Research Scientist at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)

Posted on: Mon 18-09-2023

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 600leading academics to conduct over 830 evaluations in 52 countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: Research Scientist

Location: Abuja

Reports to: Chief Research & Methodology Officer

Position Summary

  • A research scientist at IPA is an internal principal investigator (PI) and will be part of IPA’s Applied Research & Methods group. The individual in this role will function as a PI or co-PI for a range of studies that contribute to IPA’s mission of addressing problems of global poverty.
  • They will collaborate with internal and external PIs to pursue this research agenda and will also have opportunities to pursue a more independent program of research based on the individual’s ability to obtain grant funding for their ideas. Scholarly publication and presentation of research at conferences and meetings with policymakers are supported and encouraged.
  • Currently, ARM group researchers work together on three initiatives: Path to Scale Research, Research Methods (joint with Northwestern University’s Global Poverty Research Lab), and Poverty Measurement, but there are opportunities to work on related and new initiatives.
  • Besides working on research projects as PI or co-PI, research scientists at IPA provide internal consulting, training, and mentoring to sector teams, the Right Fit Evidence (advisory services) unit, and country offices. The team is supported by program associates and research associates.
  • This position can be based in any of the following countries: Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, and Tanzania. The person will also support IPA’s LMIC Researcher Initiative by mentoring and training researchers and by supporting research projects in the region. Internal candidates are encouraged to apply.


  • Contribute to and eventually lead* research relevant to IPA’s mission, from conceptualization and study design to oversight of data collection and analysis, interpretation, and presentation of findings to technical and non-technical audiences
  • Contribute to and eventually lead* development of research proposals
  • Contribute to and eventually lead* training on running randomized trials and topics of the individual’s areas of expertise
  • Produce academic-quality research papers and present work at applied research and evidence conferences
  • Contribute to IPA’s efforts to maintain high standards of research and data quality, and research ethics
  • Review and provide constructive feedback on study designs and manuscripts, similar to academic peer review
  • Advise research teams on best practices for running field trials, including questionnaire design and methodology.
  • *“Contribute to or lead” activities based on level of experience, with promotion tied to independence and success in developing a research agenda  



  • Ph.D. or equivalent experience in economics, political science, sociology, statistics, epidemiology, public policy, public health or a related field  
  • Demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following sectors: agriculture, health, education, financial inclusion, social protection, women’s empowerment, and climate change  
  • Knowledge of relevant research in one’s area of methodological or subject matter expertise  
  • Ability to publish research in peer-reviewed journals and present research in an academic seminar format  
  • Experience directing the work of junior members of a research team
  • Experience winning research grants or contracts Strong written and oral communication skills  
  • Commitment to strong values of research quality and integrity, including the protection of human subjects of research  
  • Demonstrated ability to work across cultural contexts including Global North academics and African country contexts  


  • Master or Ph.D. in Statistics, or similar expertise with sampling designs and weights  
  • Expertise with Bayesian modeling and inference  
  • Expertise with machine learning, social media analysis, natural language processing, and general techniques for working with big data  
  • Experience and expertise with rigorous methods for conducting qualitative and mixed-methods research  
  • Working knowledge of the systems used by IPA for research, including Stata and SurveyCTO  
  • Working proficiency in French.

Application Closing Date

1st October, 2023.

How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should:

Click here to apply online