
  • Willingness to live in the state headquarters and travel extensively to study sites is essential

 We are looking for a commitment period of 14 months for this position.

Note on Work Authorizations: Candidates must have work authorization to work in India. This covers citizens of India, Nepal or Bhutan, Persons of Indian origin (PIO), and Overseas Citizens of India (OCI). 

How to Apply

If you are interested in this position, please click on the apply button on the JD here; the first-time users will be asked to sign up and upload the CV, cover letter, and academic transcripts (optional).

For any queries, please write to [email protected].