#100043 Research Associate

La Jolla, CA
Jun 18, 2019
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

This position will remain open until a suitable candidate is identified.

This is a 100% career position for one (1) year and may be extended based on funding and the needs of the department.

UCSD Layoff from Career Appointment: Apply by 06/20/19 for consideration with preference for rehire. All layoff applicants should contact their Employment Advisor.

Special Selection Applicants: Apply by 07/01/19. Eligible Special Selection clients should contact their Disability Counselor for assistance.


The UC San Diego Department of Economics is ranked in the top-15 Ph.D. programs (US News). The Department has over 2000 undergraduate majors, 190 minors, and serves more than 17,000 enrollments annually. Currently there are 37 ladder-rank faculty, 130 graduate students, and 12 administrative staff members.

For more information see: http://economics.ucsd.edu

Professor Karthik Muralidharan seeks a qualified applicant for the position of a Book Research Associate (Book RA) based at UCSD. The position offers an opportunity to gain first-hand experience of working closely with Prof. Muralidharan to provide research and editorial support on books, op-eds, policy briefs and other analytical communication products.

The majority of the work will be on supporting the writing of a book on state capacity and service delivery in India. The book aims to synthesize nearly two decades of evidence on social service delivery and governance and convert it into an actionable agenda for top government leaders. Targeting a general audience, the book will fill an important gap by providing easily accessible and actionable policy suggestions to increase state capacity and to improve the quality of social service delivery in India.

The RA will work closely with Karthik Muralidharan to perform a variety tasks including, but not limited to:
• Conducting literature reviews (of both books and papers) and writing succinct summaries of the main arguments, limitations, and implications of prior work.
• Writing concise summaries of multiple view points on contentious policy issues
• Creating visual aids (graphs, charts, figures) as required.
• Creating first drafts of paragraphs and/or sections (with appropriate use of literature reviews, and data) based on detailed outlines provided by Prof Karthik Muralidharan
• Assist with and participate in the production and dissemination of documents and presentations.
• Edit drafts written by Prof. Muralidharan for clarity and accessibility for non-technical readers
• Construct weekly and monthly action plans jointly with Prof Karthik Muralidharan on all of the above mentioned activities, report regularly on progress against timelines and targets.

The ideal candidate will possess technical expertise in economics, creativity, strong writing, communication and organizational skills, passion for translating research into action, and interest in international development.

Occasional overtime/nights/weekends may be required.

Level of the position (Staff Research Associate 1 or 2) will be based on candidates' experience and qualifications.

  • A Bachelor’s (required) or a Master's (preferred) Degree with some training in economics and statistics; or an equivalent combination of knowledge and experience.

  • A technical understanding of economics, statistics, causal inference, and program evaluation is essential since a key part of the role is to translate academic research into general policy conclusions in a way that is both simple to follow but also accurate.

  • Strong interest in international development policy, India, and/or program evaluation as demonstrated by coursework and professional experience.

  • Detail oriented with superior writing skills. Ability to write precisely, and concisely. Must understand how to communicate policy lessons from technical academic research in ways that policymakers and practitioners understand. Desired traits include being precise, clear, and creative.

  • Minimum of one to two (1 - 2) years of experience in policy related research, especially in a developing country is desired.

  • Demonstrated knowledge of data analysis software is preferred (ideally Stata).

  • Excellent management and organizational skills along with strong quantitative skills.

  • Strong fluency and excellent communication skills in English

  • Flexible, self-motivating, able to manage multiple tasks efficiently, and a team player.

  • Familiarity with impact evaluations and randomized controlled trials, in particular, preferred.

  • Familiarity with (or eagerness to learn) key challenges of Indian economic policy preferred.

  • A background check is required.

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