Research Scientist, MLE in Agriculture - EPAR, University of Washington

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

As a UW employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty. 

The Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, a top ranked public policy school, serves over 500 students in three graduate degree programs: Master of Public Administration, Executive Master of Public Administration, and Ph.D. in Public Policy & Management. The school is defined by a tradition of rigorous study, innovative research, and a commitment to public service. Our graduates and faculty provide the ideas, expertise, and leadership that guide government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private companies around the country and throughout the world.

The Evans School of Public Policy & Governance has an outstanding full time opportunity for a Research Scientist.

The Research Scientist will contribute to measurement, learning and evaluation (MLE) efforts around country-led inclusive agricultural transformation and investments by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The primary purpose is to develop an independent robust, consistent approach for conducting evaluations that will generate better, and more easily shared, evidence of impact. EPAR and the Research Scientist do not conduct evaluations, but rather manage the contracting and systems infrastructure, coordinate the request for proposals process, and provide technical review and support, as needed, for a core set of evaluators.

The Research Scientist will work for the Evans School Policy Analysis and Research Group (EPAR) at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy & Governance. EPAR conducts rigorous interdisciplinary research on a range of topics related to agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, including digital financial services and other ICTs, small-scale producers, gender, health and nutrition, climate, food system risk analysis, markets, and development policy and finance. EPAR research streams focus on data and measurement, and we use statistical, spatial, and other analytics and promote open-access tools and programming.

For more information about EPAR, please see: https://evans.uw.edu/policy-impact/epar

The Research Scientist will contribute to measurement, learning and evaluation (MLE) efforts around country-led inclusive agricultural transformation and investments by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The primary purpose is to develop an independent robust, consistent approach for conducting evaluations that will generate better, and more easily shared, evidence of impact. EPAR and the Research Scientist do not conduct evaluations, but rather manage the contracting and systems infrastructure, coordinate the request for proposals process, and provide technical review and support, as needed, for a core set of evaluators.

EPAR invites applications from qualified candidates for a position as a Research Scientist with an expertise in evaluation, including impact evaluation, process evaluations, and in particular in mixed methods approaches. The Research Scientist will provide at least half-time support on one contract that provides contracting, technical and communication support to evaluations of investments associated with agricultural transformation, hence experience with or knowledge of experimental, quasi-experimental, mixed-methods and process evaluations is essential.

This position will involve managing systems to coordinate the evaluation portfolio, supporting the refinement of evaluation objectives and constraints, drafting of RFPs and adapting templates to advance the RFP process, offering technical feedback on proposals and evaluation designs, and helping to prepare internal confidential reports and presentations for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Ideally the qualified candidate will also support a work stream on monitoring agricultural outcomes outside of, but complementary to, the evaluation work. The position may also support constructing agricultural indicators, hence proficiency with Stata, spatial mapping, statistics and familiarity with the LSMS-ISA and other agricultural data is highly desired. There may be an opportunity to prepare or contribute to public research briefs and literature reviews, public coding syntax files, and peer-reviewed journal articles.      

RESPONSIBILITIES:               

  • Contributing to and improving systems to guide request for proposal (RFP) processes and evaluation portfolio administration
  • Conducting background research into foundation portfolios and specific investments   
  • Developing resources to conduct due diligence into evaluation opportunities
  • Assessing potential methodologies for evaluations
  • Drafting sections of RFPs and supporting documentation
  • Reviewing deliverables submitted to EPAR for completeness and quality
  • Entering evaluation information and data into an internal tracker                    
  • Supporting communications with evaluation firms and other stakeholders, including preparing reporting outputs to be shared with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Supporting efforts to harmonize indicators across evaluations and curate data collected          
  • Collaborating with graduate student researchers on research and analysis, as needed 

REQUIREMENTS:

  • A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in economics or related field
  • Two or more years' experience in program evaluation, ideally in agriculture
  • Knowledge of a range of evaluation methodologies, particularly mixed methods; experience in qualitative methods and process evaluation would be a plus                 
  • Familiarity with data management and curation for open access platforms       
  • Strong statistical/econometric skills highly preferred. Familiarity with the LSMS-ISA and experience with Stata and/or spatial mapping software, databases, and text analysis would be a plus.     
  • Excellent evaluation, writing, research, and analysis skills
  • Good organizational and project management skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work independently and on research teams
  • Interest in rural economies in developing countries

How to Apply

In your cover letter, briefly describing your interest in the EPAR Research Scientist position, your qualifications for the position, and your professional development goals.

The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process. These assessments may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others. Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.