Governance Research Fellow

About EPoD

Evidence for Policy Design (EPoD) at Harvard Kennedy School is a research program that works to promote the use of analytical insights, drawn from economics and backed by rigorous evidence, to inform the design and implementation of public policies and programs around the world. EPoD directly engages with governments and local organizations to identify key questions, design innovative new policies and interventions, and test these using the tools of applied microeconomics, including randomized experiments. Through research, teaching, and capacity-building activities, we also work to equip policymakers worldwide with the knowledge and skills to effectively use data and evidence to achieve policy goals.  Current research topics at EPoD include governance, education, entrepreneurship, health, agriculture, sustainable development, and access to finance. 

About the Fellows Program

Each year, EPoD accepts a number of research fellows to work closely with its faculty on specific research projects. Fellows are chosen from among the best and the brightest of future researchers in Economics and are exposed to cutting-edge topics and research methods in this area. Additionally, Fellows receive mentoring from faculty and access to a broad range of activities at the Harvard Kennedy School. Upon completion of the program, Fellows often go on to attend top-tier programs in Economics and Public Policy in pursuit of a PhD.  Positions are for one year; depending on program needs there may be a possibility of renewal for a second year.

For more information on the EPoD Research Fellows Program, visit our website.

About the Position

The successful candidate will be offered a position to work on research projects with EPoD faculty members Dan Levy and Ryan Sheely.  

Work for Prof. Levy will be focused on the Transparency for Development (T4D) project, a multi-year, multi-donor project intended to provide robust quantitative and qualitative evidence on the impact of transparency and accountability interventions on health outcomes. The evaluation includes randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in 200 rural villages in Indonesia and Tanzania, and a host of qualitative methods.  The fellow will be involved in preparation for endline data collection, data cleaning, and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data.

Work for Prof. Sheely will be focused on data analysis for randomized evaluations of two policy interventions that empower citizens vis-à-vis bureaucrats and politicians. The first project focuses on the use of Information and Communication Technology to support a community-based social work program in Sierra Leone. The second is the evaluation of a participatory research intervention in Kenya that assesses the extent to which training in basic research methods is effective in allowing citizens to hold politicians and bureaucrats accountable for service delivery outcomes.


  • Clean and manage large datasets
  • Conduct statistical analyses of data using Stata
  • Prepare literature reviews, background research, and other draft content for grant proposals and academic papers
  • Draft project reports, research protocols, and other project documents
  • Oversee and coordinate field research activities
  • Travel to the field as needed



  • Bachelors or Masters in Economics, Public Policy, International Development, or related field requiring substantial quantitative coursework
  • Strong academic record
  • Strong interest in public policy and economic development research
  • Knowledge of randomized control trials
  • Strong English oral and written communication skills
  • Excellent command of Microsoft Office suite (Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint)
  • Proficiency programming in Stata
  • Willingness to travel to field sites including potentially Indonesia, Tanzania, Kenya, and Sierra Leone


  • Graduate-level coursework in Economics and Econometrics
  • Excellent English oral and written communication skills
  • Prior experience as a research assistant in the fields of Public Policy, Economic Development, or Political Economy
  • Prior experience in field research
  • Familiarity with qualitative research methods

How to Apply

  • Send an email to following these instructions:
    • In the subject line, put “Fellows Search –“ followed by your first and last name (e.g., “Fellows Search – Jane Doe”).
    • Attach the following documents:
      • Cover letter (one page max)
      • CV
      • Academic transcripts from all degrees received
  • Have two academic or professional references (academic preferred) submit letters of reference on your behalf to following these instructions:
    • In the subject line, put “Letter of Recommendation – “ followed by your first and last name (e.g., “Letter of Recommendation – Jane Doe”).
    • Include the letter of recommendation as an attachment.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and will not be considered complete until all elements are received. Applicants chosen to move forward in the hiring process will be required to participate in multiple interviews and will take a Stata exam.