This position can be based in any country or U.S. state where IPA has an office or is registered.

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) seeks to appoint a Postdoctoral Fellow to develop and conduct research and fieldwork as part of its Peace and Recovery (P&R) sector program. 

IPA’s Peace & Recovery Program (P&R) supports field experiments and related research in several broad areas:

  • Reducing social, political, and criminal violence and conflict 
  • Reducing “fragility” (i.e. fostering state capability and institutions of order and decision-making)
  • Preventing, coping with, and recovering from crises (focusing on violent crime and conflict, but also including non-conflict humanitarian crises)

The program prioritizes studies that develop, illustrate, or test fundamental theories of peace, violence, and recovery, especially those that challenge common beliefs, pioneer innovative interventions, and produce evidence where little currently exists. 

Our scope is wide. Types of violence studied include civil warfare; terrorism; state-supported violence and repression; crime (including homicide) ; ethnic and sectarian violence; other communal violence; and protests and other collective action. Studies of forces influencing the behavior of violent groups and organizations are also encouraged, including state actors, rebel or terror groups, organized crime, gangs, etc. Finally, related policy areas in scope include strategies or peacebuilding; nonviolent interventions; crime prevention; preventing or coping with forced displacement; and crisis prevention, response, and recovery.

The Postdoctoral Fellow will be expected to work with IPA country offices in order to develop their own research projects (either by themselves or in partnership with other Principal Investigators). The successful candidate will work closely with the P&R academic leads, Chris Blattman at the University of Chicago and Betsy Levy-Paluck at Princeton University, or other researchers depending on the specific topics of interest of the selected candidate, as well as the IPA community of researchers and research and policy staff. The Postdoctoral Fellowship is designed to pave the way for future careers in academic or public-sector roles. The location of the candidate can be jointly determined during the hiring process. 

This is designed as a nine month fellowship. We hope to attract the very best candidates who are interested in academic positions. If you have an offer from such an academic institution, and are interested in this Postdoctoral Fellowship in order to build your research pipeline, we would be happy to support discussions with your home institution.

IPA is an equal opportunity employer, and we are committed to building a diverse workforce. As a result, we welcome applications from candidates with diverse backgrounds and identitiesResponsibilities 

The P&R Postdoctoral Fellow’s responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Developing—including designing, staffing, and identifying funding for—new impact evaluations
  • Managing and overseeing a portfolio of P&R projects
  • Providing technical assistance on data collection, data management, and implementation
  • Executing econometric and statistical analyses alongside other PIs
  • Publishing academic and policy papers on results of projects, with other PIs
  • Liaising closely with IPA staff, and supporting their engagements with various partners
  • Identifying and forging partnerships with government ministries and agencies, international and national NGOs, and others in the development community that have interest in conducting randomized evaluations
  • Organizing policy outreach opportunities
  • Periodically presenting their research to IPA staff


Applications for this postdoctoral fellowship should meet the following criteria:

  • Education: Candidates should be on track to complete a PhD in economics, political science, public policy, psychology or a related discipline by June 2021, or have completed their PhD after April 2020
  • Significant training in and a strong technical understanding of economics and econometrics required
  • Experience conducting field research, and managing/contributing to randomized evaluations or other rigorous impact evaluations  
  • Experience in managing teams and interacting with institutional partners strongly desired
  • Quantitative Skills: Knowledge of data management, econometrics, and use of STATA or other data analysis software 
  • Communication Skills: Attention to detail and advanced writing and presentation skills for communicating policy lessons from academic papers in ways that policymakers understand. This requires clear, precise, non-technical writing, and creativity in presentation
  • Language: English fluency required

Application Instructions 

Applications may be submitted through the following link

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Complete applications must include a cover letter, current curriculum vitae, a research paper or job market paper, and contact information for three references (letters not required at application stage), and a document with either links to other research papers or a short research statement describing other ongoing research. If a candidate is shortlisted, we will contact the candidate for consent before contacting the listed references.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. 

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