Growth Lab Research Fellowships

The Growth Lab is an academic research program housed at Harvard’s Center for International Development. The lab consists of a dynamic, cross-disciplinary group of researchers that studies economic growth and structural change in an effort to understand the challenges and obstacles to economic development. As part of its mission, the Growth Lab engages actively in applying its research in policy engagements.

Position Summary

The Growth Lab Research Fellow is an exciting and challenging role that offers a unique opportunity to work on a combination of frontier research and the application of research to address real-world development problems. Under the guidance of Professor Ricardo Hausmann, affiliated professors throughout Harvard, and senior researchers at the Growth Lab, Research Fellows contribute significantly to the core research agenda of the lab while also collaborating with government leaders and development practitioners in the field to apply research to policy problems. Research Fellows gain analytical skills alongside practical, hands-on experience working in lower- and middle-income countries on pressing development challenges.

We are looking for candidates who have a background in economics (focused on growth, trade theory, and/or applied econometrics with an emphasis on identification strategy), who have either experience or deep interest in applied research, working in developing countries, and interacting with a multitude of collaborators in varying contexts in a fast-paced environment.

Activities and Responsibilities 
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.

Minimum Qualifications
• Master’s degree in economics, public policy, international development, network science, mathematics, business administration, or related field (or expected graduation in spring or fall of 2021).
• 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.
• 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, and the ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently both individually and as a member of teams.
• Fluency and excellent communication skills in English, including ability to present research and recommendations to senior officials and researchers.
• Minimum 4 years of directly related experience.

Preferred qualifications
• Familiarity with the Growth Lab’s work on economic growth and Economic Complexity.
• 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 aplus.


We invite candidates to send a cover letter, resume, transcripts for all degrees (undergraduate and graduate), and a brief (1-2 pages) writing sample on a policy issue (i.e. policy memo). Please send all documents to [email protected] referencing Growth Lab Fellow 2021 (first and last name in the subject line). Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis. No applications will be considered without all the required documents. 

Growth Lab, Center for International Development at Harvard University
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