Innovations for Poverty Action Bangladesh (IPA-B) seeks an experienced data scientist to assist in our efforts to improve the humanitarian response to COVID-19 in Bangladesh. This work involves adapting recent methods from the research literature, based on the application of machine learning to mobile phone and satellite data, to guide help in the distribution of emergency assistance. The project is led by Joshua Blumenstock (University of California Berkeley) and Mushfiq Mobarak (Yale University).

Qualified applicants must be proficient in Python (or an equivalent high-level programming language) and statistical programming (R/Stata/Matlab); must have technical training and prior applied experience in either machine learning or econometrics (ideally both); and must be comfortable processing large datasets from a linux command line. Candidates will ideally have prior work or research experience working with large transactional databases and complex structured and unstructured datasets.

This position is based in Dhaka and requires fluency in Bengali.

The successful candidate will work closely with leading academics and researchers, thus paving the way for future careers in academic, private-sector, or public-sector roles. 

We are looking for a minimum commitment period of one year for this position with a possibility for a longer-term position for exceptional candidates. The candidate will be primarily based in Dhaka, with travel outside Dhaka as necessary.

  • Managing day-to-day research activities, from planning, meeting partners, writing codes and reporting to PIs
  • Documenting all activities related to the project
  • Providing timely updates and responses to partner organizations, and participating in meetings with key stakeholders
  • Providing training to other team members
  • Delivering outputs based one predetermined schedule
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science, data science, economics, statistics, or similar fields
  • Quantitative Skills: Strong technical understanding of machine learning and/or econometrics required. Demonstrated proficiency in Python or similar programming language, Stata or/and R
  • A minimum of 2 years of work experience is desirable in a relevant field
  • Excellent management and organizational skills; ability to successfully completing assigned tasks and meeting deadlines, required
  • Communication Skills: Attention to detail and advanced writing and presentation skills are required
  • Language: English and Bangla fluency required
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “(Senior) Research Associate, Digital Targeting of Cash Transfer Beneficiaries”.  Most applications for research positions require you to include at minimum two letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts.

Note that you are able to submit your application before your references complete their recommendation letters; however, you must include their contact information before submitting your application. 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 830 evaluations in 52 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide. 

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.