Crime, violence, and a weak rule of law jointly present some of the most pressing issues for Latin America. They affect citizen behavior and relations at every level of society, so these shortcomings impose a significant cost on the economy and constitute a severe threat to economic development and political stability. This project seeks to explore how to design local police forces in Mexico (and Latin America more broadly) that can rise to the challenge of reducing violence, increasing institutional legitimacy and trust in institutions, and strengthening the rule of law. The project thus focuses on three sets of questions:

  1. The specific organizational capabilities and structural characteristics that are systematically proven to deliver better results (or questions of basic organizational design);
  2. The process and sequence through which these organizational capabilities should be incorporated into new or existing police organizations (or questions of organizational construction and change);
  3. How, given an organizational design, police organizations can build citizen engagement, participation, and trust through their protocols, practices, and interactions with citizens (or questions of the enactment of practices). This includes an understanding of how police organizations in Mexico should implement evidence-based interventions that have been proven to effectively reduce violence.

We are looking for a candidate for a full-time position who can start as soon as possible (November 2019). Depending on start date commitment may vary from at least three months up to one year. We believe the ideal candidate is a student finishing a master degree in Economics and interested in a 1 year pre-doctoral research experience prior to starting a PhD in Mexico or abroad. Individuals with other educational backgrounds are also welcome to apply.

Under the academic leadership of Rodrigo Canales, Associate Professor at the Yale School of Management, the Research Associate will be working on different projects within the program “Building Effective, Resilient, and Trusted Police Organizations in Mexico”. There will be a wide range of tasks to be performed by the Research Associate, but we are looking for someone with strong econometrics and programming skills.

  • Conduct data cleaning and statistical analysis using R and Stata;
  • Perform literature reviews;
  • Write reports detailing research findings;
  • Manage critical high-level relationships with Government authorities;
  • Directly report to and work together with PI and Research Coordinators on all the above-mentioned activities.
  • A bachelor’s/master’s degree in economics, political science, public policy, with substantial quantitative work;
  • Knowledge of causal inference and econometrics is required;
  • Strong programming skills and knowledge of R required;
  • Knowledge of Stata (desirable)
  • Excellent management and organizational skills;
  • Fluency in English and Spanish with strong communication skills;
  • Familiarity with randomized controlled trials (desirable);
  • Flexible, self-motivated, empathic, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and team player;
  • The candidate should be Mexican or have a work permit to work in Mexico.
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “ Research Associate, Mexico ”. Applications require you to include two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts. Note that you are able to submit your application without the recommendation letters. However, please be advised that we will be requiring them should you be invited for an interview.

Given the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview.


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 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

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