Research Manager, DevLabPenn

Research Manager, DevLabPenn

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

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Posted Job Title
Research Manager, DevLab@Penn

Job Profile Title
Manager Research Project B

Job Description Summary
The DevLab Research Manager is primarily responsible for managing and providing technical inputs to a portfolio of research, evaluation and survey research projects. This will include DevLab@Penn projects for USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), The US Department of State, The World Bank, or other donor agencies and organizations. The Research Manager reports to PIs on individual projects and the Associate Director as their main supervisor. In addition to project-based technical work, he/she also performs business development and internal and external strategic functions. The Research Manager has experience managing complex research projects, has technical skills for research tasks, and is able to support a variety of organizational management functions such as planning, budgeting and resource planning. This is a full-time, HQ-based position.

This is a 3 year term appointment with the possibility of renewal.

Job Description

About DevLab@Penn

DevLab connects social scientists at the University of Pennsylvania who work in international development with the community of development practitioners. The Lab works directly with donors such as USAID, the World Bank, and MCC on research opportunities, the promotion of evaluable programming, on surveys and impact evaluations themselves, and the translation of academic research for policy audiences. DevLab also works with implementers, such as RTI, Social Impact, DAI and others at both the project proposal stage and the implementation and monitoring/evaluation stage. This collaboration enhances development initiatives' ability to conduct rigorous programming, collect monitoring and evaluation data, and conduct surveys and impact evaluations of development projects.

DevLab brings together researchers with advanced capabilities in international development research and evaluation, including sampling and survey design; experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation design; and data analytics, including machine learning and impact evaluation econometrics. DevLab is multi-disciplinary, including faculty, researchers, and graduate students from several departments and schools at Duke who have extensive experience in both international development and program evaluation, including a broad range of countries and regions around the globe as well as donor activities in the areas of governance, land tenure/administration, natural resource management, energy, economic growth, labor markets, education, health and climate change.


The Research Manager is expected to manage a portfolio of evaluations, carrying out core managerial and coordination functions, and participate in technical work as appropriate, with oversight by PIs and other senior researchers. The Research Manager is responsible for working closely with the Business Office and grants/contracts team, coordinating with consultants, subcontractors, and clients, as well as delegating to and overseeing the work of junior research staff(where applicable) on individual contracts. The Research Manager will support and manage research and evaluation projects through their life cycle from start-up and design phases through data collection, analysis, reporting, and dissemination.

Specific responsibilities may include:

Contract Management:
  • Establish, monitor, and update work plans and budgets.
  • Coordinate research team inputs for contract deliverables.
  • Support mobilization and logistical preparations for research team travel.
  • Serve as a responsive point of contact for clients, and support contract reporting requirements.
  • Work with the Business Office to ensure that financial reporting requirements are met, to monitor project financial status, and ensure compliance with research budgets.
  • Support the recruitment of personnel for research grants/contracts as needed.
  • Identify and assist in selecting local data collection partners, as needed.

Technical Service Delivery:
  • Participate in technical work as needed and appropriate, including research design, data collection and analysis.
  • Contribute to or lead the drafting of reports and academic papers.
  • As appropriate, the manager will be asked to participate in field work, such as data collection, capacity building, program monitoring, or evaluation design, with evaluation teams. These tasks will be graduated to match level of proficiency and skill.
  • Assure high quality deliverables, reports and dissemination materials.
  • Conduct background research for the development of evaluation designs and data collection instruments.
  • Oversee the work of local data collection contractors and conduct regular quality control on quantitative and qualitative datasets, using DevLab's standard quality control processes.

Proposal Identification/Revenue Generation:

The Research Manager is expected to support the identification and proposal development related to new research opportunities and, as time permits, other evaluation-related new bids. The manager will be asked to write technical proposals, review draft proposals, and work with the Business Office to develop budgets.

Other Management Functions:

The Research Manager will be asked to support other DevLab@Penn management functions from time to time, such as representation and client relationship management, and is expected to participate in and/or lead internal initiatives at DevLab@Penn as opportunities arise, and as availability allows.

This is a 3 year term appointment with the possibility of renewal.


Required Qualifications:
  • A minimum of a Master's degree in International Relations, International Development, Economics, Public Policy, Political Science, or other related subject.
  • A minimum of 3 years of work experience, with at least 3 years of experience managing development projects or evaluations.
  • Academic training and/or practical experience in quantitative research/evaluation including familiarity with IE designs such as RCTs and/or quasi-experimental designs.
  • Experience writing and managing performance reports, including drafting quarterly and annual performance reports and work plans.
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee and manage multiple projects simultaneously and provide advice and guidance in a timely fashion.
  • Demonstrated expertise in impact evaluation, including familiarity with IE methodologies as well as experience with large-scale surveys and data collection.
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee team mobilization, written research products, and quality assurance processes.
  • Knowledge of government and/or donor contracting practices.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and implement pertinent company and client policies and procedures clearly and accurately.
  • Ability to travel overseas for short-term assignments.
  • Proactive, self-starting, and strong attention to detail.
  • Ability to follow through on multiple tasks in a fast-paced environment.
  • Excellent verbal communication and writing skills.
  • Working knowledge of MS Office suite.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Knowledge of and practical hands-on experience with Stata and electronic data collection programs (ODK, SurveyCTO) strongly preferred.
  • Field experience in managing/participating in quantitative evaluations.
  • Demonstrated experience managing or carrying out qualitative, geospatial, or other kinds of data collection.
  • Experience working with USAID, MCC, or USG client.
  • Experience working in developing countries.
  • Proficiency in a foreign language, such as Spanish or French, a plus.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Hybrid Eligible - This position is eligible for a hybrid work schedule with a work week divided between working onsite and working remotely.

Department / School
School of Arts and Sciences

Pay Range
$61,046.00 - $95,972.00
Salary offers are made based on the candidate's qualifications, experience, skills, and education as they directly relate to the requirements of the position, as well as internal and market factors and grade profile.

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits
  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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