Location: Evanston, Illinois
Department: Kellogg GPRL
The Global Poverty Research Lab (GPRL) is a research center based at Northwestern University that generates empirical evidence on the effectiveness of polices and programs in more than 10 countries in the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, China, and Southeast Asia. Our projects examine the interaction between poverty and topics such as finance, entrepreneurship, education, gender, psychological well-being, agriculture, and the environment.
We believe we can produce more and better research by creating a common infrastructure whether geographic or thematic, upon which to engage in research and policy work. Geographic research clusters in Ghana and the Philippines collect long-term panel data on economic and social outcomes. The China research cluster aims to promote rigorous empirical research on the Chinese economy. Our researchers also work to improve research methodologies for using survey data, machine learning, and meta-analysis in the context of international development through the Research Methods Initiative, in collaboration with Innovations for Poverty Action. The Lab’s newly launched Evidence to Policy Research Initiative (EPRI) is a multidisciplinary working group of Northwestern faculty who work on policy related research to understand barriers to evidence adoption in policymaking more broadly.
GPRL is co-directed by Dean Karlan, Christopher Udry, and Nancy Qian, professors at the Kellogg School of Management and the Weinberg School of Arts and Sciences’ economics department at Northwestern University. Other Kellogg professors who are affiliates and Lab investigators include Andrew Dillon and Lori Beaman. GPRL’s research managers, research analysts, and administrative staff support our investigators’ projects and work closely with their coauthors at universities, NGOs, and research institutions around the world.
GPRL also works in close collaboration with research teams at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) to coordinate field data collection, disseminate evidence, and create shared training and research resources.
GPRL is hiring several full-time research analysts to work on projects related to social protection, cognitive behavioral therapy, rainfall insurance and agricultural extension services, the role of social networks in the labor market, and women's mobility, to name a few. This position offers an opportunity to gain first-hand experience with designing studies, managing and analyzing data from a range of sources, and supporting with project management.
- Cleaning survey or administrative datasets and preparing them for analysis
- Conducting analysis using advanced statistical and econometric tools
- Assisting research managers with project development and dissemination tasks including creating analysis plans, submitting Institutional Review Board (IRB) applications, cultivating relationships with implementing partners, and supporting the development of dissemination presentations
- Presenting analysis to investigators and incorporating feedback into subsequent analysis
- Conducting literature reviews for analysis plans, working papers, and grant proposals
- Supporting data collection and process monitoring by designing and programming questionnaires and conducting data quality checks for ongoing surveys
- Preparing tables and figures with empirical results for publications and presentations and assisting with paper revisions for peer-reviewed journal submissions
Additional responsibilities as needed:
- Supervising undergraduate RAs
- Supporting research staff with Lab-wide management tasks including mentoring new RAs and creating research and training resources
The research analyst will work in an open, collaborative environment with other GPRL staff in our common lab space at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (Chicago area). The position offers the opportunity to interact with economics undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty from Kellogg and the department of economics at Northwestern, as well as research staff at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA).. It is well suited to candidates interested in pursuing graduate study in economics or other social sciences in the future. It is also a great steppingstone for those wanting to explore non-academic careers in the field of development economics. The research analyst will be a full-time employee of Northwestern University with full benefits (including the ability to take classes at a highly-subsidized tuition rate).
We are looking for a minimum commitment period of two years for this position.
Complete theJ-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose theResearchjob category, then select "Research Analyst, Global Poverty Research Lab - Chicago” and include CV/resume, cover letter, and transcripts.Only finalists will be asked for references/letters of recommendation.Applicants with incomplete submissions will not be considered.
Given the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.
- Cleaning survey or administrative datasets and preparing them for analysis.
- Conducting analysis using advanced statistical and econometric tools and seeking out the resources to learn new analytical techniques as needed.
- Assisting research manager with project development and dissemination tasks such as:
- Planning and executing project scoping activities, including procuring publicly available data and communicating with potential research collaborators.
- Developing analysis plans that detail the statistical and analytical techniques to be used to answer the study’s research questions.
- Submitting applications and modifications to the Institutional Review Board.
- Cultivating a relationship with implementing partners, including extensive non-technical communication about study design.
- Supporting research design tasks like power calculations, sampling, and randomization.
- Assisting in writing grant proposals and reports.
- Supporting the development of presentations to communicate study results to academic and lay audiences.
- Presenting analysis to investigators, including communicating proactively and setting meeting agendas to facilitate productive discussions. Incorporating feedback into subsequent analysis.
- Conducting literature reviews for analysis plans, working papers, and grant proposals, using an organized approach that takes account of results, analytical methods, and intervention design.
- Supporting data collection and process monitoring by:
- Supporting questionnaire design through reviews of similar surveys. Programming survey instruments in SurveyCTO or Qualtrics.
- Running high-frequency data quality checks and communicating findings to aid conversations with partners
- Working with implementing/research partners to monitor their programs, including developing monitoring tools.
- Preparing tables and figures with empirical results for publication, along with data replication packages. Assisting with paper revisions for peer-reviewed journal submissions.
- Contributing to Lab-management activities such as:
- RA recruitment: conducting interviews, reviewing coding tests.
- Mentoring new RAs and leading training sessions during onboarding on topics like Advanced Stata and Project Management.
- Supporting logistics at Lab-hosted events.
- Participating on teams that produce research resources for the Lab.
- Supervise undergraduate RAs as needed, including mentoring, managing workload, allocating tasks, and proactively communicating expectations.
- Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in economics or another quantitative major
Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)
- Strong programming skills in Stata or another statistical software combined with the willingness to learn Stata
- Strong quantitative skills (courework in econometrics and statistics)
- Familiarity with randomized controlled trials
- Excellent organizations skills
- Fluency and excellent communication skills in English
- Ability to seek resources and self-teach new statistical, analytical, and programming techniques
- Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently
- An enthusiasm for empirical researchExperiences living or working in a developing country
Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)
- Familiarity with other statistical, visualization or digital data collection software like R/ArcGIS/Python/SurveyCTO is a strong plus
At Northwestern, we are proud to provide meaningful, competitive, high-quality health care plans, retirement benefits, tuition discounts and more! Visit us at https://www.northwestern.edu/hr/benefits/index.html to learn more.
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