Growth Lab Research Fellow

Center for International Development at Harvard (CID)
  • Location
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Apply by
  • Posted
    Feb 04

Position description

The Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID) is a university-wide center, which works to advance the understanding of development challenges and offer viable solutions to create shared global prosperity. Housed at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, CID is recognized as a global leader in research efforts to advance economic progress in the developing world. CID has consecutively been named one of the top five global think tanks in international development.

About the Growth Lab

The Growth Lab, one of the three research programs at CID, is currently seeking candidates to join its top-notch, policy-driven, and creative group of Research Fellows. The lab works to understand the dynamics of economic growth, structural change, how the specificities of human capital informs the diversification of individuals, firms & regions, and how it all relates to economic growth. Teams at the Growth Lab work on a unique blend of research and real-world policy engagements. This provides an opportunity to test theories and witness the impact when research is applied to complex economic development problems.

About the Position

The Growth Lab Research Fellow is an exciting and challenging role that offers a unique opportunity to work on a combination of research and the practical application of theories and concepts to economic development policy-oriented projects. Under the guidance of Professor Ricardo Hausmann, affiliated professors throughout Harvard and leading researchers at the Growth Lab, Research Fellows can contribute significantly to the core research agenda of the lab, including Economic Complexity, Growth Diagnostics, Inclusive Growth, Skills and Human Capital, and other emerging areas of interest. Research Fellows gain practical, hands-on experience by working in lower- and middle-income countries alongside colleagues and counterparts, such as government officials and local think tanks. Together with these counterparts, Research Fellows work to conduct and apply research that can inform development and public policies, and begin to solve some of the most challenging global development issues.

We are looking for candidates who have working knowledge in either economic theory, focused on growth, trade theory, and/or applied econometrics with an emphasis on identification strategy; have a solid background in research, working in developing countries, and experience interacting with a multitude of collaborators of varying seniority in different settings.

Activities and Responsibilities

To get a sense for the types of projects Growth Lab Research Fellows work on, we invite you to visit these links: Sri Lanka, Chiapas, Mexico, and Albania

In general, some of the activities and responsibilities of a Growth Lab Research Fellow include:

Research & Applied Research:

  • Support the Growth Lab’s research agenda, from study design to its execution; defining the data to be used, types of potential analysis, and survey instruments.

  • Manage technical execution of research from refining study design to actual checking and analyzing data, data cleaning, and data analysis.

  • Support application of research findings to policy development working in close collaboration with project stakeholders in the field

  • Maintain regular interaction with project counterparts by traveling to project sites

  • Write research publications, including contributions to intermediate and final products: project reports, policy memos, journal publications, policy recommendations and policy briefs; updating the CID Growth Lab website.

  • Build and maintain networks and strong relationships with colleagues and other counterparts in the space of economic growth theory, network sciences, and competitiveness policy.


    • Support the recruitment and mentoring of research assistants; organize presentations of research from conferences to thematic presentations at CID and elsewhere; build upon existing programs such as the CID Speaker Series by identifying and inviting potential speakers.

    • Identify and expand internships and learning opportunities for students at Harvard, with particular focus on the Kennedy School. 


  • Master’s degree in economics, public policy, international development, network science, mathematics, business administration, or related field (or expected graduation in spring 2019).

  • Ability to use statistical software (at a minimum STATA, R, and/or Python).

  • Excellent judgment in problem solving and decision-making on a consistent basis.

  • Minimum 3 years of directly related experience.

  • Fluency and excellent communication skills in English, including ability to present research and recommendations to senior officials and researchers.

Preferred qualifications

  • Familiarity with the Growth Lab’s work on economic growth and the Product Space.

  • Strong ability to initiate, foster and maintain relationships through regular interaction with faculty, leaders in the public and private sector, students and other individuals/groups that could contribute to the growth of the program.

  • Flexibility, self-motivation, the ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently individually, and as a team player.

  • Experience working with public officials and civil servants, e.g. through work in government or in a consulting environment.

  • Prior experience conducting research on or living in developing countries; flexibility to travel.

  • Spanish, French, or Arabic language proficiency a plus. 

Application instructions

We invite qualified candidates to send a resume, cover letter, transcripts for their latest degree, and a one-page writing sample, preferably all in one document, referencing Growth Lab Fellow 2019 in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until February 15 2019. No incomplete applications will be considered. 

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