Research Coordinator, Ethics - IPA

  • United States of America
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:
Two years

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is an international non-profit research organization. IPA works with development partners and academic researchers to create and evaluate approaches to solving development problems, to communicate “what works” in development and to scale up successful projects in a variety of fields, including health, education, microfinance, governance and agriculture. With offices in New York NY and Washington DC, the IPA global teams work with field offices in 20+ country offices worldwide.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

The Research Ethics Coordinator will oversee all operations of the IPA Institutional Review Board (IRB) and will serve as the IPA Data Protection Officer. The IPA IRB is an independent board of external experts who review protocols for human subjects research to ensure the protection of study subjects. The Coordinator will help establish and implement policies regarding IRB submission, review, and clearance of study protocols, and will lead a team of research ethics analysts in processing submissions to the IRB.See for more information about the IPA IRB.


In particular, the role includes the following responsibilities:

Overseeing the administration of the IPA IRB (75%)

  • Administration and review of IPA’s IRB, which includes conducting first review of protocols submitted to IPA’s IRB (original applications, exemptions, amendments, renewals and unexpected events), determining risk level with support from the IRB Chair, and preparing review materials for regular full Board meetings
  • Remain up to date on IRB regulations as they apply to IPA IRB, in collaboration with the IRB Chair.
  • Lead monthly IRB full board meetings
  • Continuously improve IRB processes (updating of forms and process in Formstack and Salesforce) and develop metrics to track the efficiency and effectiveness of IPA IRB
  • Continue to promote a culture of research ethics at IPA. This includes conducting literature reviews of ethics regulations and ethics oversight within the international development sector, writing/supporting writing of memos, blog posts and white papers on ethical research.
  • Support capacity building of IPA staff globally for research ethics and IRB by developing training materials for IRB and ethics and responding in timely manner to staff queries
  • Communicate w/Board and recruit replacements for any departing Board members
  • Oversee processing of Board stipends and communications with finance to prepare fee invoices for external projects

Serve as the Global Data Protection Officer for IPA (25%)

  • Help establish and implement organization-wide and country specific policies and procedures on data protection that comply with European Union and country-specific regulations in collaboration with the Legal Department
  • Set up and implement process for reporting breaches and violations, including serving as a point of contact for senior management
  • Train and coordinate with local country-office data protection officers
  • Review research consent forms for compliance with GDPR and related regulations in other countries (currently focusing on Nigeria, Kenya, and Peru)

Required qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree with coursework in social sciences, law, clinical trials, research ethics, or related
  • Three years’ experience working in human subjects protection, either through an IRB, research ethics committee, or related
  • Familiarity with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
  • Familiarity with network IT infrastructure and computer security systems
  • Fluency in English with strong communication skills

Preferred qualifications:

  • Certified IRB Professional (CIP) credential
  • Experience implementing clinical trials or randomized field trials
  • Experience working with economists, clinicians, or other applied scientists and their staff
  • Experience in (non-U.S.) countries where IPA works or similar settings
  • Experience developing training materials and training people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds
  • Proficiency in Spanish or French

Other skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Excellent professional communication skills
  • Ability to supervise junior staff
  • Willingness to do administrative work if needed