Research Management Support (RMS)

Researchers working on documents
J-PAL North America provides strategic and customized Research Management Support (RMS) to researchers in the J-PAL network to navigate early-stage complexities in the design and implementation of randomized evaluations

Introduction

Launching a new randomized evaluation requires significant time, resources, and expertise. J-PAL North America staff can help address these challenges by providing temporary research management support. J-PAL North America’s RMS provides short-term, customized, and expert support to help design and launch a randomized evaluation. RMS staff can:

  • Provide immediate and strategic technical assistance typically during the study launch phase and before full research teams are hired.
  • Tailor support to the unique needs of each research team, such as partnership management, survey and consent form design, help developing file and project management systems, help negotiating DUAs and IRBs, or assistance with trial pre-registration.
  • Help identify pitfalls that can be difficult to foresee and streamline processes that may be unfamiliar when designing and implementing a randomized evaluation.

Researchers are invited to apply for RMS through applications for funding, and may inquire about the possibility of RMS outside of the RFP cycle.

Eligibility

All J-PAL affiliates and invited researchers are eligible to apply for RMS. Projects prioritized for RMS will meet the following criteria: 

  • Led by Principal Investigators who have limited access to other options for full-time research staff and or have relatively limited prior randomized evaluation experience.
  • Strategically aligned with J-PAL North America's mission, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Able to demonstrate the value-add of RMS, including how and what kinds of project management support will contribute to the success of their work.
  • At or near the stage of launching randomization.

Project Guidelines

RMS will include part-time, remote support from research managers and research associates with prior experience managing randomized evaluations. While engagement durations will vary depending on the study's needs, we expect that RMS may take the equivalent of 20-50% of one staff member's time over a period of up to six months, with a possibility of extending this time based on project needs.

RMS teams can provide resources and support across key areas in RCT design and implementation, including the following:

  • Project management -manage regular check in meetings and coordinate next steps, develop and maintain project timelines and tracking documents, Maintain and organize file structure.  
  • Stakeholder management - Develop strategies to communicate with partners and service providers, support definition of roles, draft memos and presentations, collect information from partners.
  • Technical support - IRB and Data Use Agreement support, consent protocol development, survey design, randomization design and implementation, pilot design and data collection, and study process monitoring. 
  • Staff recruitment - Develop and manage recruitment strategy, provide recruitment trainings, directly support team that recruits participants.

Budgeting

The cost of RMS depends on the level of support needed from J-PAL North America staff. PIs can select the level of engagement they need within the activities shown in the RMS questionnaire application. Estimates will be refined in conversation with J-PAL North America staff after the application is sent and before award decisions are made.

Once an application is received, J-PAL NA staff will reach out to researchers to plan project support in more detail. These conversations are intended for planning purposes. The review board will consider the RMS proposal alongside the project to make a funding decision.

Table  1 Timeline for Current RFP
Review process description Deadline

RMS questionnaire. Studies interested in applying for RMS will submit a brief questionnaire with their RFP application.

 

January 11th, 2023

Introductory phone calls. J-PAL NA staff will reach out to applicants and coordinate an initial conversation with PIs to define what support would entail for their specific studies.

Within two weeks after RFP deadline

RFP application review. RMS applications will not impact RFP funding decisions.

RFP review process

RMS review. RMS applications will have a review board comprised of J-PAL NA staff leadership. Decisions about RMS allocations will be released on the RFP notification date but the revision process will be independent from the RFP review process.

 

During RFP review process timeline 

Notification. Studies that are eligible for RMS will be contacted by J-PAL NA staff alongside RFP funding decisions.

Week of March 13th, 2023

 

How to Apply

Please complete and submit a brief questionnaire with your RFP application. The questionnaire includes questions about the kind of support your study would benefit from. Before the RFP decisions are released, eligible applicants will be contacted by J-PAL NA staff to clarify project needs and discuss next steps. 

Researchers may inquire about the possibility of RMS outside of the RFP cycle by contacting us at [email protected]

Responses to common questions about the program can be found in our FAQ document.

For further information and questions, please email us at [email protected]