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Pre-doctoral position in Uganda and Bangladesh


Pre-doc Position


August 30, 2022


About the Project

The Standing Panel on Impact Assessment of CGIAR (SPIA), chaired by Prof. Karen Macours, is excited to announce a number of predoctoral positions, to support research around the adoption, diffusion, and eventual impacts of CGIAR innovations in agriculture, natural resource management and resilience, and food systems. They will join a global, virtual team comprising members in Uganda, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Italy, France and the United States, that is partnering with the World Bank LSMS-ISA and national statistical institutes to improve understanding of the diffusion and adoption of agricultural (and related) innovations, by testing, integrating and mainstreaming innovative approaches to data collection.



The Standing Panel on Impact Assessment (SPIA) is an external, impartial panel of experts responsible for providing rigorous, evidence-based, and independent strategic advice to the CGIAR System on efficient and effective impact assessment methods and practices, and on innovative ways to improve knowledge and capacity on how research contributes to development outcomes. SPIA has a mandate to expand and deepen evidence of impact of CGIAR research investments. CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food secure future dedicated to reducing poverty, enhancing food and nutrition security and improving natural resources. SPIA’s membership comprises agricultural, development and environmental economists, collaborating with experts across a wide variety of disciplines, and supported by a small secretariat and full-time research staff.


About the Role

We seek highly skilled and motivated individuals to join us as predoctoral fellow. The position will entail close collaboration and assistance to Karen Macours, Paris School of Economics and Chair of SPIA and/or other SPIA panel members ( This is a one-year position with the possibility of renewal for a second year, starting in the Summer or early Fall of 2022. The positions involve responsibilities that serve as excellent preparation for Ph.D. programs in economics or public policy, including quantitative and qualitative data processing and analysis, survey design, literature reviews, field work, and presentations.


Key Responsibilities

The tasks to be carried out are to be focused on the following activities:

  • Provide general research support to Prof. Macours and other SPIA panel members, including data collection and analysis; preparation of presentation materials; support with manuscript preparation etc.;

  • Support data analysis of household and community survey data from Uganda, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and/or Vietnam;

  • Support qualitative analysis of the influence of research on agricultural / environmental policy;

  • Collaborate on designing and implementation of measurement experiments;

  • Recruiting and supervising field enumeration teams;

  • Draft /co-authoring blog posts or other commentaries related to impact assessments;

  • Engage with the broader SPIA team;

  • Interact with the CGIAR Impact Assessment Community of Practice.


The predoctoral fellow will work close with SPIA academic panel members, researchers from SPIA’s national data systems team, and the CGIAR Advisory Services Shared Secretariat.


The position may also involve travel and fieldwork in support of SPIA-funded projects in the field and/or for the design & scoping of impact assessment opportunities, in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia (conditions permitting). The person hired in this position will also be invited to take part in face-to-face meetings of SPIA. Attendance at these meetings might involve international travel. Travel would be paid for by SPIA.


Qualifications and competencies

  • At least 1 year of graduate course work (Master or PhD) in economics or a closely related applied field (public policy, public administration).

  • Excellent written English.

  • An interest in agriculture in developing countries, including agricultural and natural resource management innovations and policy related to food, water and land systems.

  • Strong quantitative skills, including experience with data analysis and econometrics.

  • Interest in collecting qualitative data (e.g., conducting semi-structured interviews or moderating focus group discussions) as well as analyzing qualitative data.

  • Experience in conducting literature reviews, and interest in working systematically with large volumes of text data (annual reports, M&E documents, policy documents, published research, gray literature, etc).

  • Relevant language skills will be a plus.

  • Knowledge of impact assessment.

Applications from individuals from historically under-represented groups in economics (including, but not limited to, women, individuals from under-represented racial/ethnic groups, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds) are encouraged. A diverse research community produces stronger research.


Procedures and next steps

Applicants should submit a CV, a cover letter, and a writing sample (preferably a paper showing some original analytic work or literature review) to Ira Vater ( and Karen Macours ( The cover letter should provide some indication of interests in (and knowledge of) agriculture and impact assessment, and any preference regarding geographic location (if any) among the options listed above.


Review of applications will start on July 18, 2022 and until the position is filled (no later than Aug 31 2022). Only shortlisted individuals will be contacted.

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