The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Anchored by a network of over 200 affiliated professors at universities around the world, J-PAL conducts randomized impact evaluations to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty.
J-PAL is recruiting a Policy Associate to contribute to this mission of promoting evidence-informed policy, supporting the Agriculture sector to support research on the effectiveness, quality, and impact of bundled digital agricultural services for small-scale agricultural producers and to expand its work with private and public sector service providers.
The Policy & Communications Group plays a key role in translating research by J-PAL affiliates into actionable poverty alleviation policies around the world. Staff connect the dots between economics and policy and are passionate about working with organizations to form partnerships for evidence-informed development policy. Only applications following all instructions at the bottom of this page will be considered.
J-PAL values diversity, equity, and inclusivity in our work and the broader perspectives our staff bring. We encourage people of color, first generation college students/graduates, and other underrepresented groups to apply to this role. In your cover letter, please consider sharing how your racial, gender, socioeconomic and/or other identity has influenced your drive and desire to work at J-PAL. (This is not required, but rather an opportunity for us to get to know you.)
For more information on J-PAL Global’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion visit this webpage.
Your work provides the foundation and direction for J-PAL’s growing policy efforts. As a Policy Associate, your primary tasks will involve communication, analysis, and specialization.
Evidence Communication and Dissemination (25%): Write publications that “translate” economic research into lessons for policymakers around the world. Associates will have the opportunity to support senior staff to create materials for policy outreach, including publications, evaluation summaries, presentations, grant proposals, policy memos, blogs, social media content and newsletters, and website content among other sector-specific work. Associates have the opportunity to help organize events and further their communication skills by presenting at conferences and participating in meetings with policymakers and partner organizations.
Topic Specialization (60%): Develop in-depth knowledge of J-PAL’s Agriculture Sector and
provide evidence support to policymakers. Support the administration of a competitive research fund by processing grant proposals, coordinating with researchers, and supporting partnership development between implementing groups and research affiliates to spark new research projects.
Other (15%): Have the opportunity to support J-PAL’s overall mission in a number of ways. These can include performing internal tasks such as knowledge management, supporting recruitment and hiring, supporting work on diversity, equity, and inclusion, and undertaking professional development opportunities. Associates may also serve as liaisons between J-PAL Global and one of J-PAL’s regional offices covering Africa, Europe, Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia, support cost-effectiveness analyses, or assist with other broad J-PAL projects.
The Policy & Communications Group invests in your professional development. As a Policy Associate, you will learn, engage, travel, and grow.
Learn: J-PAL supports a culture of learning with opportunities to attend weekly MIT–Harvard Development Seminars and take classes for credit with MIT’s generous tuition assistance program. All J-PAL staff are also eligible to take the innovative online MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) free of charge.
Engage: Associates have the opportunity to work with J-PAL affiliated researchers, as well as interact with J-PAL’s partners, including decision-makers and practitioners, alongside senior staff. As core content creators, Associates’ publications are distributed to development stakeholders worldwide.
Travel: Associates have the opportunity to present at J-PAL’s regional offices, attend policy events worldwide, and participate in a unique “Associate-to-Field” international experience supporting on-the-ground research during their time at J-PAL.
Grow: Associates can expect to join a peer group eager to build institutional knowledge and pass on lessons learned. Associates receive one-on-one mentorship from senior staff. Promotions to Senior Associate are based on performance and ability.
As a member of the MIT community, you benefit from more than just your salary.
J-PAL hires highly qualified staff and rewards them accordingly. Total compensation packages are competitive for the non-profit international development field with excellent MIT benefits, including comprehensive health insurance, a 401(k) match and pension-based retirement plan, tuition assistance, commuter benefits, MIT community discounts, a generous vacation policy, and more. We like working at MIT and think you will too.
Your technical expertise, strong communication and organizational skills, passion for translating research into action, and interest in international development make you an ideal candidate for Policy Associate.
Education: You hold at least a bachelor’s degree (master’s preferred) with significant training in economics, including intermediate-level economics and econometrics. Do you have a demonstrated academic interest in international development and public policy and/or international experience? Even better.
Experience: Up to two years of relevant work experience. You may be a recent or soon-to-be graduate with related internships, or you may have previous experience in research and/or development work. You have worked with the private sector or digital agricultural technologies and have demonstrated interest in agriculture. Have a Master’s and 2-4 years of experience? We may consider you for a Senior Policy Associate position instead.
Skills: You are comfortable working in or learning computer applications, including Google Suite, Salesforce, and Foundation Connect. English language fluency is required. Knowledge of Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, French, Portuguese, Spanish, or other languages spoken in our regions of work are a plus.
Communication: You are detail-oriented and have advanced writing skills. You understand how to communicate policy lessons from technical academic research in ways that policymakers and practitioners understand. You are precise, clear, and creative.
Organization: You are a strategic thinker. You can handle multiple projects at once, meet deadlines, and effectively manage your time.
Cultural competencies: You are comfortable and adept at working in a diverse and multicultural work environment, with colleagues, partners and policymakers from around the world. You display sensitivity, adaptability, and inclusivity in your engagement with people from diverse backgrounds including age, ability, culture, gender, nationality, race and ethnicity, religion, sexuality, socioeconomic status, and other identities. We appreciate candidates who have familiarity with concepts and frameworks such as racial equity or gender analyses.
Attitude: You love learning. You are passionate about international development policy and the rigorous research that informs it. You are agile, adaptable, self-motivated, hardworking, and collaborative.
Ready to join a team of supportive, engaging, and fun colleagues? Apply now.
How to Apply
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis but are due December 3, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET. Late applications will not be considered. For this reason, we encourage applicants to apply early.
All candidates must apply through the MIT human resources system (details below). MIT does not sponsor visas for this position. Candidates must be legally authorized to work in the United States for a minimum of two years (an exception to this rule is possible for candidates with one year authorization in the US, plus one year authorization in one of our regional office countries and a willingness to relocate to a regional office after one year working at our Global office at MIT).
To apply, first please submit a short application via MIT’s human resources system. Visit http://jobs.mit.edu/external, search for job ID 20447 (Policy Associate (Agriculture) – J-PAL Global) and complete an application.
Please upload a single PDF document of the following components into the “Resume” field on the MIT portal:
- Cover letter (outlining why you are interested in J-PAL Global’s Agriculture work and why you are qualified for this role)
- Transcripts (unofficial transcripts accepted)
Note: Incomplete applications will not be considered; please be sure to include all three components (cover letter, resume, transcripts) in a single PDF in the “Resume” field on MIT’s human resources system.
Should you fit the profile for another level for which we are recruiting based on your experience and education, we will discuss this with you during the interview process.
Process after applying:
The recruitment process will be expedited for candidates who can start in January 2022. Short-listed applicants will be asked to complete a writing and technical exercise and a Skype interview. Finalists will be called for an extended interview. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we will not be able to follow up individually with all applicants.
For applicants who successfully advance to the final stage, we will require two recommendation letters.
MIT is an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and will not be discriminated against on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, ancestry, or national or ethnic origin.