Young Leaders Fellowship Program 2022

Research Staff Training 2019
Research and Policy Staff at the annual research staff training in Goa, 2019
Photo: Sandeep Singh | J-PAL

The Young Leaders Fellowship Program (YLP) serves as a catalyst for training and developing leadership talent in the evidence to policy space. Young professionals with a strong interest in managerial career trajectories will be provided an accelerated pathway to leadership and managerial portfolios within J-PAL South Asia. The program offers candidates a paid fellowship opportunity, rigorous apprenticeship, and exposure to cross-functional roles within the organization, resulting in the development of comprehensive technical and soft skills.

Program start date: August 22, 2022

The deadline for submitting applications is 11:59 PM IST, July 8, 2022*.

Apply here >>

*Owing to demand and rising Covid-19 infections in India, the application deadline for the YLP has been extended.

About the Program

Staff selected into the program are required to make a two-year commitment to the organization, wherein the first six to 12 months will constitute a rigorous on-the-job learning program. This full-time, paid fellowship will provide candidates with the opportunity to:

  • Understand the behind-the-scenes of a research project as well as get holistic exposure to other cross-vertical functions critical to J-PAL. 
  • Get equipped with a multitude of skills such as project and financial management, complex stakeholder management, data acquisition, generation and management, etc.
  • Develop skills in critical thinking, time management, writing and presenting, and multi-tasking, while working with teams across different functions and with external stakeholders.

Candidates may be selected into a full-time learning track (a 12 month learning program) or an accelerated learning track (a four to six month learning program) based on their prior experience. 

Program Structure

Foundational Learning Component | Months 1-2
High intensity learning modules for exposure to cross-functional operations across research, finance, operations, policy and training work.

Apprenticeship | Months 2-11
High intensity learning modules for exposure to cross-functional operations across research, finance, operations, policy and training work.

Special Project Component | Month 12
Opportunity to work directly with senior leadership to develop solutions for complex challenges facing policy-research organizations.

Final Placement | End of year 1

Phase 1: Foundational Learning (Two Months)

During this phase, fellows will undergo an intensive and customized technical training on survey design, statistical methods, and/or field management practices. Alongside this training, they will spend time in other verticals such as Research Operations, Finance, Policy and Training, and Human Resources. The objective of this phase is for the fellows to enrich their understanding of the operations and management of a J-PAL research project as well the cross-vertical functions critical to the organization. 


Phase 2: Apprenticeship (Nine Months)

During the apprenticeship stage, fellows will be matched with ongoing projects within J-PAL South Asia for an immersion that will enhance technical and management skills. Possible placements during the apprenticeship stage include: 

  • State Partnerships to work on projects in research or implementation roles in states where J-PAL South Asia has deep partnerships with governments (Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Odisha).
  • Innovations in Data and Experiments for Action (IDEA) Initiative projects, including scoping studies and randomized evaluations using administrative data, as technical data scientists.
  • Scale-up projects in an evaluation or project management capacity, working closely with government stakeholders.
  • Project management support on research projects across J-PAL's thematic sectors (health, education, environment, agriculture etc).


Phase 3: Special Project (One month)

The final stage of the program offers fellows the opportunity to gain exposure to new professional contexts by working on projects that involve collaboration with other J-PAL regional offices, the J-PAL Global office, or with other verticals in J-PAL South Asia.


Phase 4: Final Placement

Upon completion of the training stages and contingent on their performance, fellows will be placed on their final portfolios, in management and leadership roles within the J-PAL South Asia research vertical. 


  • An advanced degree (Master’s) is required, preferably in Economics, Public Policy, Public Health, Statistics or Data Sciences. Candidates with a four-year Bachelor's degree in a technical field (BE/BTech) may also apply.
  • Two to five years of experience in project management, research management or program design and/or evaluation, within the context of a developing country.
  • Communication Skills: Strong written and verbal communications skills are essential, in particular, the ability to communicate complex ideas simply and effectively to a variety of audiences.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the development sector.
  • Demonstrated analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Strong attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated leadership and management skills.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in Stata/R/Python.

How to apply

Applicants are required to submit the Young Leaders Fellowship Program application form by 11:59 PM IST, July 8, 2022. In order to complete the application form, you will require:

  • Resume: Your résumé should ideally be one page long, but no longer than two pages.
  • Academic transcripts: Scan and upload your transcript(s) for all your degrees. If you are currently earning a degree, please upload your most up-to-date transcript.
  • Letters of recommendation: We require one letter of recommendation, but candidates can request up to two recommendations from select recommenders who can discuss your professional performance from a supervisory perspective, your work style, and your leadership potential. At least one of your recommenders has to be a current or former direct supervisor. The recommenders will be sent a recommendation form that needs to be submitted by the application deadline. Note: It is the applicant's responsibility to make sure that all recommendations reach us by the deadline (July 8, 2022).
  • Essays: Applicants have to upload responses to two questions as part of the application. You are required to draft your responses using a 12-point Times New Roman font with 1.5 or double line spacing. Maximum file size is 10 MB. Accepted file formats are .doc, .docx and .pdf.: 
    • What leadership qualities and skills are you looking to build or improve through the Young Leaders Fellowship Program? (300 words)
    • How do you see yourself contributing to J-PAL, it's community, and its mission after the completion of the Young Leaders Fellowship Program? (300 words)
  • Writing sample (Optional, but strongly recommended): Any written professional or academic output.

For more information, please contact Saurabh Bhajibhakare ([email protected]).

*This page was last updated on June 22, 2022.

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