Senior Research Associate - Government of Odisha Partnership, Bhubaneswar - J-PAL South Asia

J-PAL South Asia
  • India
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Start Date (Earliest):
Language Requirement:
  • Oriya
Length of Commitment:
One year

J-PAL South Asia seeks a Senior Research Associate to contribute to its mission of promoting an evidence-informed policy to support its institutional partnership with the Government of Odisha. To deepen our ongoing partnership with the Government of Odisha, J-PAL South Asia is setting up an embedded team of highly-motivated individuals, passionate about development research and evidence-based policymaking. In addition to working closely with the research staff directly involved in the partnership, the Senior Research Associate will work as part of this embedded unit, collaborating closely with the unit head, the state partnership lead, relevant policy sector teams, and as required, with J-PAL South Asia’s senior management team. 

Senior Research Associate Roles and Responsibilities:

The position offers an exciting opportunity to contribute to the goal of enabling more evidence-based policies and programmes in India. The opportunity is also unique in that it will require the Senior Research Associate to execute duties in close collaboration across verticals, with a focus on preliminary project development and exploratory or pre-RCT field work to set up multiple new areas of research and randomized evaluations with the Government of Odisha. 

The Senior Research Associate will be expected to perform a variety tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Conducting systematic and thorough literature and evidence reviews in collaboration with the Policy team to understand the current state of knowledge and evidence on key policy-research themes identified. 
    • Producing comprehensive written outputs to inform the design and data decisions for subsequent diagnostic work. 
  • Designing and implementing a descriptive data collection strategy to build holistic insights for the key themes identified.  
    • Independently planning for and conducting qualitative research and designing survey instruments to collect high-quality data in order to build insights addressing an immediate policy priority.
  • Managing end to end data collection in close collaboration with the research operations team, with minimal oversight and while ensuring compliance to all J-PAL protocols and policies. 
  • Regularly reporting progress to the different teams and stakeholders involved and systematically documenting each stage of the diagnostic process to inform future pathways to solutioning.
  • Data cleaning, anonymization, and preparation of data and policy documents and presentations to facilitate conversations that would serve as a ground for co-creating and testing solutions to the policy priorities identified. 
  • Mentoring other Research Associates working on the Government of Odisha engagement.
  • Managing administrative tasks such as financial planning and expenditure tracking with minimal supervision.
  • Supporting the embedded team on liaising with academics, government officials, and partner organizations as required. 

The role will be reporting to the Unit Head of the embedded team with clear channels of communication within the Research team for the initial phase for all new project discussions. 

Desired Qualifications and Experience:

This is a challenging position and we are looking for someone who is a self-starter, good at managing multiple tasks/project discussions, has some experience / interest in doing exploratory field work and an excellent communicator.

  • Education: Bachelor's/ Master's degree in economics, social sciences, mathematics/statistics, public policy, or related fields. A strong technical understanding of economics and/or evaluations is necessary. Experience with independent desk research conducted independently is strongly preferred.
  • Experience: 2-4 years. Demonstrated experience in and managing teams strongly preferred. 
  • Excellent management, organizational and communication skills 
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • Working knowledge of Stata, or other data analysis software is necessary
  • Demonstrate a keen understanding of the value of randomized evaluations and their usefulness for policy decisions
  • High level of attention to detail and exceptional documentation skills
  • Ability to drive exploratory field work while keeping a future experimental mindset
  • Ability to work independently and manage multiple tasks efficiently with minimal supervision, while meeting dynamic deadlines
  • Ability to deal with unstructured and changing environments and to respond to unexpected problems with solutions best suited to the context
  • Ability to work closely with multiple team members simultaneously and in a collaborative manner
  • Ability to manage high-level relationships with external partners and stakeholders

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research  job category, then select "Senior Research Associate - Government of Odisha Partnership, Bhubaneswar - 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.