Research Fellows Program

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), United States

Skill Required:, Research and Analysis
Preferred Experience: 
1 to 3 Years
Closing Date for Applications: 
31st March, 2019

Job Description

About EPoD

Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard Kennedy School is a research program that uses analytical insights, drawn from economics and backed by rigorous evidence, to inform the design and implementation of public policies and programs around the world. EPoD directly engages with governments and local organizations to identify key questions, design innovative new policies and interventions, and test these using the tools of applied microeconomics, including randomized experiments. Through research, teaching, and capacity-building activities, we also work to equip policymakers worldwide with the knowledge and skills to effectively use data and evidence to achieve policy goals. Current research topics at EPoD include governance, social protection, education, entrepreneurship, health, skills, state capacity, sustainable development, and access to finance. Research projects are ongoing in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, Zambia, Kenya, China and Mexico.

About the Fellows Program

Each year, EPoD accepts a number of research fellows to work closely with its faculty on specific research projects, with the next cohort beginning in the summer of 2019. Fellows are chosen from among the best and the brightest of early career researchers in Economics and are exposed to cutting-edge topics and research methods in this area. Additionally, Fellows receive mentoring from faculty and access to a broad range of activities at Harvard, within a tight-knit research community at EPoD. They often have the opportunity to travel to project locations to support field research activities. Upon completion of the program, Fellows often go on to attend top-tier programs in Economics and Public Policy in pursuit of a PhD. Other Fellows use the time to explore their interests in evidence-based policy to pursue a non-academic path. Positions are for one year with a strong preference for a second year renewal.

Successful candidates will be offered a position to work with specific EPoD faculty on a particular set of EPoD research projects, as determined through the recruitment process. Below is a sampling of research topics worked on by current EPoD Fellows:

  • Financial inclusion and gender in India
  • Financing low-cost private schools in Pakistan
  • Expanding female employment opportunities in Saudi Arabia
  • Social protection programs in Indonesia and Pakistan
  • Understanding trust in state institutions in weak states
  • Design and implementation of environmental regulation in India
  • Taxation, welfare and state capacity in a set of countries in Africa
  • Governance and political economy issues in India
  • For more information about EPoD, visit our website.


  • Clean and manage large datasets
  • Conduct statistical analyses of data using Stata
  • Prepare literature reviews, background research, and other draft content for grant proposals and academic papers
  • Draft project reports, research protocols, and other project documents
  • Oversee and coordinate field research activities
  • Travel to the field as needed



  • Bachelors or Masters in Economics, Public Policy, International Development, or related field requiring substantial quantitative coursework
  • Strong academic record
  • Strong interest in public policy and economic development research
  • Knowledge of randomized control trials
  • Strong English oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent command of Microsoft Office suite (Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
  • Proficiency programming in Stata
  • Willingness to travel to India, Pakistan, and/or Saudi Arabia


  • Graduate-level coursework in Economics and Econometrics
  • Excellent English oral and written communication skills
  • Prior experience as a research assistant in the fields of Public Policy or Economic Development
  • Prior experience in field research
  • Excellent command of Stata


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