Research Manager - J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL South Asia
  • India
  • Master's
  • Other advanced degree
Start Date (Earliest):
Length of Commitment:
More than two years

About the Organization:

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research centre working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Anchored by a network of 181 affiliated professors at universities around the world, J-PAL conducts randomized impact evaluations to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty.


We are currently hiring 3 Research Managers. The Research Manager (RM) will work closely with the Principal Investigators and the project team to provide management and administrative oversight on the project and ensure that high quality, replicable research is produced. The RM will interact with a variety of partners both international and domestic, including donors that provide research funding. The RM will also recruit, manage and supervise field Research Associates (RAs). The RM will also support new projects, adapt existing proposals for new funding opportunities, develop budgets, liaise with other organization units, and write and edit reports, presentations and manuscripts.

Job Framework:

The Research Vertical at J-PAL South Asia delivers end to end management support to randomized evaluations designed and conducted by J-PAL researchers. This support includes personalized guidance in all phases of evaluations, including scoping, planning, data collection, implementation, data management and processing, and reporting. The vertical acts as a clearing house for information and has expertise in evaluation design, management and administration: to ensure that every aspect of an evaluation meets the highest quality standards. We see RMs as key drivers in improving functionality, knowledge and compliance across the vertical by leveraging standardized processes, in order to strengthen the research infrastructure. Towards this end, Research Managers work closely with the Senior Managers and Associate Director and Director, Research to drive and manage the growth and development of the Research Vertical, relating to all things evaluations, research advisory, data, compliance and organization. In the course of executing their roles and responsibilities, we expect Research Managers to improve their theoretical and applied knowledge around designing, implementing and running randomized evaluations, ethics and data and data methods, while also contributing to processes and practices within the organization.

Job Details: 

Research management and support

  • Lend expertise to strategic planning and execution across the evaluation lifecycle of projects in the designated portfolio, typically involving projects across multiple sectors.
  • Ensure compliance with J-PAL’s research protocols across all project activities to maintain the integrity and the quality of research.
  • Collaborate with PIs on the design and implementation of data collection plans, while providing deep local context and cultural sensitivity to the PIs. Ensure effective and efficient implementation of field activities by research project staff, in keeping with the timeline and scope of work.
  • Hire and onboard local team members for effective execution of research activities.
  • Designate roles and responsibilities for each project team member (including Finance Managers), manage project timelines.
  • Oversee a team, with a minimum of 3 direct reports, including, Senior Research Associates and Research Associates. 
  • Provide guidance and oversight to Research Associates on research activities, including field planning, data collection, data management, power calculations, and preliminary analysis. 
  • Mentor Senior Research Associates and Research Associates to build technical and managerial competence and prioritize their learning and skill development.
  • Assist in preparing detailed budgets and work plans in coordination with finance team/PIs.
  • Schedule check-in dialogues with team members, liaise & communicate with external stakeholders, internal team and set up management reporting.
  • Report regularly to PIs and J-PAL SA senior management on project progress. Flag potential problems such as delays, overspending, data quality issues or threats to validity and recommend solutions.
  • Prepare Institutional Review Board applications and modifications in close collaboration with the PIs. Ensure systematic documentation on project history, progress, deviations and key decisions.
  • Provide support on identifying funding opportunities, preparing research proposals, survey implementation and monitoring, data management, donor report writing, dissemination and policy outreach.
  • Liaise with academics, officials, policymakers, donors, partner organizations as a project representative.
  • Maintain and expand current knowledge of the field of expertise of thematic areas for portfolio of projects, through continuous literature reviews and landscape analysis, and communicate new developments and resulting impact to team members.
  • Represent J-PAL in meetings and conferences.

Contribution to the organization

  • Support on new research project development.
  • Contribute to creation of technical resources and public goods for internal learning as well as for an external audience.
  • Proactively participate in cross-vertical organizational initiatives.


  • Masters in development economics or a field related to international economic development.
  • At least three years of project management experience.
  • Extensive experience conducting social science or economic field research or experience conducting field research in developing countries required (India preferred).
  • Background in randomized control trials is strongly preferred.
  • Extensive experience supervising data collection, teams of field workers, survey design and implementation, and data management.
  • Experience with data management and econometrics. Advanced knowledge of Stata (strongly preferred) and/or any statistical package is preferred, as well as data collection software such as Survey CTO.
  • Strong quantitative, analytical and financial management skills required.
  • Experience interacting with partners, government officials and other key stakeholders in a developing country context.
  • Experience with presenting research findings at public forums, including to non-research focused audiences is preferred.
  • Strong attention to detail, with a quality-focused mindset.
  • Ability to work independently and problem-solve, as well as enlist the support of other teams within the organization.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills and complete fluency in English is required.
  • Demonstrated experience in writing project proposals and/or grants, preferably for international field research. 

Behavioural Requirements:

  • Position applies judgment to initial or escalated consultations and/or reviews and has an enhanced understanding of key requirements to deliver on J-PAL’s mission through practices, procedures and policies.
  • Leadership of local or virtual teams, demonstrating natural authority.
  • Ability to drive and adapt to change, particularly in the face of uncertainty.
  • Ability to be independent but collaborative when needed, innovative and adaptive (flexible and eager to learn).
  • Strong communication skills, as well as listening and interpretation skills
  • Ability to prioritize effectively and successfully handle multiple projects simultaneously
  • Ability to reference existing practices, policies and stakeholders, and their knowledge and experience to review unique and complex situations and, through specific consultation, to propose solutions to issues.

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the RESEARCH job category, then select "Research Manager - J-PAL South Asia” and include a 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.