Research Manager (Data) - IDEA Lab - J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL South Asia
  • India
  • Master's
Start Date (Earliest):
Language Requirement:
  • English
  • Hindi
Length of Commitment:
Two years

J-PAL South Asia, based at the Institute of Financial Research and Management in India, seeks a Research Manager (Data) under its new initiative Innovations in Data and Experiments for Action (IDEA) Lab. We are looking for a high-calibre individual who can leverage their knowledge, experience and passion for data to execute a high-impact project leveraging administrative data on health insurance and other data-sets.

J-PAL launched the IDEA initiative in 2018, and subsequently the first IDEA Lab was set up in J-PAL South Asia, with the aim to increase the use of administrative data by governments, non-profits, private firms and researchers for evidence-informed decision making (here). The IDEA Lab engages in long term collaborations to strengthen the use of administrative data by developing data use cases to demonstrate value for decision-making as well as capacity building activities on making data accessible and usable. We are building a new team of analysts and managers to explore collaboration with multiple state governments in India on data use cases in health and related sectors. It is a great opportunity for those looking to apply their data skills for public good.

The Research Manager (Data) will work closely with the Senior Manager/Project Director and supervise Research Associates (Data) to execute the project in one or more states in India.

The key responsibilities include:

The primary responsibility of the Research Manager will be to work with the Senior Manager/Project Director to explore opportunities for data use in health and related sectors across multiple states (such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar) and manage 2-3 such projects. One such area is health insurance, where the aim is to work with administrative data on health insurance transactions to produce useful insights for more effective program implementation and to demonstrate how system-level change can be accomplished.

  • The Research Manager (Data) will engage with the government partner to develop the scope of work for the data use project and set access protocols. She/he will hire and manage data associates on such projects.
  • Under the data use projects, the Research Manager will be responsible for overall project management and ensuring project timelines are met in accordance with the scope work.
  • Will support the Research Associate in managing and executing any field related operations such as hiring and training field teams, designing questionnaires, manage data collection etc for assessing the usability and validity of the data on the data use project.
  • Working closely with the Research Associate to organize and analyze the data in a meaningful manner and develop presentations/briefs/insights to share with the government partner as per the scope of work.
  • Working closely with the Research Associate to identify capacity building opportunities with the partners and build knowledge products/training materials
  • The Research Manager will also work with the Senior Manager/principal investigators to understand policy needs of the state and support in developing the scope of work and facilitate data access on other areas of interest by the government.
  • Manage all stakeholder engagement including donor reporting.
  • Building and strengthening relationships with strategic partners and stakeholders on the project.
  • Collaborating with IDEA teams working in other states to share and document learnings and challenges in executing the project.

Other responsibilities:

People Management: Hire, manage and mentor Research Associates and/ or Sr. Associates, giving them support to perform better and prioritizing their learning and skill development. 

Required qualifications

  • Advanced degree (Master’s or higher) in economics, public policy, mathematics, statistics, data science or related fields. This should include coursework in statistics/econometrics.
  • Professional work experience in data analytics: minimum 3 years of work experience in data management, data analytics, computation/statistics work with large datasets. Experience working with large public data-sets is highly preferred.
  • Professional experience of minimum 2-3 years working with government partners and other stakeholders is required.
  • Excellent programming and data analysis skills in R/Python and SQL is required.
  • Excellent communication skills and experience working in a collaborative environment is required.

Preferred qualifications

  • Familiarity working with large public datasets in the social sector
  • Proficiency with Github and other modern data management, sharing and presentation interfaces

Skills, competencies and behavioural attributes

  • A passion for and proven ability to work with different types of data to generate meaningful and policy relevant insights
  • Exceptional communication skills, including writing, conversing and presenting clearly in English. Working proficiency in one or more languages such as Hindi is highly desirable
  • Demonstrated ability to lead teams and engage constructively with multiple team members (internally and externally) in a collaborative manner and on short timelines
  • Proven ability to handle several different projects/tasks at one time, successfully plan, delegate and complete tasks, and meet deadlines while ensuring high quality work.
  • Self-motivated, ability to problem solve and to work with minimal supervision and meet deadlines while conducting high quality work.
  • Attention to detail and precision. 
  • Initiative, resilience and flexibility in adapting to changing contexts.
  • Ability to work closely and constructively with multiple team members in a collaborative manner and on short timelines.
  • Willingness to travel domestically frequently and flexibly.

About the Organization

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.

Interested candidates should apply through the portal.

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select Research Manager (Data)- IDEA Lab- J-PAL South Asia  and include resume, cover letter, transcripts, and two recommendation letters. Note that applications with incomplete submissions will not be considered.

You are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application. Given the volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.