IPA’s office in Sierra Leone (SL) and the Principal Investigator, Anne Karing (University of Chicago), are seeking to hire a Senior Research Associate (SRA) or Research Associate (RA) to work on several research projects on the intersection of health and behavioral economics.

In Sierra Leone, where immunization is valued, but not fully adhered to, researchers worked with the Ministry of Health and Sanitation to test the impact on immunization rates of highly visible bracelets for children, signaling whether and to what extent children had completed their immunization schedules. The study found that bracelets signaling timely completion of all immunizations increased vaccination rates by 14 percentage points. The aim of the follow-up research is to assess the long-term impacts of the signals on immunization and other health behaviors, its social welfare effects, and to identify a path to scale for the intervention.

The research team is further working on new projects in health in the urban setting of Freetown. The research investigates the demand for informal markets for medicines, physical pain and its impacts of labor supply, the operation of pharmacies, and the impact of market competition on altruistic preferences.

The position requires working directly with Professor Karing and her team, and is based in Freetown, Sierra Leone. It is a great opportunity to contribute to research that will inform the scale-up of a cost-effective solution to immunization take-up, and the design of solutions to improve access to medicines in urban settings. The role is perfect for candidates who are interested in pursuing a PhD or a career in public policy. 

The ideal candidate will be passionate about development and behavioral economics and enjoys working independently as well as with a team in a fast-paced environment. The SRA/RA’s responsibilities will be across all stages of research, including supporting the design of new experiments, designing and piloting survey instruments, monitoring data collection and data quality, and statistical analyses.

  • Ensure the quality of the implementation of research projects in the field, including supporting the training of enumerators, documenting data collection protocols, and planning research activities.
  • Support the design of pilots and experiments.
  • Design and test new survey instruments.
  • Design and run high frequency checks to ensure data quality.
  • Solves complex problems relating to the administration of projects, including planning new procedures, adapting existing procedures to the needs of the project, and making significant contributions to methodology.
  • Conduct data analysis.
  • Write reports and support the writing of pre-analysis plans for new projects.
  • Perform other related work as needed.
  • Master’s degree in economics, public policy, or a related field.
  • Coursework in economics, econometrics, or statistics.
  • Coursework in development economics or international development.
  • A minimum of at least one year of relevant research experience, with proven analytical and quantitative skills.
  • Experience working in a low- or middle- income country.
  • Proficiency in a statistical analysis package such as Stata (preferred), Python, Matlab, and/or R. 
  • Work both independently, in a self-directed manner, and as a team member.
  • Strong analytical skills.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to produce clear written materials geared towards technical and non-technical audiences.
  • Mature, self-directed individual with the ability to balance multiple tasks and prioritize effectively in a fast-paced working environment.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and cultural sensitivity to effectively work with global teams across cultures, work styles, and time zones.
  • Excellent organizational skills and high attention to detail.
  • Strong interest in development economics.
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “(Senior) Research Associate, Sierra Leone”. 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 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 jobs@poverty-action.org 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 jobs@poverty-action.org.

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