Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a global research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. As its core business, 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. IPA has conducted hundreds of randomized evaluations across sectors, learning both whether programs work, and how they can work better.

IPA Nigeria is seeking a Research Scientist (RS) to serve as an Investigator on research projects which seek to inform effective access to digital finance services, and women’s financial inclusion. The RS would work with government partners, non-profits, financial services providers and researchers to design and implement research projects, conduct data analysis and develop evidence briefs. The successful candidate will provide advisory support to strengthen the strategies of partners for increasing access to digital financial services with data and evidence. The successful candidate would be part of IPA’s new global Applied Research and Methods group of internal researchers.

The contract duration for the will be one year. Successful candidates may have the potential to extend their work with IPA, conditional upon funding.

  • Conduct innovative and policy relevant research on financial inclusion, social protection, health, education, and agriculture, using cutting-edge research techniques.
  • Develop projects, including engagement with partners and policy stakeholders to demonstrate IPA’s research capabilities, research design, power calculations, proposal writing, etc.
  • Respond to and collaborate with partners to design and implement research projects, conduct data analysis, and develop evidence briefs.
  • Organize and lead convenings with partners to facilitate the successful implementation of the research projects.
  • Mentor and train IPA staff and external partners on research design.
  • Analyze and report out on data and findings from the research projects.
  • Draft reports, working papers, briefs, blogs, and other materials to disseminate the findings of research.
  • Participate in conferences and dissemination events.
  • Support broader IPA research agenda.
  • PhD in Economics, Development Studies, Public Policy or a related field.
  • Demonstrated research interests and experience in financial inclusion, behavioral economics, consumer protection, or related topics.
  • Demonstrated capacity to produce high-quality publications on digital financial services.
  • Experience working on both quantitative and qualitative data collection.
  • Knowledge of statistical packages such as STATA, R, Python.
  • Evidence of organizing and analyzing large data sets, in particular administrative data, financial data, and/or alternative data such as social media data.
  • Ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally.
  • Self-starter, entrepreneurial mindset, versatility and strong multi-tasking skills.

Preferred additional experience and qualification

  • 2+ years of post-PhD experience relevant to the job.
  • Professional experience in financial services; international development; or financial sector policy, compliance, or supervisory experience.
  • Experience with gender intentional programming.
  • Experience with data visualization.
  • Experience managing complex partners with multiple stakeholders.
  • Significant applied econometrics skills.
  • Superior analytical, quantitative and conceptual thinking skills.
  • Passion for making data-driven decision making a reality in the development sector.
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Scientist, Nigeria”. 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 600 leading academics to conduct over 900 evaluations in 52 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 

IPA's Commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) 

As an organization, IPA is dedicated to improving the lives of the world's most vulnerable populations through evidence and policy. We also recognize how important it is for our staff to reflect the diversity of the places where we work and the communities we work with. As such, IPA is committed to hiring from a diverse pool of candidates, from a range of backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, and perspectives. We know that this makes our work stronger and more responsive to the challenges faced by those we work with and for and we encourage people from historically underrepresented groups to apply. Click here to learn more about IPA’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Innovations for Poverty Action is an affirmative action equal opportunity employer. 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 1-202-386-6200. 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.