Research Manager - J-PAL Southeast Asia

J-PAL Southeast Asia
  • Indonesia
Start Date (Earliest):
Start Date (Latest):
Length of Commitment:
Two years

Job Description

J-PAL Southeast Asia, based at the Institute for Economic and Social Research at the University of Indonesia (LPEM-FEBUI) seeks a qualified applicant for the position of Research Manager (RM) to contribute to its mission of promoting evidence-informed policy. In particular, the Research Manager is expected to manage exciting portfolio of randomized evaluations in one or more of J-PAL SEA’s focus areas.

The Research Manager (RM) will work closely with Principal Investigators and lead, mentor and supervise a team of Research Associates/Senior Research Associates working on different randomized evaluations and ensuring the evaluations are feasible, well-implemented, and that every aspect of it met the highest quality standard. The RM will provide administrative oversight, risk assessment and risk mitigation strategy on the projects implementation from start to finish, identify staffing needs, support in hiring as well as more efficient resource allocations in each project, which also includes budget management and monitoring. During the course of project implementation, the Research Manager will need to ensure compliance for all aspect of the projects including the fulfillment of J-PAL SEA’s quality standards, while at the same time build and maintain strong relationship with Principal Investigators, diverse research partners and balancing the needs/interests of the multi stakeholders involved in the evaluations, including donors. The RM will also write proposals for new projects, adapt existing proposals for new funding opportunities, develop budgets, liaise with other organization units, and write and edit reports, presentations and manuscripts.

Research Managers are expected to solicit input from other professional staff and draw on the resources, especially the technical expertise, available within J-PAL. 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 of Research to drive and manage the growth and development of the Research Vertical, relating to all things evaluations, data, compliance and organization. In the course of executing their roles and responsibilities, we expect Research Managers to build 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. The RM will be based in Jakarta, but is expected to be able to travel to rural and urban project sites across Indonesia.

Responsibilities include:

Research management and support

  • Provide guidance and oversight to Research Associates on research activities as well as mentor direct reports on building technical and managerial competence and prioritize their learning and skill development.
  • Collaborate with Principal Investigators (PIs) on the design and implementation of data collection plans, while providing deep local context and cultural sensitivity to the PIs.
  • Ensure compliance with J-PAL’s research protocols across all project activities to maintain the integrity and the quality of research.
  • Hire and onboard local team members for effective execution of research activities.
  • Manage project timelines and keep all relevant stakeholders, both internal and external, apprised of project progress. 
  • Flag potential problems such as delays, changes to scope of work, overspending, data quality issues or threats to validity and recommend solutions.
  • Assist in preparing detailed budgets and work plans in coordination with finance team/PIs as well as the Policy team, where relevant.

Relationship management:

  • Build and maintain strong relationships with researchers working on randomized evaluations in the Southeast Asia region.
  • Collaborate with potential partners, J-PAL SEA management and PIs on the development, conceptual design and implementation of randomized evaluations.
  • Contribute to building systems that facilitate good research practices by our affiliates, including data security and confidentiality, registering trials, making data sets public.
  • Collaborate and supervise partnerships with the in-country survey company on conducting the implementation and data collection of randomized evaluations.

Budget Management

  • Work with the J-PAL SEA management team and PIs to develop budgets and coordinate all aspects of grant submission to donors.
  • Monitor anticipated and actual costs charged to project budgets, regularly communicate these to PIs, and identify and prevent potential overruns.
  • Monitor and ensure the on-time fulfillment of deliverables by the survey company and payment process by J-PAL to the survey company in partnership.

Reporting and Communication

  • Establish and maintain processes and systems for effective communication, including reporting, with Research Associates, PIs and J-PAL SEA management.
  • Provide routine verbal and written updates on project activities to stakeholders, including PIs and J-PAL SEA management.
  • Coordinate the preparation of summary reports and dissemination materials
  • Proactively identify and conduct, in coordination with J-PAL SEA management, outreach activities.

Contribution to organization

  • 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.
  • Represent J-PAL in meetings and conferences.
  • Work closely with the senior management team within the research vertical to come up with a strategy to systematize research support on scale-ups.


  • Education: Master’s degree (or higher) in Economics, Finance, Business, Development or related field. Well-qualified Bachelor’s candidates with significant related work experience will also be considered. Strong interest in international development policy as demonstrated by coursework and/or professional experience.
  • Experience: 3 or more years of relevant experience in research and management.
  • Communication: Excellent oral and written communication skills in English and Bahasa Indonesia.     
  • Time Management: Proven ability to multitask and successfully complete projects on tight deadlines with little supervision. A willingness to work hard, be self-motivated, and learn will be essential for doing well in this position.
  • Willingness to travel: Position may require travel throughout the region (subject to Covid-19 restrictions) to meet with senior policymakers in government agencies, NGOs, foundations and international development organizations as well as follow-up work to promote research projects and other policy and capacity building initiatives.
  • Strong leadership and relationship-building skills. Previous experience managing staff      is required.
  • Knowledge of Stata is strongly preferred. Knowledge of other data processing software is a plus.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Academic research experience.
  • Familiarity with experimental research design particularly Randomized Evaluations (RCT) and varied data collection methods.
  • Experience in Project management, donor management and financial management.

How to Apply

How to Apply

This position is not eligible for any type of visa sponsorship. Please send an email to [email protected] before March 31 at the latest with these instructions exactly:

  1. Use the following as the email subject line: “J-PAL SEA, Research Manager.” Please do not include any other text in the body of the e-mail. Adding extra text will interfere with the processing of your application.
  2. Attach PDF copies of your CV, academic transcripts, diploma, and a cover letter no longer than 500 words. The cover letter should discuss how you meet the aforementioned position requirements, emphasizing relevant skills and experience, as well as why you are interested in working with J-PAL SEA.