AidData Research Scientist OR Senior Research Scientist

AidData
  • Location
    Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Early Career / Mid Career
  • Posted
    Oct 05

Position description

AidData is currently recruiting for a Research Scientist (U13) OR Senior Research Scientist (U15), depending on the applicant’s qualifications. These positions are based in Williamsburg, VA. As such, applicants will be expected to relocate to the Williamsburg area in 2021.

The Research Scientist will provide intellectual leadership for AidData’s Tracking Underreported Financial Flows program and work closely with the Director of Policy Analysis to provide technical and management oversight of the grants and contracts that support this program. The Research Scientist will assume the management, fiscal, and research integrity responsibilities of a Co-Principal Investigator on relevant, externally-sponsored research projects. The individual will also contribute to the conceptual development and preparation of grant and contract proposals in line with the mandate of the Tracking Underreported Financial Flows program and Policy Analysis Unit, represent the program and unit externally in presenting research results to academic and policy audiences, and broker financial and partnership arrangements to advance the program and unit’s research agenda.

The Senior Research Scientist will provide intellectual leadership for AidData’s Tracking Underreported Financial Flows program and provide technical and management oversight of the grants and contracts that support this program. This is a senior leadership position within AidData. The Senior Research Scientist will assume the management, fiscal, and research integrity responsibilities of a lead Principal Investigator on relevant, externally-sponsored research projects. The individual will lead the conceptual development and preparation of grant and contract proposals in line with the mandate of the Tracking Underreported Financial Flows program, and represent the program externally to academic and policy audiences. The individual will also be responsible for brokering financial and partnership arrangements to advance the program’s research agenda, while ensuring the long-term health and sustainability of the program area.

Either position may include oversight of staff conducting data collection and analysis related to the nature, scope, distribution, and effects of Chinese, Russian, and Middle Eastern financing. Either role will be responsible for the successful delivery of analysis, datasets and tools related to sponsored research projects, including:

  • Financial oversight (managing budgets for active grants and contracts, developing proposals for new grants);
  • External client management (ensuring on-time, high-quality deliverables for external funders);
  • Personnel oversight (supervision of staff/research assistants);
  • Project/portfolio management (responsible for direct implementation of projects to produce data and derivative products); and quality assurance.

This position is located at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. This is a full-time position, and salary is commensurate with experience and qualifications in the U13-U15 range (see Salary Structure for University Employees).

Qualifications

Research Scientist:

  • A Master’s degree in a relevant discipline such as economics, political science, public policy, public affairs, international relations, international development, or development finance, or comparable education and experience;
  • Several years of relevant professional experience;
  • Demonstrated experience leading the design and implementation of externally sponsored research projects;
  • Experience writing compelling grant proposals and securing external funds for policy research projects;
  • Track record of submitting high-quality deliverables and progress reports in a timely manner to external research sponsors;
  • Track record of leading research collaborations;
  • Established subject matter expert in at least one domain relevant to the Tracking Underreported Financial Flows program (e.g., China, Russia, Gulf Cooperation Council, development finance, foreign direct investment, blended finance, South-South cooperation, etc.);
  • Track record of designing and implementing innovative research methods;
  • Experience leading technical teams and projects and training/mentoring team members;
  • Experience working with large, complex datasets using one or more of the following: Stata, R, Python, SAS, SPSS;
  • Strong and effective communication skills;
  • Ability to work both 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;
  • Experience managing small to mid-size project teams and delivery schedules

Senior Research Scientist:

  • A terminal degree in a relevant discipline with several years’ experience as a principal investigator or co-principal investigator;
  • Demonstrated academic rigor to lead the design and implementation of externally sponsored research projects as a Principal Investigator;
  • Established track record of designing and implementing innovative research methods;
  • Experience writing compelling grant proposals and securing external funds for policy research projects;
  • Track record of submitting high-quality deliverables and progress to external research sponsors;
  • Track record of publishing research in peer-reviewed journals or policy research that meets equivalent standards of scrutiny;
  • Experience with personnel management and fiscal responsibilities associated with externally-sponsored research projects;
  • Established track record of leading research collaborations (with and without external collaborators) that result in high-quality and high-profile research outputs;
  • Established subject matter expert in at least two domains relevant to the program (e.g., China, Russia, Gulf Cooperation Council, development finance, foreign direct investment, blended finance, South-South cooperation, etc.);
  • Track record of designing and implementing innovative research methods;
  • Extensive professional network and presence in relevant professional communities, including researchers across multiple domains;
  • Substantial experience leading large, interdisciplinary teams and technically demanding projects;
  • Demonstrated experience working with large, complex datasets using one or more of the following: Stata, R, Python, SAS, SPSS;
  • Strong and effective communication and presentation skills

Preferred Qualifications

Research Scientist:

  • A Master’s degree or Doctorate in a relevant discipline;
  • Extensive relevant professional experience;
  • Experience designing and/or managing large-scale data collection and/or research projects in developing country contexts;
  • Knowledge/experience with qualitative data collection and research methods (FGDs, interviews, Nvivo);
  • Advanced experience with data science methods (machine learning, web scraping, and text mining);
  • Demonstrated ability to implement rigorous analysis using experimental methods or quasi-experimental methods, including regression discontinuity, matching, difference-in-differences, instrumental variables estimation, social network analysis, and spatial analysis;
  • Experience preparing statistical code for reproduction of results by a third party;
  • Extensive knowledge and experience working with development finance or foreign direct investment data;
  • Detailed knowledge of aid classification schemes and experience in collecting, standardizing, and publishing data from multiple actors;
  • Experience delivering datasets and actionable research for policy and academic audiences;
  • Knowledge of the standards, best practices, and systems related to public service and/or international aid program delivery in developing countries

Senior Research Scientist:

  • Doctorate in a relevant discipline such as economics, political science, public policy, public affairs, international relations, international development, or development finance or comparable advanced level experience;
  • Track record of obtaining research funding from a variety of funders;
  • Experience designing and/or managing large-scale data collection and/or research in developing country contexts;
  • Advanced proficiency/experience with data science methods (machine learning, web scraping, and text mining);
  • Demonstrated ability to implement rigorous analysis using experimental methods or quasi-experimental methods, including regression discontinuity, matching, difference-in-differences, instrumental variables estimation, social network analysis, and spatial analysis;
  • Demonstrated experience preparing statistical code for reproduction of results by a third party;
  • Extensive knowledge and experience working with development finance or foreign direct investment data;
  • Experience delivering datasets and actionable research for policy and academic audiences;
  • Extensive knowledge of traditional and non-traditional donor classification schemes (with a particular emphasis on Non-DAC donors like China, Russia and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries)

Application instructions

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