IPA seeks a qualified applicant for the position of Temporary Senior Research Associate in Mexico. The project is led by Rodrigo Canales at the Yale School of Management, together with Jim Baron (Yale School of Management), Amy Wrzesniewski (Yale School of Management), Tom R. Tyler (Yale Law School), and Mushfiq Mobarak (Yale University).

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.

The Temporary Senior Research Associate will work closely with academic researchers and other field staff to perform a variety of tasks including, but not limited to: checking and analyzing data, cleaning data and assisting in data analysis (descriptive and causal), and assisting in the writing of project reports and policy memos.

  • Assist in data cleaning and processing.
  • Descriptive and inferential statistic exercises.
  • Hypothesis testing and data analysis.
  • Working closely with academic researchers.
  • Writing research reports, academic papers and opinion articles for mass media.
  • Ensure adherence to data quality protocols, and
  • Maintain compliance with all company policies and procedures.
  • A master’s degree in economics, social sciences, public policy, or related fields;
    • Candidates without a master’s degree are encouraged to apply only if they have more than three years of experience working with data and statistical models.
    • We will also consider candidates with less experience or academic record based on their demonstrated skills or knowledge.
  • Strong quantitative skills – extensive training in methods of causal inference and experience running and interpreting econometric models;
  • Strong writing skills in English and Spanish – academic and non-academic;
  • Experience living in a developing country and working in academic research is a strong plus;
  • Fluency in English and Spanish with strong communication skills;
  • Proficiency in Stata or R;
  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and team player; and
  • Demonstrated ability to manage high-level relationships with partner organizations.
Application Instructions 

Complete the J-PAL/IPA common application. After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Temporary Senior Research Associate, Mexico”.  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 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 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.