Senior Research Associate (SRA) JPAL

Por María Jesús Jiménez Grez

J-PAL office for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is seeking to hire a Senior Research Associate (SRA) to work on a research project related to school choice in Chile. The position requires working directly with professors Claudia Allende (Stanford University), Adam Kapor (Princeton University), and Christopher Neilson (Princeton University).

The SRA will work closely with academic researchers, staff at J-PAL LAC and a tech-organization to develop digital tools and implement a research project in collaboration with the Ministry of Education of Chile. The research project aims to develop an information intervention to study how families in Chile search for schools in a centralized school admission system. Especially, the SRA will play an important role in the design and deployment of a search tool powered by an AI school recommendation algorithm.

This project is informed by previous rigorous studies run by J-PAL affiliates in the region and is part of a longstanding partnership with the Ministry of Education to promote evidence-informed policymaking. The strong technology-based and personalized components of the project will allow the research team to gather real-time data on parents search behavior.

The SRA will be in charge of a variety of tasks including, but not limited to: coordinating the collaboration with multiple divisions within the Ministry of Education and Consiliumbots, ensuring the interventions are implemented according to plans and following research design, participating in the design and deployment of the digital tool, leading the monitoring and evaluation activities, ensuring that any new component of the interventions is developed correctly and in due times, as well as coordinating administrative data transfers and , most importantly, the data analysis.

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

Strong Project Participation and Oversight:

Manage the implementation of the project in coordination with Principal Investigators.
Propose and, as appropriate, implement innovations in the different stages of the projects in coordination with Principal Investigators.
Maintain and grow effective relationships with partner organizations.
Oversee and lead the implementation of the interventions and their technology-based components with the Ministry of Education, including the implementation of the evaluation, according to the research design.
Supervise data collection and monitoring activities and ensure the good quality of the data.
Lead data cleaning and preliminary data analysis.
Ensuring that the projects comply with IRB and JPAL data collection and security protocols.
Reporting and Communication:

Facilitate, strengthen and maintain effective and efficient communication as the primary contact point with Principal Investigators.
Provide periodic updates on project activities to PIs and J-PAL LAC staff in Chile.
Participate in the planning and design of any outreach activities.
Ensure that project activities are on schedule and prepare project update reports according to agreements with partners.
Any other work assigned by Principal Investigators.
Desired Qualifications:

Bachelor’s degree in economics, public policy, public administration, statistics or related technical fields including training in microeconomics, econometrics, statistics, and advanced mathematics.
Master’s degree in related fields to economics, public policy, statistics or related is a plus.
The ideal candidate has prior research and project coordination experience and keen attention to detail, as well as a willingness to learn and enthusiasm for economics and policy-relevant research.
Prior experience working with data sets and programming in Stata, R, or other statistical programs. Knowledge in other software like Qualtrics, SurveyCTO is a plus.
Prior experience in developing technological products is a plus.
Familiarity randomized controlled trials and impact evaluation methodologies preferred.
Excellent management, organizational and troubleshooting skills.
Flexible and self-motivated with an ability to multitask.
Strong written and verbal communication skills.
Comfortable speaking English and Spanish.
This position is ideal for candidates looking to develop their empirical research skills in preparation for applying to PhD programs in economics or related fields, but may also be a good fit for students undecided between applying to a PhD or other types of graduate programs such as masters in data science, public policy (with a quantitative focus) or business administration (MBA) with a focus on data science.

The project will be implemented in Chile and, thus, knowledge about the education sector in Chile is a plus.

This position is not eligible for any type of visa sponsorship (this is a consultant position). Remote work is an option.

How to Apply
Send an email to, and, following these instructions exactly:

In the subject line: Include “Senior RA School Search Chile”, plus your full name: first (given) name followed by last (family) name.

Attachments: Please attach in a single PDF:

one-page cover letter clearly stating your qualifications for the various responsibilities and reasons for your interest in J-PAL;
your curriculum vitae (resume).
In the email body: Copy exactly the following line: Senior Research Associate for Claudia Allende and Christopher Neilson, Chile.

Please do not include any text besides the position line(s) in the body of the e-mail. Adding extra text will interfere with the processing of your application.

Given the volume of applications received, only short-listed candidates will be contacted for an interview.

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