Research Manager, Morocco Employment Lab, Morocco - J-PAL MENA

  • Morocco
Date de prise de fonction:
Date de prise de fonction (dernière):
Length of Commitment:
Two years

1- Job summary

The Morocco Employment Lab (MEL) is looking to hire a Research Manager to coordinate its research efforts to foster a culture of evidence-based policymaking in Morocco. In particular, the Research Manager is expected to manage an exciting portfolio of randomized evaluations in one or more of the MEL’s focus areas as well as to contribute to the creation of research technical resources and public goods for internal learning and external audiences. This position will be based in our offices at the University Mohammed VI Polytechnic campus in Rabat.

The position offers a unique opportunity for the Research Manager (RM) to gain first-hand research management experience on projects at the forefront of economic research and public policy. The 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 supervision of budget management and monitoring. During the course of project implementation, the RM will need to ensure compliance for all aspect of the projects including the fulfillment of J-PAL and CID’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. 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 Rabat, but is expected to be able to travel to rural and urban project sites across Morocco. The RM will be directly supervised by the MEL’s Director, and will also work closely with Principal Investigators, senior staff from J-PAL and CID, and other field staff to perform a variety of research tasks. This position is currently advertised for a two-year commitment, but it is one of MEL's core functions and plays a key role in its continuity plan.

Depending on the experience of the selected candidate, the title position will be defined as “Senior research manager” or “Research manager”.

The MEL is a collaboration between J-PAL at MIT and the Center for International Development (CID) at the Kennedy Harvard School. We conduct rigorous impact evaluations and capacity building to create a culture of evidence-based decision making in Morocco. Its Scientific Advisors are Bruno Crépon, Professor at Institut Polytechnique de Paris – ENSAE and J-PAL MENA Scientific Director, and Rema Hanna, Cheah Professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, CID affiliate, and J-PAL Southeast Asia Scientific Director. MEL has a foundational focus on employment but it is expanding its work in other sectors, such as education, firm growth, agriculture and social protection.

II. Key responsibilities

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 and CID’s research protocols across all project activities to maintain the integrity and the quality of research.

• Support hiring and onboard local team members for effective execution of research activities. 

• Play an active role in researchers onboarding 

• Assist with hiring survey firms, including drafting terms of reference

• 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 the finance team/PIs as well as the Policy team, where relevant.

• Lead local institutional review board applications

• Engage with local authorities and undertake administrative procedures to ensure all data collection authorizations are obtained

Relationship management

• Build and maintain strong relationships with researchers working on randomized evaluations in Morocco.

• Collaborate with potential partners, MEL management and PIs on the development, conceptual design and implementation of randomized evaluations.

• Support MEL’s Director in maintaining and growing effective relationships with partner organizations and donors

• 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.

Reporting and Communication

• Establish and maintain processes and systems for effective communication, including reporting, with Research Associates, PIs and MEL management.

• Provide routine verbal and written updates on project activities to stakeholders, including PIs and MEL management.

• Coordinate the preparation of summary reports and dissemination materials

• Proactively identify and conduct, in coordination with MEL 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.

III. Requirements

• Master’s degree or higher (preferred) in Economics, Development, Public Policy, Statistics or related field. Strong interest in international development including training in development economics, microeconomics, econometrics and statistics.

• Graduate-level coursework in economics is a plus

• 4 or more years of relevant experience in research, with at least 2 years of project management experience

• Experience in managing Randomized Control Trials

• Proven analytical skills and knowledge of STATA (R or any other statistical software) is required


• Advanced user of STATA and/or R data analysis software

• Bi-lingual French and English, arabic is a strong advantage

• Advanced knowledge of data collection techniques and field research, including primary data collection

• Project management skills: Ability to plan tasks for teams, monitor progress, make corrections to plans

• Strong budget management skills required

• Team player with good problem solving and time management skills

• Ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines

Comment candidater

If you are interested in this position, please follow the following instructions:

Send an email to Jamila Ayoub at [email protected] using the following as the email subject line: full name (first (given) name and last (family) name), followed by job title: “Research manager, Employment Lab, Morocco”. Please attach pdf copies of your CV and cover letter. Please do not include any other text in the body of the email. 

Apply through the JPAL Common Application.

Given the volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.