Monday, February 27, 2012

Work Related Post -- I am looking for an RA

If you happen to read my blog and entertain thoughts of some day enrolling in an economics PhD. program, then read on... Otherwise this will be pretty boring: 

I am looking to hire a primary research assistant (Short-term consultant contract) for data and economic analysis, to work at the Economics Research Group of the World Bank based in Washington, DC. The expected length of commitment is 1 to 2 years and the start date is expected to be between May 1st and May 15th, 2012.

Job Description
This job includes a wide variety of research related tasks that are focused on producing high quality research for publication in top-tier economics journals. The RA will analyze and manage a range of datasets from field experiments, and also work on non-experimental analyses. The position offers an opportunity to independently explore unique primary datasets from development related projects around the world (currently: Brazil, Indonesia, India, South-Africa, and Uganda). The RA will also be asked to conduct and write up literature reviews, help draft reports, and prepare statistical tables. Subsidiary responsibilities may include participating in the design of survey instruments and quality checking field research and analyses.

Desired Qualifications
Candidates should hold a Bachelor's or Master's Degree in economics or related field, including training in microeconomics, econometrics, and statistics. A minimum of one year of Stata programming experience is a prerequisite, and fluency as well as excellent communication skills in English are necessary. We are looking for a self-starter, highly motivated and excited to multitask and participate in an international team of researchers. Clear logical thinking, problem solving skills, attention to detail, organization skills, and the ability and willingness to manage field operations are important traits for a successful RA in this position.

The ideal candidate will be someone who wants to get research experience under their belt before starting a PhD program. The previous 3 RAs in this position are now PhD. students in top-tier economics departments, including Berkeley and Harvard, after having spent 1-2 years working in this RA position.  

If this position is of interest, please e-mail Christian Salas ( with your CV and a cover letter.Christian is my current RA and will be leaving over the summer to start his PhD.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Dangers of fieldwork

For the most part, fieldwork in developing countries is fun and enjoyable; thats why I love it so much! But every now and then, a freak accident can really hammer home the message that these places can be dangerous.

Just this past weekend, a good friend and colleague from work was attacked by a mob in Mali. She survived and has los cojones de acero (balls of steel) to stick it out for another two weeks in the field. She's a real trooper and my respect for her has grown multiple folds, although her mom will surely disagree with her decision to stay on.

Here's her story in her own words