EPoD Research Synthesis Fellow

Harvard Kennedy School Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD)

About the organization

Housed within the Center for International Development (CID), Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) is a dynamic research initiative that brings analytical insights, typically from economics, to the design and implementation of public policies and programs around the world. EPoD directly engages with governments and local organizations to identify key questions, design innovative new policies or interventions, and test these using the tools of applied microeconomics, including large field-based experiments. Current research topics at EPoD include governance, social protection, education, entrepreneurship, health, skills, state capacity, sustainable development, and access to finance. Research projects are ongoing in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, China and Mexico. For more information on EPoD, visit our website: https://epod.cid.harvard.edu/

Duties

This fellowship will focus on synthesis of rigorous research on social protection programs—such as cash or in-kind transfers, school feeding programs, public works, active labor market policies, and social insurance or pensions—that aim to redistribute income, insure against shocks, and break poverty traps. This fellow will help develop a comprehensive evidence review and associated policy publications. The fellow will also support convening diverse experts on the topic, including developing content for convenings of government, donor, and other partners. The fellow will also collaborate closely with colleagues in J-PAL’s Social Protection Team and have opportunities to interface with other researchers and support additional projects.

Responsibilities:

Conduct background research and literature reviews, particularly on social protection

Draft content for evidence reviews, white papers, policy publications, communications products, reports and presentations to policymakers and donors, academic papers, grant proposals, research protocols, and other project documents

Coordinate with a variety of research and policy team members at EPoD, J-PAL, and partner organizations, including those based internationally

Clean, manage, and analyze datasets as needed using Stata

Support data collection and logistics of field research projects as needed

Travel for project activities as needed (pending public health guidance and University travel policies)

Qualifications

Required:

Bachelors or Masters degree in Economics, Public Policy, International Development, or related field requiring substantial coursework in economics

Demonstrated academic excellence

Strong English oral and written communication skills

Thorough understanding of randomized control trials and econometric methods, and interpretation of their results

Proficiency in Stata for data analysis

Excellent command of Microsoft Office suite (Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and remote conferencing platforms (e.g., Zoom)

Strong motivation and self-direction

Enthusiasm for collaborating with a diverse team, including international colleagues

Willingness to travel internationally if needed

Preferred:

Graduate-level coursework in Economics and Econometrics

Experience synthesizing academic literature and research results and producing written products for a policy audience

Familiarity with or interest in the academic literature on social protection

Relevant research experience, including data analysis and causal effects estimation

Application instructions

How to Apply:

The application form will request uploads of the following documents:

Cover letter (one page max)

CV

Academic transcripts from all degrees received (unofficial copies are acceptable)

A writing sample, preferably synthesizing academic literature or research results for a non-technical audience

[Optional] A coding sample demonstrating data analysis skills in Python, R, or Stata (Stata preferred)


Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and will not be considered complete until all elements are received. Applicants chosen to move forward in the hiring process will be required to take a writing and Stata exam, participate in multiple interviews, and have two academic or professional references (academic preferred) submit letters of reference.

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