Research Associate, Zambia

Research Associate, Zambia

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Position Summary

IPA-Zambia is hiring a pre-doctoral fellow to help design, manage, and implement a randomized controlled trial of a cash transfer program to female undergraduates at the University of Zambia. The fellow would work closely with Professors Natalie Bau (UCLA), Corinne Low (Wharton), and Bryce Steinberg (Brown) at every stage of the project. They will be responsible for overseeing the survey and implementation team and acting as a liaison between the PIs in the US and the field team in Lusaka. This position is ideal for an individual interested in pursuing an economics PhD at a top program who would like to gain experience in development economics research.

Job responsibilities include managing field activities, helping to manage the research partnership with the University of Zambia, informing the design of the randomized controlled trial through on-the-ground insights, disseminating results to policymakers, performing a variety of statistical and econometric analyses, cleaning and analyzing data, writing research reports, conducting background research and literature reviews, identifying and obtaining secondary data, and coding survey questionnaires. Independent thinking, a thorough understanding of economics or related disciplines, an ability to manage work flows on multiple projects, and self-motivation are highly valued in performing these functions. This is a challenging opportunity for an early-career professional who is passionate about social science research and has a strong desire to expand and deepen skills in economic research and quantitative data analysis.

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), is an international non-profit research organization. Based in New Haven, CT, with offices in Washington, D.C. and worldwide, IPA works with development partners and academic researchers to create and evaluate approaches to solving development problems, to communicate “what works” in development, and to scale up successful projects in a variety of fields, including health, education, microfinance, governance and agriculture. IPA has been in Zambia since 2010.


The Research Associate will perform a variety of tasks related to managing day-to-day research activities, from planning to implementation, and monitoring quality. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Working closely with PIs to help design and implement an RCT

  • Using STATA to clean and analyze survey data

  • Overseeing recruitment, randomization, implementation, and data collection 

  • Recruiting, training and supervising field-based teams 

  • Refining and piloting survey questionnaires

  • Supervising and monitoring data collection to ensure high-quality of the data

  • Running data quality checks and fixing issues with data collected during data collection

  • Weekly calls with PIs 

  • Providing timely updates and responses to partner organizations, and participating in meetings with key stakeholders

  • Managing project finances including budgeting, expense tracking and financial reporting

  • Handling day to day PI and partner communications

  • Interfacing with research partners at the University of Zambia and policymakers at the Ministry of Education


  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, or other quantitative social science disciplines

  • Quantitative Skills: Strong technical understanding of economics and econometrics required. Demonstrated proficiency in Stata, and experience with data cleaning and analysis

  • Desire to pursue a PhD in economics preferred, as this position will serve as excellent training for implementing RCTs and other development economics research

  • Excellent management and organizational skills; ability to successfully completing assigned tasks and meeting deadlines required

  • Communication Skills: strong oral and written communication skills in the English language required

Reports to

Associate Research Manager

Deadline to Apply

Rolling basis

Desired Start Date

July 2024

Contract Length

12 months



Application Instructions

Click here to apply now.


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 of 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 a 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