FAQs: J-PAL/CLEAR South Asia's Research for Impact Fellowship 2024
About the Fellowship
Q. What is the structure of the Research for Impact (RFI) Fellowship?
The RFI Fellowship has two stages with distinct learning objectives:
Stage 1 (September 2023 - December 2023)
- Complete the online MITx MicroMasters course Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations.
- Pass a proctored exam based on the course.
- Complete and submit an assignment on randomized evaluations.
Stage 2 (March 2024 - August 2024)
- Support an ongoing J-PAL randomized evaluation for at least two months.
- Attend a training workshop on measurement and quantitative survey design in India. Details about the training will be communicated to Fellows who successfully enter Stage 2.
Q: What is the time commitment required for the RFI Fellowship?
- Stage 1 (part time): 12 weeks for the online course (September - December 2023).
- Stage 2 (full time): Minimum of 8 consecutive weeks (in-person, exact months between March - August 2024 are flexible).
Q. Who can apply for the RFI Fellowship?
The Fellowship is open to those who are:
- Currently pursuing a PhD in Economics, Public Policy, Public Health, or a related empirical discipline.
- Registered in a university in India.
Q. Can recent Ph.D. awardees apply for the RFI Fellowship?
No, candidates who have already received their PhD degree are not eligible to apply.
Application and Selection Process
Q: When is the application deadline?
Applications are due on September 6, 2023 by 11:59 PM lST. All applications must be completed and submitted online.
Q. What do I need to fill the application?
You will need the following to submit your application:
- Your two-page CV.
- A scan of your University/College ID.
- Your MITx username (Register here).
Q: What happens after I submit my application?
While all applicants will receive an email detailing next steps, please find a brief summary of the process below.
After submitting the application by September 6, 2023, all applicants are required to:
- Enroll in the Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations course using your MITx username. The course begins on September 12, 2023.
- Follow the audit (non-certificate/free) track for the first four weeks of the course (September 12– October 3, 2023). Please note that although you will begin the course on the audit track, you will have full access to all course materials (homework, quizzes, etc).
Your performance in the first four weeks will play a deciding role in the scholarship award decisions. Please ensure that you begin the course on time and follow the specified deadlines.
Q. When will I know if I am selected for Stage 1 of the RFI Fellowship?
Fellows selected for Stage 1 of the RFI Fellowship will be awarded a scholarship in the week of October 16, 2023.
Fellows will then apply their scholarships to convert from the audit track to the paid certificate track for the MITx Micromasters course prior to the payment deadline of October 24, 2023. In order to earn the course certificate, candidates will need to score at least 50% as a final grade in the online course and pass a proctored exam.
Please note that although you will begin the course on the audit track, you will have full access to all course materials (homework, quizzes, etc.). Your performance in the first three weeks will play a deciding role in the scholarship award decisions. Please ensure that you begin the course on time and follow the specified deadlines.
Q. What is the selection criteria for Stage 1 of the RFI Fellowship?
Applicants will be selected for Stage 1 of the Fellowship based on:
- Your application form.
- Your performance in the first three weeks of the MITxMicroMasters course Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations.
- An interview with J-PAL South Asia staff if applicable.
Q. I have already successfully completed the MITx MicroMasters course Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations in the past. Can I still apply and participate in Stage 2 of the Fellowship?
Q. What happens if I am not selected for Stage 1 of the RFI Fellowship?
Candidates who are not selected for the scholarship will have the option to continue the full course on the audit track.
Q. What happens after I complete Stage 1 of the RFI Fellowship?
To complete Stage 1 of the RFI Fellowship, candidates must:
- Complete the MITx MicroMasters “Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations” course.
- Pass the proctored exam (Will be tentatively conducted between December 13 - 20, 2023)
- Submit an assignment on randomized evaluations.
Following this, candidates will be invited to an interview for selection into Stage 2.
Q. What content will the MicroMasters course and training workshop cover?
The MITx MicroMasters course Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations covers the foundations of conducting randomized evaluations. The program will give candidates practical tips and skills to collect high quality, reliable data in the field.
The training workshop will explore the practical applications of measurement theory and best practices for primary data collection in the field. It will be conducted by J-PAL staff with extensive experience in primary data collection on randomized evaluations.
Q. What costs will be covered by the RFI Fellowship?
- The course fee for the certificate track of the MITx MicroMasters course Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations.
- A nominal honorarium to cover your travel and accommodation costs while you work on a J-PAL randomized evaluation.
- Travel and accommodation costs for attending the in-person training workshop.
Q. How will my participation in the RFI Fellowship be acknowledged?
Upon successful completion of Stage 1 of the Fellowship, you will receive a certificate from MITx.
After completing Stage 2, you will be awarded a certificate by J-PAL South Asia accrediting you as a Research for Impact Fellowship 2024 Fellow.
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