Invited Researchers

Invited researchers are an important element of J-PAL’s effort to increase the number of high-quality randomized evaluations providing actionable insights on the most effective approaches to reduce poverty and improve lives worldwide. The more than 550 invited researchers in the J-PAL network are eligible to apply for funding from J-PAL or work with a J-PAL regional office to implement their evaluation. 

Learn more about invited researchers

Like J-PAL affiliated professors, invited researchers are also professors based at academic institutions where freedom to publish results is protected. Invited researchers typically have less experience than affiliated professors in carrying out randomized evaluations. By joining J-PAL as an invited researcher, they become eligible for a three-year term to apply for funding from a specific J-PAL initiative(s) or to work with a specific J-PAL regional office to implement their research project, opening doors to gaining this experience—often in partnership with a J-PAL affiliated professor. 

We seek to recruit invited researchers from universities around the world, with particular emphasis on individuals from or based in a low- or middle-income country. In expanding our invited researcher program, we seek to build diverse networks of researchers around the world who are carrying out randomized evaluations, crowd in subject-matter expertise to J-PAL initiatives, and help researchers strengthen their research portfolio and advance their careers. 

Some invited researchers previously served as post-doctoral associates with J-PAL or members of our affiliate network, or participated in one of J-PAL’s Regional Scholars programs. Many invited researchers go on to become J-PAL affiliated professors; in 2022, 92% of our new affiliates were previously invited researchers.

Invited researcher criteria

Invited researchers typically have less experience carrying out randomized evaluations than affiliates and are invited to either a specific J-PAL initiative(s) or a specific J-PAL regional office. Invited researchers to a J-PAL initiative are eligible to apply for funding from that initiative. Invited researchers to a J-PAL regional office are eligible to contract with that regional office to carry out field research.

Like J-PAL affiliates, invited researchers should be currently affiliated with a university or its equivalent, where academic freedom to publish results is protected, either as a professor or as a principal investigator. Researchers working at funding and implementing organizations (e.g. the World Bank, ADB or IDB) are not eligible to become invited researchers because of potential conflicts. 

Due to limits on research funding and staff capacity, we can only add a limited number of researchers to each initiative or office every year. Eligible invited researchers are identified through an extensive annual centralized search process, nominated quarterly by initiative co-chairs or regional scientific directors, or through an annual self-nomination process (see below). Final selections are made by a committee of J-PAL affiliates.

Self-nomination form

The annual self-nomination period to become a J-PAL invited researcher is now open. Self-nominations will be accepted until 11:59 pm ET on August 1, 2024. Applications will be reviewed by J-PAL’s Invited Researcher Selection Committee in the fall of 2024.

To be eligible for consideration as a J-PAL invited researcher, researchers must meet the criteria noted above, and must provide the following as part of their self-nomination: 

  • CV
  • Two publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Proof of PhD degree in economics or related quantitative discipline
  • Proof of affiliation to and independent PI status at a university
  • Brief personal statement detailing training, experience running RCTs or interest in doing so in the future, and research interests
  • A reference letter from a J-PAL affiliate, your department chair, or another senior academic

Existing J-PAL invited researchers may use the self-nomination form to apply for access to additional initiatives or regional offices.

The forms to self-nominate or submit a reference letter for a nominee are available here:

Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Additional information on active Invited Researchers' eligibility

Use the filters below to identify all active Invited Researchers that are associated with each J-PAL initiative and regional office. Alternatively, download this PDF listing all Invited Researchers are their eligible initiatives and regional offices.

All invited researchers are eligible for the following initiatives and regional offices:

  • Agricultural Technology Adoption Initiative (ATAI)
  • Digital Agricultural Innovations and Services Initiative (DAISI)
  • Digital Identification and Finance Initiative (DigiFI)
  • Gender and Economic Agency Initiative (GEA)
  • Governance Initiative (GI)
  • Innovation In Government Initiative (IGI)
  • Jobs and Opportunity Initiative Brazil (JOI BR)
  • Jobs and Opportunity Initiative Global (JOI GL)
  • Learning for All Initiative (LAI)
  • Science for Progress Initiative (SfPI)
  • J-PAL Africa
  • J-PAL Middle East and North Africa
  • J-PAL South Asia

In addition, all researchers who are eligible for the Humanitarian Protection Initiative (HPI) are also eligible for the Displaced Livelihoods Initiative (DLI) and vice versa.

Finally, when a researcher is eligible to work with a regional office, they are eligible for all of the initiatives housed at that office.

Explore Invited Researchers

Alexander Whalley

J-PAL title
Associate Professor of Economics and the Haskayne School of Business
Organization Name
University of Calgary

Michael Whinston

J-PAL title
Professor of Economics and Management
Organization Name
MIT Sloan School of Management

Anna Wilke

J-PAL title
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Organization Name
British Embassy Kathmandu

Morgan Williams

J-PAL title
Assistant Professor of Economics
Organization Name
Barnard College

Sharon Wolf

J-PAL title
Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Education
Organization Name
University of Pennsylvania

Maisy Wong

J-PAL title
Assistant Professor
Organization Name
University of Pennsylvania

Ashley Wong

J-PAL title
Assistant Professor
Organization Name
Tilburg University

Ingrid Woolard

J-PAL title
Professor
Organization Name
Stellenbosch University

Liam Wren-Lewis

J-PAL title
Assistant Professor
Organization Name
Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Noam Yuchtman

J-PAL title
Associate Professor
Organization Name
London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Roman Zarate

J-PAL title
Assistant Professor
Organization Name
University of Toronto

Roman Andres Zarate

J-PAL title
Assistant Professor
Organization Name
University of Toronto

Jiaying Zhao

J-PAL title
Associate Professor
Organization Name
University of British Columbia

Ran Zhuo

J-PAL title
Postdoctoral Research Fellow; Assistant Professor of Technology and Operations (starting in 2024)
Organization Name
University of Michigan

Roberta Ziparo

J-PAL title
Assistant Professor
Organization Name
Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Stephanie Zonszein

Organization Name
University of California, Berkeley