Deputy Director of Research, Policy Analysis Unit

Williamsburg, Florida, United States
Apply by 8 July 2018
Senior-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 8 June 2018

Job Description

AidData is seeking a Deputy Director of Research to support its Policy Analysis Unit (PAU) by overseeing research design and peer review processes; managing the development of survey questionnaires and interview protocols; leading internal statistical code reviews; ensuring that PAU research outputs meet high standards of social scientific rigor and reproducibility; identifying approaches to more effectively and efficiently collect data; and collaborating with program staff and the Director of the PAU to ensure that AidData produces policy research which meets or exceeds the expectations of its target audiences. Depending on qualifications, the successful applicant may hold an affiliate appointment as research faculty in the appropriate social science department and/or interdisciplinary program at William and Mary.

Required Qualifications

● An advanced degree in economics, political science, public policy, statistics, or a related field
● Significant to extensive years of experience designing, implementing, and publishing policy-relevant international development research
● significant to extensive years of experience writing, managing, and reviewing reusable and well-annotated code in STATA and/or R
● Demonstrated expertise in quantitative and qualitative social science research methods, including small-n case selection and study design, survey design and sampling, process tracing, cross-sectional and panel data analysis, the experimental and quasi-experimental tools of causal inference, and statistical power analysis
● Demonstrated ability to design protocols to guide data collection and research with human subjects, including familiarity with Institutional Review Board (or the equivalent) procedures.
● A track record of publishing rigorous, peer-reviewed social science research in a reproducible manner (i.e. making data and statistical code publicly available to enable independent, third party replication)
● Demonstrated willingness and ability to learn and employ new methods and tools, as needed.
● Strong and effective interpersonal and communication skills and the ability to interact professionally with a diverse group of clients, partners, students, staff, and faculty
● Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a demanding and complex work environment, to carry out assignments in a timely manner, and to adapt to changing situations and priorities
● Ability to work closely and effectively with researchers and program staff from a variety of disciplines and professional backgrounds

Preferred Qualifications

● A doctoral degree in economics, political science, public policy, statistics, or a related field
● Demonstrated experience managing or mentoring research analysts and statistical programmers
● Demonstrated experience producing high-quality publications for policy audiences under tight time and budget constraints
● Demonstrated experience with the design, fielding, and analysis of large-scale surveys, as well as familiarity with protocols for appropriate management of personally identifiable information.
● Demonstrated experience with designing effective interview protocols, conducting key informant interviews and focus groups, and efficiently processing and analyzing large amounts of unstructured, qualitative data (e.g.,interview transcripts).
● Familiarity with and interest in machine learning, web scraping, text mining, network analysis, and spatial statistics
● Proficiency and interest in Python, SQL, Git, and GIS
● Experience working with large development finance and development outcome datasets
● Familiarity with non-traditional sources of financing for development (e.g., blended finance, philanthropic giving, corporate social responsibility, trilateral cooperation, national budgets).

About the Organization

AidData is a research lab at William & Mary. We equip policymakers and practitioners with better evidence to improve how sustainable development investments are targeted, monitored, and evaluated. We use rigorous methods, cutting-edge tools, and granular data to answer the question: who is doing what, where, for whom, and to what effect?

Housed in William & Mary's Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations, AidData's work crosses sectors and disciplines, and serves the unique needs of both the policy and academic communities, as well as acting as a bridge between the two.


AidData's interdisciplinary team works together to seek entry points for research and analysis, using a wide range of novel methods, tools, and data sources to answer questions that cut across sectors, geographies, and disciplines.


Our insights help a diverse set of forward-leaning partners answer critical strategic and operational questions, fueling adaptive learning from initial program design to ex-post evaluation.


In partnership with strategic, long-term collaborators, we invest in public goods and ahead-of-the-market innovations that can fundamentally improve how policies and programs are designed, implemented, and evaluated.

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