One of the main responsibilities of an IPA Project Associate is communicating with the Principal Investigator on their project, being their eyes and ears on the ground. This Principal Investigator is typically a Professor at a US university. Chris Blattman provided some helpful advice a while back on how to email your professor.
Our friends at the Centre for Microfinance in Chennai held their 3rd Annual Conference last week on "Translating Research into Practice." Notes and powerpoints are available from their website, as well as some summary on their blog.