IPA’s Business Development team is focused on increasing the organization’s success in starting new research studies and strategic initiatives. This includes leading efforts for new partner engagement, developing multi-country studies, and expanding IPA’s network of leading academic researchers. The Associate Director of Business Development will play a dynamic role working closely with the Business Development team, the Regional Directors, and IPA’s Policy and Sector Programs teams to start new projects that advance IPA’s mission of generating and promoting evidence on what works in international development.

The Associate Director of Business Development will perform a diverse range of functions including coordinating with researchers and external partners, advising IPA staff working on new project development, improving internal processes, and contributing to the organization’s Business Development strategy. This position will also be expected to develop resources and disseminate general information across the organization to support the development of new research and policy programs In addition, the Associate Director of Business Development will be expected to lead select large proposals and manage other projects in the start-up phase before they are handed over to new teams.

IPA is looking for someone who can smoothly interact with leading researchers and development partners, enjoys managing and improving internal processes, and has a team-oriented mindset. Outstanding candidates should have a background in both research and program development, be clear analytic thinkers and writers, and be unafraid to accomplish a tremendous amount with enduring good humor.


Project and Proposal Development Strategy, Guidance and Support: (50%)

  • Play a leadership role overseeing and improving IPA’s proposal and budget development process to ensure proposals are high quality and are in line with IPA standards.
  • Identify opportunities that IPA Country Offices and Sector Programs should pursue and coordinate with the appropriate IPA staff to create a project development strategy.
  • Oversee and mentor select Business Development staff to ensure the team members are productive, are efficiently contributing to business development efforts, have clearly defined roles and responsibilities, and are growing professionally.
  • Coordinate with Finance, HR, Legal and Grants teams to ensure that Country Offices make sure all new proposals meet IPA standards.
  • Represent the Business Development team in internal IPA cross-functional working groups.
  • Oversee IPA’s efforts to identify new funding opportunities, search for information about donors and open funding calls, and share this information with IPA staff and researchers.
  • Advise and support researchers and Country Directors in select project development conversations and proposal development.
  • Provide capacity building and advise IPA staff globally on business development strategy, processes and resources.
  • Oversee the improvement of the project development resources available to IPA staff, including information on donors, researcher interest, and budget creation.
  • Ensure clear and timely communication from the Business Development team across IPA about upcoming calls for proposals, budget guidelines and other related information.

Strategic Project and Initiative Development: (25%)

  • Create and carry out plans to bring in strategic research studies to IPA, including identifying researchers, coordinating with partner organizations, and identifying sources of funding.
  • Independently lead select strategic or complex project development opportunities including coordinating large complex proposals to DFID, USAID, UN, and other government funders.
  • Coordinate IPA’s involvement in select large consortium bids.
  • Draft sections of select research proposals, concept notes and budgets with lead researchers and other IPA staff.
  • Work with the Executive Director, Director of Business Development, and the Research and Policy team to identify and pursue new Sector Programs and mission-enhancing areas of growth.

Select Business Development and Program Management Support (25%):

  • Lead select business development workstreams that could include market analysis for new IPA Country Offices or Sector Programs, the development of new offices or lines of business, and the development of other long-term partnerships.
  • Manage the startup of select large projects as they are handed off between the Business Development and Programs staff.
  • Carry out regular analysis of IPA’s project development efforts including historical information on proposals submitted, win/loss rates, and average size proposals won.
  • Carry-out other related business development and project management tasks as needed.
  • 7 years of professional experience in international development and/or field research, with 2+ years of demonstrated ability to write and win grant proposals.
  • Master’s degree in social science, public policy, economics, or a related field.
  • Must be a strategic thinker, able to push forward with imperfect information, and comfortable providing direction to others.
  • Previous experience managing staff and leading organizational initiatives that require coordinating with multiple other teams.
  • Familiarity with the partnership development and bidding process for major donor grants and contracts, including USAID, DFID, and other bilateral and multilateral donors.
  • Excellent verbal communication, including the ability to effectively communicate with internal and external individuals and organizations.
  • Experience managing field research and randomized control trails is preferred.
  • Experience developing and managing large budgets for fieldwork in developing countries.
  • Must be able to provide exemplary service to internal and external stakeholders, and must have exceptional soft skills to navigate difficult conversations. 
  • Outstanding ability to write clearly, quickly, and persuasively.
  • Ability to work independently and complete high-quality assignments
  • Must be extremely organized, detail-oriented, and able to manage multiple competing deadlines.
  • Familiarity with IPA and J-PAL researcher network members is preferred.
  • Strong presentation skills and experience with public speaking.
  • Must be willing to travel up to 15%
Application Instructions 

To apply click here.

About IPA 

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor. In recent decades, trillions of dollars have been spent on programs designed to reduce global poverty, but clear evidence on which programs succeed is rare, and when evidence does exist, decision-makers often do not know about it. IPA exists to bring together leading researchers and these decision-makers to ensure that the evidence we create leads to tangible impact on the world. Since its founding in 2002, IPA has worked with over 575 leading academics to conduct over 650 evaluations in 51 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 


Innovations for Poverty Action is an EO Employer-MF/Veteran/Disability. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other protected class. IPA will endeavor to make a reasonable accommodation to a qualified applicant with a disability unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation of our business. If you believe you require such assistance to complete this form or to participate in an interview, please contact us at jobs@poverty-action.org or via phone at 1-203-772-2216. Disclaimer: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work to be performed by the specified position. The statements are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all possible duties, tasks, and responsibilities. Management reserves the right to amend and change responsibilities to meet organizational needs as necessary. Please note that IPA will never request any form of payment from an applicant. Applicants are encouraged to confirm the information listed above with IPA prior to releasing any extensive personal information to the organization. Please direct questions to jobs@poverty-action.org.

** Please note that only qualified applicants will be contacted by the hiring manager.