Job Opportunity for Research Associate – Rooftop Solar Project at Poverty Action Lab

  • Anywhere

Website Poverty Action Lab

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Anchored by a network of over 260 affiliated professors at universities around the world, J-PAL conducts randomized impact evaluations to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty. J-PAL South Asia, based at the Institute for Financial Management and Research in India, leads J-PAL’s work in the South Asia region. J-PAL South Asia conducts randomized evaluations, builds partnerships for evidence-informed policymaking, and helps partners scale up effective programs. Over more than ten years of existence, J-PAL South Asia has conducted 193 ongoing and completed randomized evaluations.

About the position

J-PAL South Asia at the Institute for Financial Management and Research seeks qualified applicants for the position of Research Associate to lead impact evaluations in India. The position offers an opportunity to gain first-hand field management experience in an organization undertaking cutting-edge development research. The Research Associate will join a team of world-class researchers from leading universities in the world and will gain first-hand experience implementing randomized control trials in an organization undertaking cutting-edge development research. Read more about our work and projects here.

Project Specific Details

The project seeks to investigate the market failures that dictate the low take-up of rooftop solar in urban India. We are working in collaboration with C-STEP (a think-tank in Bengaluru) and Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) to provide technical assistance for a scheme incentivizing and promoting solar rooftop installation across the city of Bangalore. This project represents a long-term collaboration with the city to design an at-scale program aimed at increasing take-up of rooftop solar panels, touted as one of the ways in which the state can achieve its clean energy goals. 

The research associate will be based in Bengaluru and will work closely with the PIs (Teevrat Garg at the University of California, San Diego and Meera Mahadevan at the University of California, Irvine). The role will be focused on piloting and testing the interventions targeted at increasing solar rooftop.

Research Associates work closely with Research Managers & Principal Investigators who guide and supervise them in their various tasks. 

Key Responsibilities

Research Associates work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to:

  • Designing survey questionnaires, conducting qualitative research, running pilot exercises, refining study design and survey instruments 
  • Managing teams: Recruit, train, and supervise both field-based and data operations teams consisting of project assistants, field managers, field-based surveyors, data entry operators and other field and office staff. 
  • Supervising data collection and data entry to ensure good data quality during both these phases 
  • Co-ordinating with the Administrative and Finance team on a variety of tasks related to field staff contracting and payments 
  • Overseeing the implementation of the evaluation in accordance to the research design in association with our partner organization 
  • Ensuring that the project complies with IRB and JPAL data collection and security protocols with the help of the Research Manager
  • Maintaining relationship with partner organizations at both headquarters and field levels 
  • Assisting with data cleaning and preliminary data analysis 
  • Assisting in preparation of documents and presentations for donor reporting as well as dissemination activities 
  • Reporting to PIs on all of the above mentioned activities 
  • Any other task as assigned by the Research Manager, AD Research or ED 

Desired Qualifications 

  • A Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in economics, social sciences, public policy, education or related fields 
  • Experience living in a developing country is a strong plus
  • Previous experience in development research preferred 
  • Excellent management and organizational skills along with strong quantitative skills
  • Fluency and excellent communication skills in English and Kannada 
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and team player 
  • Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations 
  • Knowledge of Stata (strongly preferred) or other data analysis software is preferred 
  • Familiarity with randomized controlled trials/clinical trials/quasi-experiments preferred 
  • Ability to deal with unstructured and changing environments
  • Ability to work independently and in rural field locations

Note on Work Authorizations:

Candidates must have work authorization to work in India.

How to Apply

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Associate RSP, J-PAL South Asia” and include a resume, cover letter, transcripts, and two recommendation letters. Note that applications with incomplete submissions will not be considered.

You are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application. Given the volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.

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