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Coming Soon: Program Manager, Psychology and Economics of Poverty (PEP)


The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) is a hub for research on global development, with a network of 90 academic researchers extending across the University of California, Stanford University, and the University of Washington. Our faculty affiliates design and test solutions for the problems of poverty, generating actionable evidence for policy-makers in less developed countries. Using rigorous field trials, behavioral experiments, and tools from data science, we measure and maximize the impacts of economic development programs throughout the world.

CEGA’s research is organized around a set of initiatives that generate policy-relevant research within specific sectors. CEGA’s newest initiative, the Psychology and Economics of Poverty (PEP) Collaborative, will establish a landmark new research agenda on the cognitive and behavioral effects of poverty around the world by cultivating a tight-knit community of economists, cognitive and social psychologists, and other scientists working on poverty reduction. The initiative is led by Berkeley economist Supreet Kaur and psychologist Mahesh Srinivasan. Key activities will include the development of an interdisciplinary community of learning through lab meetings, reading groups, workshops, and conferences; the creation of a competitive grant-making process to help faculty and students explore promising research opportunities; and the development of a set of observational research studies to explore cognitive and behavioral mechanisms elicited by economic shocks.

Closing Date

Feb 15, 2019 11:59 pm PST


The Program Manager will lead and/or coordinate all activities related to the PEP initiative, including landscape assessments and literature reviews, grant competitions and scientific convenings, research coordination, donor reporting, and dissemination. With input from the faculty leads and supervision from the CEGA Executive Director, s/he will establish effective administrative, research management, and dissemination systems to meet the initiative’s goals, while seeking out strategic opportunities to fundraise and expand the program. This is a challenging opportunity for candidates who are passionate about global development and rigorous impact evaluation, and have an interest in research related to the psychology and economics of poverty. The incumbent should have a strong desire to expand and deepen his or her skills in research management, strategic planning, grant writing, and partnership development; and be energized to help build an exciting new initiative while contributing to the long-term success of a dynamic organization.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Conduct landscape assessments and other background research to guide the development of the initiative and corresponding community of practice;
  • Facilitate the cultivation of new and existing research partners; conduct outreach to policy-makers, implementing organizations, and other stakeholders;
  • Coordinate the design and implementation of PEP-related conferences, workshops, lab meetings, and reading groups;
  • Solicit and integrate insights from faculty, CEGA leadership, and partners regarding initiative development;
  • Assist in the setup of faculty research projects for projects within the PEP portfolio (including the assembly of IRB protocols and other documentation) as needed;
  • Develop subject matter expertise in behavioral economics and psychology research on poverty in developing countries, and stay up-to-date on relevant research and policy developments;
  • Manage a competitive grant-making process for faculty and students, including proposal solicitation, peer review, and award-making;
  • Lead in the creation of shared information resources for the PEP initiative, including data repositories and literature reviews;
  • Lead the harmonization of research projects in the portfolio, including the collection, analysis, and reporting of data on the costs and outcomes of research studies;
  • Manage communications and research dissemination efforts across the PEP initiative, for example by synthesizing and translating key research findings for stakeholders through the CEGA website, articles, white papers, blogs, and other channels.
  • Identify new funding opportunities for the initiative; draft grant proposals; lead financial and programmatic reporting; manage relationships with funders;
  • Manage budgets and financial tracking for the initiative;
  • Participate in CEGA-wide management activities, including internal working groups, performance management, process documentation, and strategic planning.  

Required Qualifications

  • BA/BS in a quantitative discipline, including Economics, Psychology, Public Policy, Political Science, International Affairs, Public Administration, or Public Health (epidemiology), with a focus on economic development
  • 2-5 years professional experience in an academic, non-profit, or social enterprise setting, including at least 2 years of proven management experience
  • Exceptional communicator, both verbally and in writing
  • Commitment to driving scientific, evidence-based policy
  • Solid understanding of international development, economics, and impact evaluation
  • Strong financial management skills
  • Experience writing research proposals, managing grants, and interacting with private and public donors
  • Well-organized, with strong administrative skills and outstanding attention to detail
  • Self-directed, intrinsically motivated; proven capacity to manage work independently, multitask and be responsive to time-sensitive deadlines
  • Strong skills in short-term and long-range planning, analysis, problem-anticipation and -solving; ability to independently investigate solutions to challenges and anticipate leadership/sponsor needs
  • Strong and effective interpersonal skills in working with colleagues at all levels. Ability to use discretion and maintain confidentiality
  • Cultural sensitivity and demonstrated ability to work diplomatically with diverse constituencies
  • Ability to remain flexible and adapt to change
  • Strong competency with MS Office (including solid understanding of Excel) and Google applications.

Application Requirements

  • MA/MS in a quantitative discipline, including Economics, Psychology, Public Policy, Political Science, International Affairs, Public Administration, or Public Health (epidemiology), with a focus on economic development
  • Experience coordinating empirical research projects in a developing country, such as overseeing field data collection and analysis
  • Solid understanding of behavioral economics and psychology research in global development 
  • Experience working with researchers and faculty in an academic setting
  • Proficiency with STATA
  • Perfectionist with high attention to detail
  • Experience using Salesforce
  • Experience with Adobe Creative Suite (including Adobe InDesign and PhotoShop)
  • Sense of humor with a positive attitude in approaching challenges and uncertainty

Selection Timeline

This is a one year full-time position with possibility for extension pending funding.

Online application via the UC Berkeley jobs portal is required. ***Please check back to this posting soon for a link to the official Berkeley job posting***