Research Scientist, Nigeria at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA)


Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is a research and policy nonprofit that discovers and promotes effective solutions to global poverty problems. IPA brings together researchers and decision-makers to design, rigorously evaluate, and refine these solutions and their applications, ensuring that the evidence created is used to improve the lives of the world’s poor.In recent decades, trillions of dollars have been spent on programs designed to reduce global poverty, but clear evidence on which programs succeed is rare, and when evidence does exist, decision-makers often do not know about it. IPA exists to bring together leading researchers and these decision-makers to ensure that the evidence we create leads to tangible impact on the world. Since its founding in 2002, IPA has worked with over 600leading academics to conduct over 830evaluations in 52countries. This research has informed hundreds of successful programs that now impact millions of individuals worldwide.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:



Job Title: Research Scientist, Nigeria

Location: Abuja, Nigeria

Job Type: International

Desired Start Date: 1st October, 2021

Reports to: Country Director

About the Role

  • IPA Nigeria is seeking a Research Scientist (RS) to serve as an Investigator on research projects which seek to inform effective access to digital finance services, and women’s financial inclusion.
  • The RS would work with government partners, non-profits, financial services providers and researchers to design and implement research projects, conduct data analysis and develop evidence briefs. The successful candidate will provide advisory support to strengthen the strategies of partners for increasing access to digital financial services with data and evidence. The successful candidate would be part of IPA’s new global Applied Research and Methods group of internal researchers.
  • The contract duration for the will be one year. Successful candidates may have the potential to extend their work with IPA, conditional upon funding.


  • Conduct innovative and policy relevant research on financial inclusion, social protection, health, education, and agriculture, using cutting-edge research techniques.
  • Develop projects, including engagement with partners and policy stakeholders to demonstrate IPA’s research capabilities, research design, power calculations, proposal writing, etc.
  • Analyze and report out on data and findings from the research projects.
  • Draft reports, working papers, briefs, blogs, and other materials to disseminate the findings of research.
  • Participate in conferences and dissemination events.
  • Support broader IPA research agenda.
  • Respond to and collaborate with partners to design and implement research projects, conduct data analysis, and develop evidence briefs.
  • Organize and lead convenings with partners to facilitate the successful implementation of the research projects.
  • Mentor and train IPA staff and external partners on research design.


  • PhD in Economics, Development Studies, Public Policy or a related field.
  • Demonstrated research interests and experience in financial inclusion, behavioral economics, consumer protection, or related topics.
  • Evidence of organizing and analyzing large data sets, in particular administrative data, financial data, and/or alternative data such as social media data.
  • Ability to present information in a structured and insightful way, both in writing and orally.
  • Self-starter, entrepreneurial mindset, versatility and strong multi-tasking skills.
  • Demonstrated capacity to produce high-quality publications on digital financial services.
  • Experience working on both quantitative and qualitative data collection.
  • Knowledge of statistical packages such as STATA, R, Python.

Preferred Additional Experience and Qualification:

  • 2+ years of post-PhD experience relevant to the job.
  • Professional experience in financial services; international development; or financial sector policy, compliance, or supervisory experience.
  • Significant applied econometrics skills.
  • Superior analytical, quantitative and conceptual thinking skills.
  • Passion for making data-driven decision making a reality in the development sector.
  • Experience with gender intentional programming.
  • Experience with data visualization.
  • Experience managing complex partners with multiple stakeholders.



How to Apply

Interested and qualified candidates should:

Click here to apply

Application Instructions

  • Complete the  J-PAL/IPA common application.
  • After completing a brief registration, choose the Research job category, then select “Research Scientist, Nigeria”. 
  • Applications require you to include two letters of recommendation, statement of purpose (cover letter), CV, and transcripts. Note that you are able to submit your application without the recommendation letters. However, please be advised that we will be requiring them should you be invited for an interview.

Note: Given the volume of applications received, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted for an interview