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Call for Applicants: Research Assistant

OCDC & International Research Group

International Cooperative Research Group & The U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council

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Call for Applicants: Research Assistant International Cooperative Research Group U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC) This position is ideally suited for a recent graduate degree holder (MS, PhD or ABD PhD candidate) interested in applying quantitative and other research skills to support OCDC’s mission to pioneer practical solutions to global poverty using the cooperative business model.

Background: The International Cooperative Research Group (ICRG) is a division within the U.S. Overseas Cooperative Development Council (OCDC). As a membership organization of Cooperative Development Organizations (CDOs) working in a variety of sectors, OCDC is committed to advancing a more prosperous world through cooperatives. The ICRG uses academically rigorous methods to carry out research and provide evidence about the impact of cooperative development, primarily in developing countries. The ICRG carries out policy-oriented and practice-oriented research, with the goal of increasing the effectiveness of cooperative development and creating enabling environments for cooperatives to flourish. The ICRG is committed to providing practical solutions that fill intellectual gaps in knowledge in the international development field. The ICRG is currently implementing a project funded by USAID under the Cooperative Development Program (CDP). The multi-year program is the Cooperative Research, Education and Dissemination (CRED) under which this position is funded.

Position Overview: Reporting to the Research Manager (RM), the Research Assistant provides vital support to the RM and to ICRG’s data analysis and other research activities. A skilled research professional, the Research Assistant works as a member of the research team, the larger ICRG and OCDC team, and is also responsible for individual products and projects within the Research Assistant scope. This position supports the Research pillar of the CRED program and bridges with the Learning pillar.

Key Tasks:


  • Analyzing data, with a focus on statistical data analysis;
  • Tracking program metrics for ICRG use in donor reporting;
  • Working closely with the Training and Learning Manager (TLM) growing the Hub of curated knowledge resources;
  • Working closely with both the TLM and the RM, translating research outcomes into practical tools for use by CDOs and others;
  • Assisting with research design (including sampling plans);
  • Supporting data quality;
  • Identifying trends within existing data and the potential they suggest for further research and analysis; • Managing assigned components of the procurement and documentation processes (e.g. identifying consultants, developing SOWs, drafting administrative communications related to research activities);
  • Tracking and updating the research deliverable calendar for efficient grant management;
  • Additional administrative or research tasks, at the discretion of the RM and/or Research Director, based on the ICRG’s current needs and the applicant’s profile and area of expertise.

Qualifications: This position requires someone who is a self-starter and highly analytical, able to see the “big picture” while also focusing on the details. This person is excited about creating knowledge and evidence to increase the impact of cooperative development on the lives of poor people in low income and emerging economies. This person is collegial with successfully applied cross-cultural skills, able to work collaboratively within a small team, while at the same time able to work independently and efficiently to achieve project targets.

  • MA/MS in social sciences with a focus on research methods or equivalent demonstration of research experience, including 1-year of field experience working in a developing country.
  • Track record carrying out and overseeing complex mixed methods research projects, to include experience with various analytical techniques and software and demonstrated experience using at least one qualitative and one quantitative data analysis software, such as STATA, R, SAS, Python, MATLAB, or other.
  • A strong command of the English language and grammar accompanied by creativity and an engaging writing style. Keen attention to details and an ability to glean insights from data, including both qualitative and quantitative lens of analysis.
  • Demonstrated ability to bridge the worlds of academia, policy and practice, writing reports for a non-academic audience, based on rigorously conducted research.
  • Demonstrated experience with and knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research design, to include sampling and diverse methodological approaches.

Additional Desired Qualities:

✓ Language skills, with professional level fluency in Spanish or French preferred.

✓ Experience working with USAID-funded projects.

✓ Knowledge of cooperatives and cooperative development.

✓ Strong communications skills, flexibility, and good humor in changing circumstances.

✓ Prior experience with project/program impact evaluations or experience running or supporting RCT trials is highly desired.

✓ Additional technical expertise with spatial analysis software such as ArcGIS is a plus.

✓ Ability to design innovative approaches and solve problems independently with ease.


Additional Details and Application Instructions: Qualified candidates are encouraged to send their application materials to the OCDC Research Group at researchgroup@ocdc.coop with the following title: “Research Assistant Candidate_Last name_First name_2020” by December 18, 2020, 11:59 pm.

Please attach to the email the following items: 1. Your most recent CV (2-page maximum; In the case of publications, a third page is allowed); 2. Two writing samples or links to published articles (If unpublished, each sample should be no longer than 5 pages); and 3. A brief cover letter describing your relevant experience and interest in the position.

This position will begin remotely, with working hours based in Eastern Standard Time of the U.S. When offices reopen in 2021, the candidate will be expected to relocate to the Washington, DC area.

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