Democracy Fellow, Comparative Politics, Democratization, Research Methods, and Statistics
The Institute of International Education (IIE) seeks applications from qualified individuals for a new category of Fellowship targeted at recent PhDs or advanced ABDs. The selected individual will serve as a Democracy Fellow for Comparative Politics, Democratization, Research Methods, and Statistics in USAID’s Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG Center). Eligible candidates should be specialists in some aspect of democratization, human rights, and governance from either an institutional or behavioral perspective and have completed advanced level coursework in research methods and statistics. The Fellow will assist the DRG Center’s Learning Team on the design and implementation of impact evaluations, the conduct and analysis of survey research, and various other research and administrative tasks. IIE manages the Democracy Fellows and Grants Program (DFG) for USAID. The Fellow will be hired as a full-time, salaried IIE employee, with benefits. The initial Fellowship will be for one year, with an optional second year contingent upon funding and successful performance reviews during the first year. The maximum length of this Fellowship is two years.
The DRG Center’s Learning Team is the locus of DRG-specific evaluation, research, and learning across USAID. The Learning Team applies rigorous methods, including impact evaluations, survey research, qualitative case studies, cross-national quantitative research, and elite interviews, among a wide range of methods, in promoting evidence-based program development and evaluation across all DRG subsectors. The Democracy Fellow will serve as a research and evaluation specialist within the DRG Center, assisting in the Center’s activities as a learning organization by:
- Collaborating with DRG staff and partners in the analysis and evaluation of USAID DRG programs worldwide.
- Reviewing and advising on research ideas and designs of other DRG Center teams and providing the teams with technical assistance.
- Contributing to communities of practice comprising USAID DRG experts and practitioners worldwide and supporting efforts to promote learning and research at USAID.
- Supporting the day-to-day priorities of the DRG Center.
- Maintaining an active research and publication agenda on topics related to Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Democracy Fellow will:
- Contribute to systematic reviews of academic literature of relevant research in the DRG sector.
- Travel to USAID field missions to provide hands-on support in designing DRG research projects.
- Represent the DRG Center on teams tasked with the design, implementation, analysis, and reporting of USAID democracy, public opinion, and program evaluation surveys.
- As this Fellowship is designed as similar to a post-doctoral Fellowship, the Fellow will maintain an active, personal research and publication program.
- Participate in review committees on DRG learning activities. Provide technical and research support to assist other DRG Center staff in the development and implementation of rigorous research proposals in their areas of focus.
- Assist in the design (including indicator development) and/or evaluation of selected USAID DRG programs.
- Design and deliver training modules (including training plans and resource materials) for USAID DRG officers and other USG employees on how to use results from impact evaluation and surveys in program design and implementation.
- Participate in a Community of Practice focused on a DRG subsector, e.g., decentralization and local government improvement, civic education, legislative strengthening, or political party development assistance.
- Perform other tasks and bureaucratic functions as assigned to support the ongoing work of the DRG Center and Learning Team. For example, Fellow may be required to coordinate and attend meetings with other USAID and USG units on evaluation-related topics and/or broader DRG technical areas; brief senior DRG staff on Learning Team activities; draft summaries for a generalist audience highlighting the work of the Learning Team; and respond to ad hoc information requests. As a member of the Learning Team, the Fellow will be required to attend weekly DRG Center staff meetings and other Center activities such as retreats, portfolio reviews, and annual planning sessions.
Qualifications and Skills
- US citizenship is required.
- Fellowship is contingent upon a successful background investigation for a facility access badge (no security clearance required).
- Either a PhD (preferred) or advanced ABD in political science or other social sciences is a prerequisite.
- Advanced level coursework in a variety of advanced research methods and statistics. A high level of knowledge and experience using STATA and/or SPSS in social science research is required.
- Substantive knowledge is required in at least one DRG subsector field, such as: democratization, voter and civic education, civil society strengthening, electoral behavior, human rights, or government accountability/transparency in developing and/or transitional countries.
- Excellent English writing skills are required.
- Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work well on a team are required.
- Knowledge of one or more developing or transitional countries or regions is desirable.
- Foreign language skills are desirable.
Supervision and Guidance
The Fellow will serve as a member of the Learning Team of the DRG Center and will be supervised on a day-to-day basis by the Learning Team Leader (or his Acting designate). The Fellow will be a full-time IIE salaried employee and will report for administrative purposes to the Democracy Fellows and Grants (DFG) Director at IIE. Fellow will participate in relevant working groups in other parts of USAID, as required. Fellow is expected to exercise the highest degree of individual initiative, resourcefulness, responsibility, and authority, consistent with USAID’s overall policy and procedural framework.
Pending a background investigation for a facility access badge, the Fellow will be located at IIE headquarters in Washington, DC. Upon receiving a facility access badge, the Fellow will be based at USAID headquarters in Washington, DC. International travel may be required.
Duration of the Position
Initial appointment is for one year and will begin as soon as possible. The second year is optional and is contingent upon available funding and acceptable performance during the first year.
The salary for this fellowship will be competitive and commensurate with the candidate’s salary history and experience. The salary will not exceed $80,000/year.
The deadline for applications is 11:59 pm on Thursday, June 20. Only complete applications will be considered.
General applications to be a Democracy Fellow are accepted and processed on a continuing basis. IIE will notify eligible applicants of their acceptance into DFG’s general Fellows’ pool within one month of receiving the application. Accepted applications are considered active for approximately one calendar year. When a Fellowship is posted, IIE will review the applicant pool for candidates whose technical qualifications suit the position description. Individuals interested in Democracy Fellowships also are encouraged to join our mailing list to be notified of new fellowship positions as they are announced.
Criteria for acceptance include:
- US citizenship or US permanent resident (provided there are no security restrictions). Specific short-term or part-time fellowships that do not require a security clearance will be filled by US citizens or US permanent residents.
- Ability to receive a US national security clearance, as required.
- PhD, JD, or Master's degree. A completed graduate degree is required.
- Appropriate level of experience.
- Applicants for full-time fellowships must not have worked inside USAID as a technical professional (Direct-Hire, Non-Direct Hire, PSC) for more than five years, cumulatively.
- Applicants must not have worked as a fellow on any fellowship program within USAID for a combined total of four years, cumulatively.
Most Fellowships will be in Washington, although some short-term assignments may be completed remotely. DFG is not designed to provide Fellows an opportunity to pursue their own research, teaching, or other independent activities. Instead, the focus is on finding the most qualified applicants to meet the specific needs of the sponsoring USAID office. However, part-time Democracy Fellows may continue pursuing their own research and teaching priorities during the time they are not working for USAID.
The Democracy Fellows Program is accepting applications for the program on a rolling basis. Accepted candidates will be eligible for consideration for future fellowships as it becomes available. You can also apply to specific fellowship positions once it is announced.
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