Having conducted over 500 randomized evaluations to date, IPA has extensive experience in running randomized trials, implementing surveys, and establishing partner relationships with governments, non-profits, and local academic institutions.  Advances in technology, the quantity and quality of available data, and receptiveness to leveraging these for decision-making in the social sciences and public policy have propelled IPA’s growth and mission.  We are now embarking on a new partnership with Northwestern University, the next stage of the evolution of our mission, and are seeking to add a new Director level position to our Global team:  Research Methods Director.  We are looking for a skilled, innovative, and collaborative leader to help us improve primary data collection through research on survey methods, develop pragmatic ways to apply and scale these approaches to our field research, and help to publish, disseminate, and put into practice the findings.  To contribute meaningfully to the growing academic literature on measurement and survey methodology, the Research Methods Director will be expected to collaborate closely with the Research Methods Academic Director to (i) detail the goals and outputs of the joint Research Methods Initiatives and (ii) write academic papers based on the research conducted with IPA.

Collaborating closely with the Dean Karlan and the Research Methods Academic Director based at Northwestern University, the Research Methods Director will provide intellectual leadership and guidance on research practice to IPA’s staff and researchers globally.  He/She will also work closely with IPA’s research, technology, and policy directors to innovate and create research public goods across the social sciences.  He/She will be based either at Northwestern University or at IPA’s office in New York and must be willing and able to travel to IPA global and country offices when necessary.


Leadership & Innovation:

  • Work closely with Dean Karlan and the Research Methods Academic Director to outline annual goals, timelines and outputs for the joint Research Methods Initiative between Northwestern and IPA
  • Collaborate with other IPA researchers, the IPA programs team and the Global Research Support team to identify research topics in the realm of measurement and conduct research  on measurement across sectors and modules.
  • Develop practical strategy for secure raw data access, application of data science and methods work
  • Provide thought leadership in the advancement of software and technology to improve data collection
  • Interface with relevant scholars, partners, and practitioner networks to facilitate IPA’s outreach work in raising the standards of evidence and building capacity to conduct high quality, credible research.

Guidance & Management:

  • Work with IPA’s internal Principal Investigators (PIs) and Global Research Support (GRDS) team to advise on survey design, and advance IPA’s research transparency and replication initiatives.
  • Review and build upon IPA’s current research protocols, guiding their update based on new learnings from the field and knowledge of international good practices
  • Work with IPA’s Policy and Communications team to disseminate learnings and educate users on how to collect high quality data.
  • Perform other administrative, financial, and clerical duties as necessary to support own or IPA’s activities.
  • PhD in economics, research methods, quantitative methods or related disciplines is required and experience in running RCTs as well as some managerial/supervisory experience is strongly preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience analyzing data independently using statistical programs such as R and Stata required.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills required. 
  • Flexibility and initiative to work both as part of a team and as an independent researcher. 
Application Instructions 

To apply click here.

About IPA 

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy non-profit 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 400 leading academics to conduct over 600 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.